AUBURN, Mass. - The Auburn girls varsity basketball team routed Gardner in its first divisional playoff game.
Amber Abderrazzaq put up the Rockets' first two with free throws. Erin Scanlon followed with two, and Sarah Palace dropped a three to give Auburn an early lead. With 2:56 left in the 1st, the Wildcats finally scored and quickly added seven more to end the quarter, 14-9.
Both teams were in the penalty early in the second. The Rockets were called mostly in mid court by the third referee while the Wildcats primarily fouled defending their net. At 6:32, Gardner's Jill Sauvageau dropped her second three to tie the game 16-16. The half ended 24-22 in Auburn's advantage. Both teams had 10 fouls.
The second half was all Auburn as they outscored Gardner 2 to 1. Freshman Emily Sarkisian contributed a third of her team's 36 points in the half. At 5'5" she is almost always opposed by a much larger player, but her tenacity makes the difference. The third ended 40-28.
The fourth was an aggressive quarter and with 3:20 left, Auburn was up by 15 and had eight fouls to Gardner's seven.
With two minutes left, Sarkisian fouled out. Effective rebounding kept the ball in the Rockets' hands in the final minutes, and Gardner respectfully avoided the late game fouling.
Sarkisian led with 14 points and Palace had 11 for the #3 seeded Rockets. Erin Burke scored nine while Lyndsey Gabrielian shot eight. Erin Scanlon had seven. The #6 Wildcats were led by Jill Sauvageau with 17 and Denise Della-Giustina with 14.
Auburn Coach Ellen Kaschuluk said she was "very proud of the way we played. We started strong and kept our composure."
The Rockets will face #2 Nashoba on Monday, 6 p.m. at Clark University.