Slow start sinks Rockets offense
By Shaun Moriarty
Citizen Chronicle Writer
STURBRIDGE — The Tantasqua Warriors remain undefeated in boys basketball league play after a 71-55 victory over the visiting Auburn Rockets in Friday night.
Tantasqua improved to 6-4 on the season, 4-0 against Southern Worcester County League opponents, with the home win. The Warriors jumped out to a 12-point lead after the first quarter that Auburn was unable to overcome.
Hayden Peterson, a junior, helped lead Tantasqua’s quick start, scoring seven points in the first quarter, compared to Auburn’s total of six points in that same period. Peterson finished the night with 15 points while senior Evan Coutur paced the Warriors offense with 19 points, including 13 in the second half of the game. Tantasqua junior Jackson Hall also got into double-digits with 10 points.
Auburn senior Tyler Judice led his team’s attack, scoring 13 points on the night. Matty Backlin added nine points while sophomore Coleman Picard chipped in with eight points.
The loss puts the Rockets at 4-7 on the season, and 2-4 in league action. Auburn has now dropped four of their last five games and are in the midst of a stretch in which six of seven games are on the road. They hope to rebound on Monday with a 5:00 p.m. road match-up against a tough Northbridge Rams team.
Tantasqua has now won six of its last seven games and will host the rival Southbridge Pioneers on Monday evening. That game is slated for a 6:30 p.m. start.
Around the area…
In other area high school boys basketball action, the Shepherd Hill Rams improved to 8-4 on the season with a road win over Groton-Dunstable, dropping the Crusaders 6-5 on the year. The Rams’ Twitter account called the victory a “HUGE win.”
In Millbury, the Bartlett Indians won a hard-fought victory over the Woolies, 61-60. Millbury had just a two-point lead after the first period, but Bartlett pulled ahead with a 29-24 lead at the half. Heading into the final quarter of the game, however, the Woolies had managed to knot things up. The win puts Bartlett at 4-7 and Millbury falls to 2-8 on the year.
The David Prouty Panthers fell to 3-9 in a 58-51 loss to the 7-2 Northbridge Rams in Spencer.
The 6-4 Leicester Wolverines snuck out of Uxbridge with an important 57-55 win over the 5-4 Spartans in a SWCL match-up.
The North Brookfield Indians fell 63-49 to Notre Dame.
In girls hoops, Shepherd Hill improved to an impressive 11-1 on the season with a road win over the previously undefeated Groton-Dunstable squad, 61-49.