Guard trio sparks Lowell past Burton 

It had taken the Burton girls’ basketball just three possessions and 1 minute, 40 seconds of clock time to erase a seven-point halftime deficit against Lowell in Tuesday’s San Francisco Section semifinals at Kezar Pavilion.

But by the time the Pumas made their next field goal, the top-seeded Cardinals had just completed a 12-2 run and were well on their way to a 48-37 win and a date with Washington in Friday’s final.

Led by the tenacious play of guards Kimberly Lau, Kimberly Wong and freshman Kristina Lum and the all-around excellence of senior forward Angelina Clay, Lowell (28-2) turned up the defense in the second half to topple No. 4 Burton (13-14). Lum had a game-high 16 points in her first playoff game and helped hold Pumas star Mone Peoples to eight points, including none in the final 15 minutes of the game.

"Our guards are just ridiculously fast and work so hard on defense," Clay said. "Mone is a great player and they did a great job of keeping the ball out of her hands."

Clay played a huge role in restoring Lowell’s confidence after Burton’s quick third-quarter start. After Heather Chow made a free throw to put the Cardinals ahead 26-25, Clay hit a putback and then coasted in for a layup after a steal to put Lowell up 30-25. She finished with 12 points and a game-high 11 rebounds.

Lum did most of her damage in the second quarter, where she scored 10 of her points in a 16-4 run that took the Cardinals from down 14-9 to up 25-18 going into the half.

"Sometimes during the regular season, Kristina would kind of fade out and defer to the older girls," Lowell coach Aki Kuwada said. "But we have no problem putting the ball in her hands in key situations, and you can see why."

Sophia Wan had 14 points to lead Burton, while Peoples led the team with nine rebounds and three assists in her final high school game.

melliser@examiner.com

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