By John Anderson
It is sometimes difficult to decide which games to cover, especially with limited personnel. Last Wednesday, I got it wrong, twice. Girls hockey lost to Leominster in the afternoon while the boys defeated Nashoba Valley Tech at night. Neither Auburn team has had great success this winter, and it’s simply nice to catch a win now and then.
In the Auburn High gymnasium, the boys JV basketball team defeated Oxford in overtime, but the varsity squad dropped another heartbreaker when Oxford made a free throw with seconds left and pulled ahead 64-63. This came after Auburn lost in the Rocket Classic final on Monday when Westborough sank a 3 at the buzzer.
Oxford, 4-1, has a strong team this season and leads SWCL East, but they were beatable last Wednesday. Unfortunately, the Rockets have had difficulty finishing games this year, and this match was no exception. Oxford finished the first quarter up 22-14, but ended the half down by one, 33-32.
With 59 seconds left in the third, the Pirates were getting into foul trouble with 6 in the book, and Auburn was up 49-45. Although the Rockets got all three foul shots in the fourth, Oxford cleaned up their act in the paint.
With 4:11 left in the fourth, Auburn was down 56-55, but a 3 by Conor Scully at 1:58 tied the game, 61-61. Scully made a 2 with under a minute left to give the home team a 63-61 advantage. Oxford came back with a 2-pointer, and then a foul shot gave them the win, 64-63.
Nate Ramos led with 14 points while Eric Kozlowski had 12. Scully and Marc Louis each had 10, and Pat Westerlind had 8.
Coach Andy Niedzwiecki said, “We need to execute better in the last five minutes.” That sums it up perfectly. They face Bartlett tonight.
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