Lowell suffers through shooting slump in playoff loss 

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.

Preps sports coverage provided in partnership by The San Francisco Examiner and SanFranPreps.com

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