AUBURN, Mass. - Coming off a victory in the Clark Tournament, expectations were high as Auburn's Boys Varsity began the divisional basketball playoffs. Seeded at fifth, their first challenge was 12th seeded Blackstone-Millville Regional. The match ended 61-48 in Blackstone-Millville's favor.
Auburn began the game with great energy as D.J. Scavone put up the first two points, and it looked early on like the Rockets would dominate. When the Chargers settled down, they put up a fight at both ends of the court. Solid rebounding and great shooting put the Chargers up 15-14 as the first quarter closed.
The Chargers' aggressive defense thwarted the Rockets' success in the paint but also put Blackstone-Millville in the penalty mid way through the second. For the game, Auburn had 12 points at the line compared to Blackstone-Millville's eight, but the Chargers had 25 field goals to Auburn's 16. It was 25-21 at the half with the visitors ahead.
The Chargers began to pull away in the third led by senior Kevin Gautreau who had 20 points in the game. He rarely missed an opportunity. Fellow senior captain Matt Nordquist contributed 13. The quarter ended with BMR up 48-33.
The Rockets tried to rally in the fourth, but the Chargers would have no part of it. Blackstone-Millville used the shot clock wisely to take off precious seconds during their possessions and never relented on Auburn's offense. Again, the Chargers were in the penalty but successful free throws could not equal the missed field goals.
Auburn's leaders were Tyler Simmons with 11 and D.J. Scavone with 10. Tyler LaMonda put up eight while John Kewley and Mark Wright each had seven7. It will be interesting to watch the Rockets next year when the very experienced D.J. Scavone and Mark Wright are joined by six players who rarely got off the bench this season.