Lowell High School played even with defending state champion Oak Ridge of El Dorado Hills in every aspect of the game except one — putting the ball in the basket.
The Cardinals went through one of their worst shooting performances of the season, while Oak Ridge shot the lights out in a 56-31 win in the Northern California bracket of the CIF Division I girls’ basketball tournament on Tuesday at Kezar Pavilion.
The Academic Athletic Association champions shot 16 percent from the floor and 3-of-22 from 3-point range, while Oak Ridge (21-10) shot 50 percent from the floor and from 3-point range, including 6-of-8 from behind the arc in the first half. The Cardinals (28-5) actually outshot Oak Ridge 62-38.
“We doubled the number of shots that they took in the first half, but with this team, that happens,” Lowell coach Aki Kuwada said. “Sometimes we can’t hit the side of a barn.”
The biggest problem for the Cardinals was El Dorado senior guards Dakota McLarnan and Natalie Stone, who finished with 16 and 12 points, respectively.
McLarnan was 4-of-7 from 3-point range, while Stone hit on 4-of-5 of her shots from distance.
“We definitely can shoot the ball well and we’ve had games like that before,” Oak Ridge coach Steve White said. “We work on it a lot and it’s nice to see it pay off in a game like this. We had some shots and we made the most of them.”
Oak Ridge was up 18-8 after the first quarter and took a 30-12 lead into the half, but consistent turnovers and a Lowell surge allowed the Cardinals to stay in the game midway through the third quarter, when they cut the lead to 32-19.
The 21 turnovers the Trojans committed against Lowell will likely not fly against top-seeded Berkeley, who they will face off against Thursday in the second round.
St. Ignatius 65, El Dorado 44
St. Ignatius jumped out to a 16-2 lead in the first five minutes of the game, and rolled to an impressive victory over visiting El Dorado of Placerville. Maria Kemiji-McDonald led the Wildcats (23-7) with 22 points, helping St. Ignatius advance to the second round of the Division III girls’ playoffs, where it will travel to fourth-seeded Paradise on Thursday at 7 p.m.
Correspondent Bonta Hill contributed to this report.
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