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AUBURN — With his team holding a commanding lead, coach Al Giannone was able to spread out the minutes.

The Maroons completed a couple of wholesale line changes and 11 of the 12 players recorded a point, as the Auburn girls basketball team routed East Syracuse-Minoa 55-26 at Auburn High School Friday night.

"We wanted to jump on them early and then get everybody playing time," Giannone said. "We didn't want anyone to get hurt. ... We wanted to spread it around and get everybody minutes. It was a nice game for us."

Auburn's Grace Baranick tallied 12 points, 10 rebounds and three assists, while Jania Freeman recorded 11 points, two boards and three blocks. Stef Gera added nine points, five rebounds and three assists.

The trio were three of the seven seniors honored before the game.

"When you have a senior-heavy team, it's always an advantage," Giannone said. "Many of these girls have been on the team since they were freshmen. We feel like we have a lot of senior leadership and experience. As long as we played together and brought effort every night, we knew we'd be in good shape. We've done that."

Auburn scored the first five points, and after East Syracuse-Minoa hit a three-pointer at one end, Gera answered immediately at the other end. The Maroons continued to cruise and led 18-7 by the end of the first eight minutes.

Auburn had an eight-point run and a nine-point run in the second quarter and held a 38-14 advantage at the break. The Maroons' offensive production slowed down in the second half, but Auburn still outscored East Syracuse-Minoa 10-3 in the third.

"We had great balance and did a great job moving the ball and being strong with our passes," Giannone said. "That's one of the keys to our team. The main key is sharing the ball and they do that night in, night out."

The Maroons have two road games to wrap up the regular season. Auburn (13-4) visits Cortland Monday and then takes on SCAC Empire Conference-leading Jamesville-DeWitt on Tuesday.

"If at the start of the year you told me we'd be 13-4, I'd be very pleased with that," Giannone said. "We play hard every night. Even against J-D, they got us pretty good but we played hard. I was pleased with our effort. We're in a good place right now."

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Sports writer Jeremy Houghtaling can be reached at 315-282-2256 or at jeremy.houghtaling@lee.net. Follow him on Twitter @CitizenHough.

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