The Lodi Flames didn’t stand a chance against the Valley Oak League champion Kimball Jaguars in the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I girls basketball playoffs.
Kimball, the No. 14 seed out of 22 teams in the Division I playoffs, dominated the game on their home court on Friday, 64-25, to move on to the next round of playoffs at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 25, at Napa High.
Lodi, the No. 19 seed, scored first, but Kimball had the clear height advantage and dominated the boards, allowing the Flames no field goals and few rebounds until the Jaguars held a 20-2 lead near the end of the first quarter.
“At the beginning of the game we were all pumped up for the game,” junior Sarah Nunes said. “We were all focusing on the things we had to work on. Our defense really helped us a lot, because we rebounded and boxed out and put pressure, and we executed on offense really well today.”
Freshman Donwanae Anthony was the games’ top rebounder with nine boards, and she also had three steals.
“We talked about our press and I just knew I had to rebound for my team,” Anthony, a 5-foot-10 forward, said.
Lodi had its outside shooting, with five 3-point shots for the night, but it wasn’t nearly enough to keep up with Kimball, and by the fourth quarter the Jaguars were far enough ahead that coach Mike Granillo put in his backup players and the game went to the running clock mercy rule.
“We played our game,” Granillo said. “We came with the resolve that we were going to play our style and that’s the way the girls came out to play and they did an excellent job.”
Junior Allison Schmidt was the Jaguars’ leading scorer with 15 points. Nunes and junior Alexis Clark scored 10 each, Clark with two 3-point shots. Anthony scored nine and junior Ayida Peters scored six points and had nine rebounds.
Kimball now travels to Napa High for the 16-team second round. Napa, the No. 3 seed, is 25-1 overall and went 10-0 in the Monticello Empire League. Napa was also the champion of the Tom Hawkins/Tracy Breakfast Lions Tournament in December.
“We saw them play but we did not play them,” Nunes said. “They’re good but we have a chance to beat them. We have to box out and rebound, and they can shoot so we have to put pressure on their shooters.”
Contact Bob Brownne at 830-4227 or firstname.lastname@example.org.