By John Anderson
In a tight game, the Auburn boys lost to Leicester 57-52 in the first home game of the season. Mark Wright made the first basket of the game, and things looked positive for the Rockets.
Later in the first quarter, however, Wright landed awkwardly after securing a spectacular defensive rebound and had to leave the court. Fortunately, this was not the ankle he broke a year ago, and he did play for a few minutes in the 3rd. The 1st quarter ended with Auburn ahead 11-8.
The lead bounced back and forth in the 2nd, but the Wolverines would have the upper hand at half time, 23-22.
Leicester pulled ahead by as many as 12 points in the 3rd, but then junior Nate Ramos got hot. He hit a trio of threes to bring the Rockets just 4 points away at the end of the quarter, 39-35.
In the 4th, it really looked like Auburn would retake the lead, but it wasn’t to be. With only minutes left and trailing 53-50, Auburn’s 3-pointers wouldn’t hit, and last minute fouls extended the Wolverine lead to 57-52, which was the final.
Nate Ramos led the Rocket scoring with 17 points including four 3-pointers. Luke Matthews followed with 12 points. In all, Auburn dropped ten 3’s, and that is a welcomed change for this team. David Roy led the team with 7 out of 16 defensive rebounds.
After the game, Coach Andrew Niedzwiecki said, “It’s a different year and a different team. They’re all working hard, but we need to put in 32 minutes of total concentration. We missed 10 free throws, and we can’t do that.”
Niedzwiecki admitted the team is loaded with guards but lacks forwards in the paint. Forward Erik Kozlowski will be out for most of the season with a broken foot, and forward Chris Brodeur was sick last night. On the positive side, it is very early in the season, and these guys are still figuring out their team.