AUBURN – It may have been snowing and cold outside, but inside the Auburn High School gymnasium, both Auburn and Syracuse were feeling the fire.
Senior Michael Lombardi scored 20 points, junior Baily Darnell chipped in 14 and the Bulldogs outpaced the Rockets, 65-62, on Tuesday night. Auburn outscored Syracuse 21-17 in the fourth quarter. The game was tied at 33 at halftime.
Syracuse junior Ben Nannen had a game-high 27 points, senior Christian Frederick had 15 and senior Wil McCoy added 12. Nannen went 12-15 from the free throw line.
Auburn improves to 12-8 and will host Lincoln Lutheran (9-10) on Thursday. Syracuse drops to 11-9 and will be back home on Friday to take on Conestoga (5-14). The Rockets game with the Cougars will be available on B103 (103.1 FM and b103.fm).
Meanwhile, the Auburn girls basketball team held strong to their #7 ranking in this week’s News Channel Nebraska rankings.
Junior Ashley Teten scored a game-high 17 points on 11-16 shooting from the free throw line and the Bulldogs defeated Syracuse, 57-43. Fellow junior Sydnie Reeves finished with 12.
Auburn Head Coach Grant Cole liked the way his girls did not let their loss to Malcolm on Saturday affect the way they played against another Class C1 foe this week.
“I thought we played really well out of the gate, in that first quarter and in the first half. We were able to pressure them and speed them up a little bit. We also did a lot of positive things offensively to build a lead for that second half.”
The Bulldogs lost to #6 Malcolm in the East Central Nebraska Conference Tournament Championship game, 65-49.
Cole says the biggest difference between Saturday and Tuesday was their defense. The Rockets were outscored 31-14 in the first half and could never fully recover, despite outscoring Auburn 29-26 in the second half.
Syracuse was led by junior Meredith Clark. The center finished with 21 points.
Auburn is now 17-4 and will play Lincoln Lutheran (14-6) at home for the final game of the regular season. Syracuse, now 11-10 this year, will play their final regular season game on Friday vs. Conestoga (15-5). A game which will air on B103 (103.1 FM, b103.fm).
Conestoga at Syracuse
When: Girls: 6 p.m. / Boys: 7:30 p.m. Friday
Where: Syracuse High School
Radio: 103.1 FM, b103.fm