Freeman’s free throw gives Wallenberg win 

As his teammates jumped up and down and pumped their fists, Ronney Freeman didn’t even crack a smile.

The Wallenberg senior knew he still had one more shot to make in order to finish off Lowell in what had become an epic showdown for first place in the Academic Athletic Association Neff Division.

Freeman had just gathered his own rebound and was fouled while converting a short shot that tied the game 50-50 with 2.4 seconds remaining in regulation.

He backed up toward halfcourt and took a deep breath before burying the free throw and provided the winning margin in Wallenberg’s thrilling 51-50 boys’ basketball victory.

"A coach I train with was just telling me I’m a 90 percent foul shooter," said Freeman, finally flashing a smile. "And I just wanted to prove him right."

Freeman scored 16 of his 21 points in the second half to lead the Bulldogs (18-5, 11-1 AAA) over the Cardinals (21-4, 10-2) at Kezar Pavilion. He had to change his jersey from number 21 to 35 at the intermission after receiving a cut on the arm late in the first half, a fitting sidebar to a game that featured multiple and extreme personality shifts.

Wallenberg scored the first 10 points of the game and 22 of the first 26 to take what appeared to be a commanding lead in the first quarter. But Lowell began to gain ground in the second quarter and used a 23-6 run that stretched from the end of the second period to the beginning of the fourth to take a 43-38 advantage.

Freeman responded with an old-fashioned three-point play to make it 43-41 and the teams were within three points the rest of the way.

"[Lowell coach Rob Ray] looked over at me sometime in that third quarter and said ‘So you thought it would be easy?’" Wallenberg coach Patrick Mulligan said. "And I knew it wouldn’t be. ... That was a hell of a game."

Chibuzo Emeka finished with 15 points and 16 rebounds for Wallenberg, while Jordan Wong led Lowell with 14 points.

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Staff Report

Staff Report

A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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