by Steev Riccardo
WEBSTER – The Bartlett Indians were victimized by nine 3-pointers and fell to the Auburn Rockets 62-56 on Tuesday night, Jan. 29, in a Southern Worcester County League game at Bartlett High School.
The Rockets opened a 12-3 lead in the opening minutes of the game before senior co-captain Akeem Belnavis connected on a pair of 3-pointers to get the Indians within three points.
Senior co-captain Matt Huberdault hit a deep 3-point shot at the buzzer making it 21-21 after the opening quarter in a game that was highly contested throughout.
The second quarter was all Auburn as the visitors used a strong inside-outside game to outscore the Indians 13-6 and take a 34-27 lead to the locker room at halftime.
Junior Alex Givins-Perry scored seven third-quarter points and the Indians battled back and took their first lead of the game since the opening minutes and eventually evened the score at 41.
The Indians got within two points early in the final quarter but were outsmarted by the Rockets down the stretch and lost only their fourth game of the year.
Givins-Perry led the Indians with 18 points and 13 rebounds, while sophomore Jacob Mailloux finished with 13 points, eight rebounds, and six blocks in a solid performance for the Indians. Belnavis added 12 points despite struggling from the floor, while Huberdault had nine points in the loss.
The Indians shot only 34% from the floor overall and 25% from outside the 3-point line, which proved costly.
Indians Notes: Sophomore Jacob Simonis, who earned his first two varsity starts against Uxbridge and Leicester, was out of action after sustaining a cut near his mouth against Leicester, requiring stitches.
The Bartlett junior varsity improved to 12-3 with a 74-72 overtime win. Freshman Justin “The Machine” Speights led all scorers with 24 points.
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