Auburn basketball was swept by the Tahoma Bears on Dec. 8.
The boys entered their matchup with Tahoma with a 1,092-day district unbeaten streak with their last district loss coming in 2019 to Federal Way High School on Dec. 11. The streak came to an end on a buzzer beating loss to Tahoma by a final score of 60-61.
It’s the first loss in a non-playoff game since December 2021, and Auburn, for a team that hasn’t faced many difficulties, is up to the challenge.
“We got to learn how to deal with adversity and see how we respond to it. Good teams respond to adversity. It’s good that we are facing it this early in the season,” said Head Coach Ryan Hansen.
The final basket was a third attempt at a put-back on the final possession of the game. Tahoma senior Logan McGough’s right hand found the ball and lofted it in the basket as time expired.
“In those situations, it is not always the first shot that gets you, it’s the second. In our case it was the fourth or fifth that got us. It’s disappointing,” said Hansen.
The two teams were evenly matched throughout the entire game. Last season Tahoma finished 6th in state at the 4A level, and Auburn won the 3A state title. Going into this game, it seemed like it was going to be close.
The Trojans led for the majority of the game, leading after all three quarters except the fourth. The only Tahoma lead before the fourth quarter was after the first basket of the game, 2-0, and immediately after sophomore Jaylen Petty drained a three-pointer to take the lead until Tahoma took it back at 56-55 midway through the fourth.
Petty and senior Samaj Brown played exceptionally for coach Hansen on that Thursday night: “I thought Samaj played well and was a good leader, and Jaylen has been steady for us all year. He’s a great competitor.”
One problem that hit the Trojans right from the beginning was a knee injury to senior point guard Jerry Petty Jr., when on the first Bears possession, had an awkward landing and wouldn’t return to the game. Jerry has already torn his ACL twice coming into this season. As of Dec. 12, Jerry is awaiting MRI results, but initial reactions after evaluations are positive for the senior.
In the girls game, Tahoma jumped out to a huge lead. The Trojans only managed to score 3 points in the first quarter. The second quarter was much of the same, and going into halftime, Tahoma led 42-7.
Auburn was a little more fortunate in the second half, and they more than doubled their first half points with very solid play from junior guard Mia Suy. The final score was 59-17, and the Trojans hadn’t been held to under 20 points since Dec. 2019 (vs. Todd Beamer with 15 points).
It has been a rough start to the season for Trojan head coach Regina Rogers-Wright in her first season at the helm of Auburn. But like she said early in the season, she expects to see improvement from the beginning to the end of the season. And this season is just getting started.
The Trojans played host to Decatur on Dec. 13 and will travel to Auburn Mountainview the following week before the break for Christmas. After the break the girls head to Tacoma for the T-Town Throwdown, and the boys head down to California.