Prouty Falls 60-52
By John Anderson
In their first game since the Rocket Classic, the Rockets defeated the Panthers 60-52. In the second quarter of the Classic, Mark Wright went down with a leg injury. His inability to return probably had a lot to do with Auburn’s loss to Sutton. Since that game, it is official that Wright is out for the remainder of the season.
This situation left Coach Andy Niedzwiecki with some staffing challenges. Senior Michael Thomas is the only other seasoned guard, so changes need to occur. The coach said he is exploring options with his players, but if Monday’s game was any example, they’ll do fine this season. Thomas stepped up his already good game and put up 14 points for Auburn including two 3-pointers. DJ Scavone led with 18 points.
David Prouty put up a solid defense, but Auburn worked around it for the most part. The Panthers made clean blocks and had a reasonable number of fouls until the very end of the game. The Rockets came out shooting and led 11-5 after the first quarter. They increased their lead to 21 in the second and led 34-13 at the half. Auburn’s rebounds were notable at both ends of the court.
The Panthers outscored the Rockets 14-12 in the third, but the home team held on to a healthy 46-27 lead entering the fourth quarter. Without Auburn’s lead, the last quarter would have been a total nail biter. Several three-pointers and some good play in both offense and defense allowed the Panthers to close the gap.
Prouty outshot Auburn 25-14 in the 4th, and the fatiguing Rockets got into foul trouble. When the score was getting too close for comfort, the clock worked in Auburn’s favor. Deliberate fouls by the Panthers ended up working against them as the Rockets hit multiple points from the free throw line. Auburn’s 8-point victory was a great ending.
Coach Niedzwiecki admitted, “We don’t handle pressure well, but we’ll get better.” He considers David Prouty a formidable opponent, and was very pleased how the players put in some extra effort to make up for the injured Wright. There is a lot of the season in front of them. The boys play tonight in Leicester and home on Friday against Shepherd Hill.
The Lady Rockets were in Spencer at the same time slot and defeated the Panthers 55-29. Emily Sarkisian and Danielle Hearnlaye each had 10 points in the game. They will face Leicester at home tonight, 7:00PM.