By John Anderson
The Auburn girls were seeded in the #2 spot at the beginning of this week’s Girls Summer Basketball playoffs with only Quaboag ahead of them. The top four teams got a bye on Monday night, but they hit the court with full force last evening. Auburn faced #7 Nipmuc, and the game was all Auburn, for a while.
The Rockets came out strong after the opening jump and held Nipmuc to 2 points for over 15 minutes. In the last 5 minutes of the first half, however, the Warriors got their act together and racked up 7 more points. While the half ended with a comfortable 20-9 lead for Auburn, it was obvious this wasn’t going to be a blowout.
The Warriors continued their drive in the second half and outshot Auburn 25-24. Although they never posed a serious threat, Nipmuc certainly made the game interesting. Erin Burke was the only Auburn player with significant height, and she and her team faced a much taller Warrior squad. This is likely to be the scenario next winter, and Auburn has to capitalize on their breakaway plays. The final score was 44-34.
Coach Nathalie Khafaga credited her experienced guards Erin Burke, Emily Sarkisian and Colleen Cutting with the game’s success, but this was a team effort all around. The ball movement was solid, and help was nearby when needed. Auburn will face either Douglas or Grafton in tonight’s semi-final.