By John Anderson
In a rescheduled game on Friday night, the Auburn girls varsity team had a lot to celebrate. They beat D1 Tantasqua for the second time this season, and they recognized the five seniors who have been a huge part of this team.
Amber Abderrazzaq, Nathalie Khafaga, Ryanne Burke, Lyndsey Gabrielian, and Jackie Matthews will all end their high school careers at the end of playoffs, and hopefully a title or two will be earned along the way.
Tantasqua put up the first points of the game with a Claudia Fleshman 3, but their offensive drive did not materialize. With 3:29 left in the first quarter, Auburn was up 16-3, and the Warriors were using their second time out. They did score another 2, but the Rockets led 21-5 at the end of the first.
The second quarter was unremarkable as the teams went back and forth with baskets. Tantasqua outshot Auburn 14-10, but the home team lead was still substantial, 31-19, going into halftime.
With 4 minutes left in the third, Lyndsey Gabrielian dropped a 3 to give Auburn a comfortable 42-28 lead. The Warriors then took advantage of the lack of defensive pressure at this time and put up 7 unanswered points. The third ended 43-36.
Although Tantasqua never caught up, there were some tense moments in the second half. Each team scored nine points in the fourth leading to the 52-45 final. The ambitious first quarter gave the Rockets the edge in this game.
Coach Ellen Kaschuluk summed up the game, “We let up a little too much and had trouble keeping the intensity.” A win, however, is a win, and the Rockets are 13-5 with one regular season game to go, at Northbridge on Wednesday.
Lyndsey Gabrielian led the team with 17 points and 9 rebounds. Her 3-pointers have been finding their mark lately and she had three in this game. Ryanne Burke added one of her own from the outside, and she had a total of 13 points.