By John Anderson
The quarter final round of the MIAA Central Division 2 Girls Basketball Tournament will take place on Wednesday, and Auburn is in the #3 spot. The Rockets will face #6 Groton-Dunstable at home, 7:00pm.
Four victories in the last nine days of the season put Auburn (16-4) in great position and also knocked out two teams, Grafton and Northbridge. Auburn is the only girls SWCL team in the D2 playoffs since most others are in D3 and Tantasqua is in the Western Division.
Last Thursday, the Rockets defeated Northbridge, 66-54, in the last regular game of the season. It was also senior night for Danielle Hearnlaye and Captain Erin Burke. It was fitting, therefore, that Hearnlaye led the Rockets with a career high 16 points. Captains Burke and Emily Sarkisian each had 14 points, and Colleen Cutting put up 11.
After the game, Hearnlaye told Auburn Mass Daily, “It’s been a great season. I am so lucky to have played with Erin [Burke] for the past 8 years.”
Hearnlaye’s accuracy and drive were outstanding, and a similar performance will certainly help the Rockets advance in the tournament.
Although Auburn got off to their typical slow start, once they settled in, they owned the game leading 13-10 after the first quarter and 26-20 at the half. The spread certainly would have been greater if Coach Ellen Kaschuluk didn’t get her bench into the game.
The gap was 51-35 after three and 66-54 at the end. With a minute left in the game, the seniors were pulled from the court to a rousing applause.
Good luck in the tournament ladies.