The Friday night lineup at Auburn High School was a bit unusual with 2 varsity basketball games, 4 senior nights and 2 wins for the home teams. After recognizing the seniors from girls basketball and indoor track, the Rockets hit the court to face Oxford. With similar records going in, nobody was writing off the Pirates as an easy victory, and that was smart because they are a tough crew.
The Oxford girls are very good defenders, and what they lack in height is certainly covered by their brawn. They dropped five 3’s in the first quarter to take an 18-10 lead, and the half ended with the Pirates up 27-20. Colleen Cutting tied up the game, 33-33, with 1:40 left in the third, but the Pirates still kept a 38-37 lead after three.
It is likely Auburn’s higher level of athleticism allowed them to increase their scoring while Oxford was looking tired and not hitting the net. The Pirates scoring in the four quarters was 18-9-9-11 while the Rockets had 10-10-17-14.
With one minute left in the game, Auburn had a 49-42 lead, and Oxford was in the double bonus. With 41 seconds remaining, a jump ball at the Pirates’ end gave Auburn possession, and Cutting hit two free throws to make it 51-45. Oxford managed one more score, but the buzzer sounded and the Rockets won their eighth game, 51-47.
Cutting led the Rockets with 20 points, and Liz Anusauskas followed with 7. Kileigh Hynes and Alexis McGaril each had 6, and Semran Sahota and Shannon Sampson each scored 5. Molly Cutting added 2 more. The 8-6 Rockets need one more win to make district playoffs.
The boys played Oxford next after seniors from boys basketball and indoor track were recognized. Although the Pirates came in with a 1-14 record, they provided some tough defense which was greatly compromised when their Klaytin Silva fouled out in the fourth quarter. When it’s your job to play in the paint and stop the offense, you are going to commit fouls.
Auburn was up 10-8 after one quarter and ahead 25-19 at the half. The Rockets extended their lead 40-34 after three and won 56-45. Marc Louis had a terrific game and led his team with 17 points, and Tyler Judice followed with 12. Matty Backlin was next with 8 while Craigon Confer had 6. James Krikorian and Luke Matthews each scored 4, Max Donahue had 3, and Ehmil Johnson shot 2. The Rockets are now 5-11 and are mathematically eliminated from playoffs.