By Josh Levine
Kristina Lum and Rachel Baskin proved to be too much for Lincoln High School in Lowell High School’s 73-63 win in the AAA CIF-San Francisco Section championship game at the Kezar Pavilion on Friday night.
With the win, the Lowell (27-3) capped an undefeated league season, including a three-game playoff run.
Lum and Baskin had 19 and 17 points, respectively.
“We knew that we would have to come out playing hard,” said Lum. “We needed to play our game, not theirs.”
Hallie Meneses led the Mustangs (26-7) with a game-high 24 points, but shot only 8-of-24 from the field.
“You have to give Lowell credit,” said Mustang Head Coach Jason Lee. “They really kept [Meneses] from scoring.”
Lowell Head Coach Aki Kuwada has emphasized defensive effort all season.
“We practice defense about 75 percent of the time in practice, so stopping her was key,” Kuwada said. “I don’t make a big deal if we make an error on the offensive end, but defensively we needed to be there.”
Freshman Lorna Tuufili came off of the Cardinals bench and added 10 points, a spark that Lee felt was an integral aspect of the game.
“I’m not surprised that she [Tuufili] played so well,” Lee said. “She is a great player and the fans love her.”
Lincoln’s Maripousa Silifaiva had 17 points, including 13 in the first half, but leg cramps slowed her down in the second half.
Going into the fourth quarter, the Cardinals led by only four points, but a quick 8-0 run gave them a 12 point lead that they would not give up.
Both teams will receive automatic bids to the CIF NorCal Division I playoffs, which begin on Tuesday.