By John Baker
Not only has Lowell’s girls basketball team played three games in five days, including back-to-back Academic Athletic Association tilts on Monday and Tuesday, but it has shown few signs of fatigue.
In fact, the Cardinals seem to be getting stronger the more often they play.
Tuesday night’s 61-26 victory over Galileo showed Lowell at its best. The Cardinals executed all aspects of their game with the self-confidence and energy of a well-rested squad.
Two weeks prior, Lowell had beaten Galileo by just seven points, well below its average AAA margin of victory of 33. On Tuesday, it was an entirely different matter, as the Cardinals (17-5, 7-0) pulled off a 35-point win behind 11 points from Taylor Sui, 10 from Cynthia Wong, and a lot of defense.
“We faced Galileo early in the season and we were not up to par there,” said Lowell senior center Hana Murphy. “We definitely needed to redeem ourselves in this game and I thought we did that [by] pushing the ball up the court and keeping up the intensity.”
Galileo (18-4, 5-2) trailed throughout, but was still with in relative striking distance at the half. The Lions were behind 34-17 at the break, but managed just one field goal – a fourth-quarter jump shot from Cassidy Chan – in the entire second half. If not for a quartet of free throws, Galileo may have gone scoreless in the third quarter.
“Our kids wanted to make a statement before we went into [the] playoffs that it’s going to be really difficult going through us,” said Lowell head coach Aki Kuwada.
Lowell kept up its pressure and energy until the game was virtually over. A diving deflection of a Galileo pass by Murphy with about a minute left symbolized the Cardinals’ efforts defensively.
The teams played reasonably close early and Lowell only led 13-7 after one quarter, but stellar rebounding by Murphy and backcourt steals leading to layups by Katarina Lum and Wong helped push the Cardinals ahead in the second quarter.
“Our transition game has really been good [in] the last three or four games,” Kuwada said. “We emphasize that all the time. If we can get out and run, we don’t have to run plays – just get down [the court] and run.”
From halftime on, there was little the Lions could do to get back into the game. Lowell’s press led frequent Galileo turnovers after the break and and the Lions tallied just nine points.
Galileo head coach Don Papa was unavailable for comment after the game.
Taylor Sui – 11
Cynthia Wong – 10
Katarina Lum – 9
Angie Ng – 8
Hana Murphy – 5
Cassidy Chan – 9
Sarah Lim – 6
Jane Gunn – 4
Karen Wong – 4
Kim Fung – 2