The first crosstown rivalry matchup commenced Dec. 2 inside the Bob Jones Gymnasium at Auburn High School when the Trojans took on the Ravens of Auburn Riverside.
The first game of the night was the home coaching debut for new Auburn Head Coach Regina Rogers-Wright, who faced the Ravens’ first-year coach McKenzi Williams. Both head coaches have a total of 10 years competing at the Division I level (Williams at Seattle University and Rogers-Wright at UCLA and UW). Both programs will be in good hands for the foreseeable future.
The game was a defensive battle all the way through. Neither team scored over 40 points on the night. Riverside came out victorious, winning by nine points with the score of 34-25.
It was Williams’ first win of her coaching career.
“It feels so amazing to come back and have Auburn be the first win. As a Riverside alum, winning the city is always such an amazing feeling,” she said.
The game was tightly contested the entire night. The first half ended with Riverside up by 3, and the third quarter was even tighter as the Ravens led 20-21.
The environment started to change as more people were arriving for the boys game, which would start after the girls game. The noise level picked up and the intensity rose even more, but Coach Williams had a plan: “It is always going to be like that at cross-city rivals. Either you have to use it positively and as a way to get hype, or you have to tune it all out and play how we play in practice.”
The girls did just that, and ended the game with their largest lead of the game.
Ravens junior point guard Avery Moore took charge in the key moments of the game when the lights shined the brightest. She was able to navigate an aggressive defense.
“I just felt like we needed to slow it down, read the defense and run our plays,” Moore said. “In the third we started to struggle because we were panicking and losing the ball. I just tried to slow it down and settle the game down.”
Moore’s response to getting a coach her first win: “It feels good. I love her. I am so happy we could do that for her.”
The boys of Auburn Riverside may not want to remember any of what happened in their affair following the girls game Dec. 2. The Ravens fell to the Trojans, 83-17, and it was the fewest points the Ravens had scored since last season on Dec. 7, 2021, when they scored 17 against Mt. Rainier.
The Trojans also set a record with the fewest points they have allowed since at least 2005. Their previous record was 21, which has happened three times. It happened on Dec. 3 against Riverside, back in 2019 against Thomas Jefferson, and in the playoffs in 2007 they allowed 21 points to West Seattle.
“I thought that we did a good job jumping on them early. Forced them into some turnovers, which led to some easy transition buckets. … We kind of hang our hat on the defensive side of the ball,” said Auburn Head Coach Ryan Hansen.
Eight total players recorded points for the Trojans. Auburn senior Jerry Petty Jr. finished with 10 points, 3 assists, 2 rebounds and 2 steals. The entire Trojan defense had 15 steals and caused 32 turnovers.
“He (Coach) works with us on defense, even gets mad a little bit. He puts defense in our head, so we play for him,” Petty said.
Petty Jr. also plays with his younger brother Jaylen, who led the Trojans with 21 points on the night.
“It is the most fun thing ever. It just gives me so much space to create. … But it is the first time we have really played together since he is younger than me,” Jerry Petty said.
Auburn Riverside beat Kennedy Catholic, 62-55, on Dec. 5, and will take on Federal Way on Dec. 8 at home. The Trojans beat Kentridge, 72-49, on Dec. 5 and take on state 4A quarterfinalists Tahoma High School on Dec. 8 (after press time).