By John Anderson

This introduction may be more of an editorial than a sports story, but some things need to be said about the girls basketball 49-19 loss on Tuesday night. First, Auburn lost to a better team. The Warriors had a spectacular defense that rarely gave our Rockets a break, and they also had senior Bronwyn Davies who is one of the best high school players I have ever seen.

I would have more information on the other Wayland girls if they had rosters at the gate. When the MIAA charges what they do for playoff games, this should be a given (especially for the press, although we don’t pay). We know Davies is a senior, scored 24 points and has a full scholarship to Yale in the fall. Jackie Stoller had 7 points and Ellery Keifer had 6. I wish I knew what class they were in because the future of the Warriors can be debated. Davies is the strength of this squad, and it is hard to imagine next year without her. I also don’t understand why Wayland is in Central D2 since they are closer to I-95 than Auburn is to I-495.

The rubber court was an issue for the Rockets. Basketball should be played on wood, period! After the game, several of our players talked about the difficulty dribbling on a bouncy surface. Still, they lost to a better team.

As a long time parent and coach in youth sports, I accept poor refereeing, but Tuesday night was over the top. I am often standing near Mark Seliger when photographing Auburn games, and he has an uncanny ability to capture the action as the whistle blows. I cannot even tally how many times he has turned to me, shown me the screen on his DSLR and remarked “no foul” or “It’s all ball.” At 11 frames per second, he always has good evidence. While a photographer’s perspective from the side of the court is not the same as the ref’s, sometimes it is just obvious.

At the end of the game, one referee said to Mark, “She’s already got a full boat scholarship to Yale. Why was she still on the court?” He was referring to Davies who came off well into the fourth period. I would have liked to give him an answer: Maybe this is her last win as a senior at Wayland High; Maybe she can set a record for herself or her school; Maybe she’s just the best player out there. No matter the answer, Davies wasn’t mean and the point spread is what it is. Auburn lost to a better player.
Speaking of great players, Auburn will take a hit when Emily Sarkisian graduates this spring. While all of the seniors have contributed to the Rockets during their high school years, Emily is one of those exceptional players. At 5’5”, she has never let the height discrepancy limit her. Often the top scorer, she has made her presence known on the parquet, and she is a pleasure to watch, photograph and write about. Good luck in your future Emily.

As you view today’s slide show, you will see great efforts from both teams, and the obvious difficulty Auburn had scoring. When I did my initial edit of about 200 images, I observed that #40, Bronwyn Davies, was in about 70% of my shots. This young lady plays hard at both ends of the court, and I think her college years will be interesting. Auburn lost to a better team.

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