By John Anderson
When the final whistles blew on Friday night’s basketball games, both the boys and girls were behind by eight points, and each would record their second loss of the season. The girls faced Shepherd Hill away and ended 58-50. The boys defended their home court and lost to the Rams 39-31.
The Auburn girls led the Rams at the half, 32-28, but Shepherd Hill came back strong in the second and outscored their guests 30-18. While Erin Burke scored 15 and Lyndsey Gabrielian scored 11, their points would not surpass Brooke Packard’s 20 and Kayla Phillips’ 13 for the home team.
Auburn had six 3-pointers during the game, while Shepherd Hill hit five. The girls will be on the road until the 23rd when they face Nashoba Regional at home at 7:00 PM.
The boys kept their guests off the scoreboard for over 5 minutes, but once Shepherd Hill hit the net, they didn’t let up. The Rams were also not afraid to foul, but the Rockets had trouble producing at the free throw line. Two Ram 3’s in the second quarter gave them a solid 18-8 lead.
The Rockets came out invigorated in the third period. They consistently drove to the net for a field goal or free throws while playing a remarkable defense. At 4:19, a Will Greelish basket tied the game 18-18. Less than a minute later Ryan Kozlowski hit for two, and the Rockets had their first lead since the first quarter, 20-18.
For no apparent reason, the Rockets stopped this winning strategy and the game was 25-26 at the end of the third. The Rams did a terrific job with rebounds during the game after settling down mid way through the first quarter. Michael Rapoza was most impressive for Shepherd Hill garnering 17 rebounds.
DJ Scavone led the Rockets with 16 points, and Mike Thomas had 8. Many of Auburn’s regular scorers didn’t hit during this game. Rapoza scored 11 for the Rams, and 7 others were on the board as well. There will be an interesting rematch on February 5th. Hopefully by then, the Rockets will have a better plan to replace Mark Wright. The boys play Oxford on Wednesday at home.