The Lodi Flames had an uphill battle after falling behind by 19 in the first half and couldn't pull off the comeback in the first round of the Cartwright Classic in Elk Grove, losing to the McClatchy Lions of Sacramento 70-66 Thursday.
Lodi coach Dave Nutting said his team played sloppily and battled foul trouble most of the game. Jordan Belasco, who lead the Flames with 31 points, fouled out with two minutes remaining. Benny Simi added 19 points despite only playing about half the game. He picked up his third foul in the second period and his fourth in the third quarter, sending him to the bench for long stints.