Lowell too much for overmatched Mission 

The Lowell High School girls’ basketball team has won seven of the past eight Academic Athletic Association championships and — along with Galileo High School — appears to be one of the favorites to hoist the AAA trophy at season’s end.

So nobody was shocked to see Lowell beat visiting Mission on Tuesday in league play, however, for those in attendance as well as both teams, it was not a pleasant experience.

Lowell (14-5, 4-0) led 22-0 after the first quarter, scored the game’s first 29 points and went into halftime leading 39-1 en route to a 52-2 win.

Cardinals junior guard Bianca Delatorre was the leading scorer for Lowell, scoring 12 points, including her 3-pointer to beat the halftime buzzer.

But this game wasn’t about individual scoring and great plays. In the San Francisco public school scene, where resources are obscure, it’s not a surprise that games like this happen routinely.

Afterward, Lowell coach Aki Kuwada wasn’t thrilled about what transpired. He used every player in uniform in the game, and stopped pressuring Mission full court by the second quarter, but still, Kuwada was in a desolate mood after the final buzzer.

“I feel bad and we tried to keep our scoring down as much as possible,” Kuwada said. “There is playing, and there is playing in a competitive atmosphere, and this was not a competitive atmosphere, but it’s not due to [Mission] trying. I’ve been in their shoes before.”

Unfortunately for Mission, it didn’t make a field goal in the game. The Lady Bears committed 32 turnovers, but forced Lowell into 17 turnovers.

Knowing a comeback against Lowell was a longshot, Mission coach Timothy Halloran never stopped coaching his team, continuing to push his players and squeeze every ounce of effort out of the Lady Bears.

The Lady Bears (3-13, 1-2) responded to their coach, but couldn’t keep up with Lowell’s talent to make a difference on the scoreboard.

“We are a hardworking group even though our skill level isn’t quite there, but we have a good group of kids and that’s what it’s all about,” Halloran said.

Lowell, which lost to West Catholic Athletic League member St. Francis 53-43 in the MLK Shootout, will take on Thurgood Marshall (2-10) before setting its sights on what should be its toughest foe in the AAA, Galileo next Wednesday. It’s a game that should be competitive, something that Kuwada and his bunch are looking forward to. v “We have a big game against Galileo, they have everybody back and they’re the league favorites,” Kuwada said. “Our kids are looking forward to the challenge.”

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Bonta Hill

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