Special to the Auburn Mass Daily
The Auburn girls 7th grade travel basketball team won four games over the weekend to become the first Auburn youth basketball team at any level to win a state title.
On Saturday, Auburn defeated Ayer-Shirley in their first game, with a final score 44-35. In game two vs. Hanover, Auburn prevailed 40-22. The wins allowed Auburn (2-0) to earn the top seed going into championship Sunday with Westwood (2-0), fellow SCMYBL team Millbury (2-0), and Stoughton (1-1).
In the state semi-final vs. Stoughton, Auburn’s defense turned up its tenacity for a 38-16 win to cruise into the state finals.
On the other side of the bracket, Westwood defeated Millbury in a tight game mid-way through the second half. Unfortunately, Millbury was shorthanded and into foul trouble, which allowed Westwood to pull away late.
Into the finals, Westwood had two girls over 6’0″, providing them with a distinct height advantage over Auburn. However, Auburn’s guards neutralized Westwood’s height advantage as Westwood couldn’t handle Auburn’s ferocious half court press. Westwood, who plays in the large school division against some of the best teams in the state, had to burn 2 of 3 timeouts in the first 5 minutes of the game. Auburn did not let up as they entered halftime with a 41-14 point lead, its largest first half output of the season.
With running time in the second half, Auburn cruised to a 49-27 victory led by its stellar defense. Calie Messina led all scorers with a season-high 26-points, while Rachel Ullstrom added 14.
Said assistant coach, Matt Benoit, “Although Calie and Rachel accounted for 40 of our 49 points in the game, it was our defense that forced turnovers and led to fast-break scoring in transition. Every girl on the team contributed to our score by first making an incredible play on defense.”
The 7th grade Championship Travel Team Is
Emily Morgan-Head Coach
Matt Benoit- Assistant Coach