By John Anderson
Some basketball games are just plain fun to watch, and they must be a blast to play in. When Grafton came to town on Monday, nobody in Auburn expected an easy win. After all, in the Rocket’s opening game of the season, they defeated the Indians 60-42, and competitions run deep.
Everyone knew that Grafton’s best player, Gabriella (Gigi) Lemay, didn’t play in that first match, but she was primed and ready for Monday’s contest. Auburn, of course, had Emily Sarkisian on the court, and she did serious damage to the Indians during that first matchup with 30 credited points. Colleen Cutting had 17 points, and Jess Clifford had 9.
In the first half of Monday’s game, Auburn fell behind 21-19 with 8 fouls to Grafton’s 5. Two of those fouls were against Sarkisian who was put on the bench in the first quarter and saw no action in the second.
The Rockets were still behind 35-28 at the end of the third, but Grafton also led in fouls, 6-3. With 7:28 left in the fourth, Auburn was in the bonus, and they pulled ahead, 40-38, at the 4:25 mark.
The game was tied, 42-42, at 2:40, but Sarkisian dropped a 3 to break the tie at 2:00. After the Indians evened it up again, Hannah Harris scored a 2, followed by a Clifford layup. At the other end of the court, Clifford secured a loose ball and held it until the game was called in Auburn’s favor, 49-45.
Sarkisian led the Rockets with 18 points, and Clifford followed with 9. Harris had 8 points and Shannon Hynes had 6, both 3’s in the first half.
After the game, Coach Nicole LeProvost said, “We knew it was going to be a tough game, a battle. All of our players did their jobs.”
When asked about being benched in the first quarter after two fouls, Emily Sarkisian added, “I was a little frustrated, but we play the whistle. The team really stepped up.”
The Lady Rockets face Wayland tonight at home.