By John Anderson
Boys Basketball started the Christmas break in fine fashion by defeating Southbridge, 62-56, on Tuesday night at home. This win comes on the heels of Friday’s road victory against Millbury, 63-53. The record is now 2-2 after a tough start.
The Rockets launched onto the court and put up quick points, claiming an impressive 25-10 lead at the end of the first quarter. It looked like a rout was in the works, but the Pioneers had other things in mind. Southbridge outshot Auburn 21-5 in the second quarter in a total reversal of intensity and accuracy. Conor Scully made a 3 with less than a minute left to give the Rockets the lead, but the Pioneers answered with a 3 of their own to end the half, up 31-30.
The visitors built their lead up to ten points in the third, but fouls would soon impact the team. As the clock was winding down, Nate Ramos was fouled as he scored 2 points, and his accuracy at the line narrowed the gap to 48-41. This was a positive sign of things to come.
With six minutes left in the game, Auburn regained the lead; the Pioneers were in foul trouble; and Ramos was smokin’ hot. At 1:11, he made 2 points and at 43.7 he was fouled going to the net. With Southbridge in the double bonus, Ramos added 2 from the line, and the Rockets were spreading the gap, 60-56. With 22 seconds left, Ramos was pushed on the court and made two more free throws to end the game. Southbridge is a good, aggressive team, but their fouls cost them the game.
Both teams had sixteen 2-pointers and six 3’s, but Auburn won at the line. The Rockets were 12 for 16 while the Pioneers were 6 for 8. Foolish fouls bury many teams.
Nate Ramos led the Rockets with 33 points including five 3’s and a perfect 8 for 8 with free throws. Mark Wright and Chris Brodeur each had 8 points. Alex Osorio had 20 points for Southbridge, and Erik Laboy had 9.
After the game, Coach Andy Niedzwiecki said, “We’re not just inconsistent from game to game. We’re inconsistent from quarter to quarter.” “We need to make stops on the defensive end, but we got the win.”
Auburn Mass Daily will post a slide show of the game over the weekend. The Rocket Classic will start on Monday when Auburn plays Leominster at 5:00pm. The tournament will conclude on Tuesday. Good luck Rockets!