By Jeremy Balan
The 16 minutes didn’t come sequentially, but the Lowell boys basketball team essentially scored a single point in a half against Lincoln on Friday night.
And that’s no way to beat the Academic Athletic Association’s best team.
In the first and third quarters, the Cardinals scored just one point combined and shot 0-of-21 from the floor, allowing the Mustangs to coast to a 48-21 home win.
Both teams came into the game unbeaten in AAA play, but the mismatch was apparent immediately.
Lowell (10-10, 4-1) went scoreless in the first quarter, missed all six of its shots from the floor and committed seven turnovers, while the Mustangs (11-10, 6-0) had eight offensive rebounds in the opening quarter. Lincoln led 15-0 after the opening frame, but only made 2-of-12 free throws in the first eight minutes to delay an all-out rout.
Four of the Lowell first-quarter turnovers came on steals by Lincoln junior forward Davion Telfor, who led the Mustangs’ offensive effort with a game-high 19 points, and had a near triple-double with seven total steals and seven rebounds.
Telfor, along with 6-foot-7 junior center Seth Snoddy, who finished with 11 points and a game-high 11 rebounds, dominated the undersized Cardinals inside (Lowell only has one player listed above 6-foot) and the Mustangs scored 30 points in the paint.
“It’s a good duo to have and they’re both juniors, so that’s something to look forward to for next year,” Lincoln head coach Matt Jackson said of Snoddy and Telfor. “They’ve both really improved. Seth has improved his physicality . . . and [Telfor] is getting a better feel for the game after football.”
The first quarter was bad for the Cardinals, but the third quarter, in a different way, was much worse. Lowell scored a single point on a free throw by Sam Pollard and limited its turnovers, but shot 0-for-15 from the floor. The Cardinals struggled to get clean looks against Lincoln’s tight, athletic defense throughout, but also missed open shots when they did get them.
“They play some great defense and get in your face, and even if you get by someone, you have [Snoddy] to contend with,” said Lowell head coach Wyman Lee. “We just had no answer for their athleticism or their height.”
Sandwiched between the two horrendous offensive quarters, Lowell junior guard Evan Louie went through a spell where he couldn’t miss. In the second quarter, Louie had 11 points on 5-of-5 shooting from the floor – all on jump shots – and the Cardinals outscored Lincoln 14-11 to cut the Mustangs’ lead to 26-14 at the half.
In a six-minute span, Louie had more points and more field goals than the Cardinals had for the rest of the game. The rest of the Cardinals shot 5-of-30 from the floor in the game.
“That might be our only highlight,” Lee said of Louie’s hot shooting in the second quarter. “Everything else wasn’t working for us. We have to regroup, and if we get a chance to see them a second time, we’re hoping to give them a better game.”
Throughout all of the Lowell struggles, the Mustangs remained consistent and patient on the offensive end of the floor and pulled away steadily in the second half.
As the only remaining unbeaten AAA team, the Mustangs are also confident and now the solid favorite to win their first San Francisco Section title since 2003.
“We feel it and we want it – we want it all,” Telfor said. “We’re together, we’re playing as a team – just like the football team – and we’re doing what we gotta do.”
Davion Telfor – 19
Seth Snoddy – 11
Mitchell Lee – 5
Douglas Snoddy – 5
Josh Lau – 3
Evan Louie – 11
Jonathan Li – 3
Max Endicott – 2
Alvin Norman – 2
Aaron Wong – 2