By Steev Riccardo
Dudley – The Shepherd Hill Rams overcame a 27-23 halftime deficit and were led by the excellent all-around play of senior co-captain Taylor Daniels to knock off the previously undefeated Auburn Rockets (8-1) 64-49 in front of a huge crowd at the Hill on Saturday night, Jan. 12.
The outstanding Rams back court of senior co-captain Tina Gauvin and junior Brooke Packard each hit 3-point shots to give the Rams a 13-11 lead after the opening quarter.
The Rockets started making their shots and took a 27-23 lead at the half despite a couple of nice baskets by Rams’ senior Johanna L’Heureux.
Daniels and the Rams came out on fire and put together probably their best half of basketball all season. The fiery senior forward was outstanding with 14 third quarter points including two 3-point shots which ignited her team in a 23-11 run, which led to a 49-38 lead.
Key hoops by junior Dominique Woods and sophomore Ciara McKissick held off a bit of a charge by the Rockets, who cut the score down to six at one point in the fourth quarter but the night belonged to Daniels and the Rams.
“We were flat in the first half, they are a very physical and athletic team and they were getting the job done,” said Coach Jim Hackenson. “In the second half we started to jell, we picked our defense up a notch and the kids played great, especially Daniels (17 points) who had a great game. I am proud of these kids, we were down and we came back.”
Hackenson also praised the play of Woods (10 points) and McKissick (eight points), who was in her first starting assignment of the season, as well as Packard, who he said had her usually good defensive game to go along with 11 points.
Daniels was very excited about her play and the team’s win. “I played as aggressively as I could and tried to do everything in transition and not let anyone catch up to me. It was a great team effort. We had good communication and everything was working tonight.”
The win moved the Rams to 7-1 with an impending head-on collision with Holy Name tonight on Wednesday, January 16. As for Auburn, they will get their rematch on February 5.
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