The Trojans’ Darrell Hester, left, battles the Lions’ Brandon Miguel down low during NPSL Olympic play on Friday. MARK KLAAS, Auburn Reporter

The Trojans’ Darrell Hester, left, battles the Lions’ Brandon Miguel down low during NPSL Olympic play on Friday. MARK KLAAS, Auburn Reporter

Trojans apply the squeeze to Lions

Defense triggers division win for improving Auburn

Young, deep and hungry, the Auburn boys basketball team continues to emerge before the very eyes of its coach.

So far, Ryan Hansen likes what he sees.

When their shots wouldn’t fall early during a ragged first half of play on Friday, the Trojans pressed and applied the vise with rugged defense to wear down and break away from Auburn Mountainview 61-32 at Bob Jones Gymnasium.

Auburn improves to 4-1 in the North Puget Sound League Olympic race, 6-1 overall. The Lions, a young, rebuilding team, drops to 1-4 and 4-4.

“It’s nice to know that we can rely on our defense,” Hansen said. “I thought we were exceptional defensively tonight. We played with great energy. We had good rotations. … We have to do that on nights when you’re not scoring.”

The Trojans shut down the Lions, whose troubles began with cold shooting and continued with steady turnovers.

Auburn Mountainview didn’t score its first field goal until 2 minutes, 11 seconds were left in the first quarter and struggled home with only eight points by the break.

Auburn opened up a 23-8 lead at halftime and never looked back.

The Trojans’ Maleek Arington, a 6-foot sophomore guard, scored 11 of his game-high 20 points in the first half. Darrell Hester, a 6-5 senior, scored 12 points and led Auburn’s dominance on the boards. Kaden Hansen, another sophomore guard, came off the bench to add 11 points.

Salauta Savusa, a 5-10 sophomore guard, led the Lions with 12 points.

The Trojans covered the floor and didn’t let up.

“We’re always preaching that … you have to play with great toughness and high energy. I thought we did a great job of that tonight,” Hansen said. “Our kids love playing with each other, the love playing for each other. You can see that by watching our bench during a game. There’s a lot of excitement for each other. They like to see each other have success.”

The education continues for the Trojans. They head to Anaheim, Calif., for four games in five days at the Orange County Holiday Classic this week.

In girls action, the Trojans defeated the Lions 40-32 to improve to 4-1 in league, just a game back of Olympic-leading Todd Beamer.

Auburn lost to North Creek of Bothell 63-55 in a nonleague tuneup Saturday for the Trojans’ trip to the Las Vegas Classic this week.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@auburn-reporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.auburn-reporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Sports

Emerald Downs to increase horse racing purses by 10% in 2022

Second consecutive year of 10% increase at Auburn track

A Decatur High School student in Federal Way participates in a conditioning workout in Feb. 2021 as the state eased back in to in-person activities. Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing
State announces mask requirements for student sports, performing arts

Athletes are not required to wear masks when participating in sports of any contact level while outside.

Harrison Maurus. Courtesy of Team USA.
Auburn’s Harrison Maurus takes fourth place in Olympics

Weightlifter places the highest of any American man in 30 years.

Screenshot of video obtained by Redmond police shows Richard Sherman trying to break into the Redmond home of his in-laws.
Former Seattle Seahawks player Richard Sherman charged with five misdemeanors in King County

Charges were filed following an incident at home of Sherman’s in-laws in Redmond.

Screenshot
Redmond Police arrest former Seattle Seahawk Richard Sherman

Redmond Police allege former Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman crashed into a… Continue reading

Snoqualmie Casino unveiled the first immersive Seahawks-branded table game experience Sept. 18, 2020, in a ribbon cutting dedication with Snoqualmie Tribe Council members and Snoqualmie Casino executives. Courtesy photo
Gambling Commission OKs pacts with tribes for sports betting

Agreements with 15 tribes await approval by the governor and the feds.

The Emerald Downs horse racing track will reopen May 19 with a limited number of fans allowed. COURTESY PHOTO, Emerald Downs
Emerald Downs to allow fans this horse racing season

At 25% capacity under state guidelines; fans were banned last year due to COVID-19

Kentwood High football. FILE PHOTO
WIAA Executive Board revises Season 1 sports in response to state guidelines

Practices scheduled to begin Feb. 1 for football, volleyball, soccer and 5 other sports

The Mercer Island boys basketball celebrates their 61-36 victory over Interlake in the 3A KingCo championship game on Feb. 11, 2020, at Sammamish High School. File photo
WIAA pushes back return to play for prep sports

Season 2 now begins Feb. 1 and seasons have been shortened to seven weeks each.

file photo
Emerald Downs had an average daily handle of $1.79 million during a shortened 2020 season that concluded Oct. 29. The average daily handle last season was $1.1 million. Fans were not allowed at the races, including during this photo from opening day.
Emerald Downs concludes season with daily wagering up 61% over last year

Off-track fans bet average of $1.79 million per day during 38-day session

In this file photo from March 2020, the Federal Way High School boys basketball team reacts in the final minutes of the state quarterfinals game against Mt. Si High School. File photo
New guidelines released for return of prep sports in WA

The new plan places counties and sports in three-tier systems. No signs of a quicker return to play.