Auburn boys fall to Lancaster in VHSL Class 1 state championship

Eagles were in their third state title tilt in five-year span

RICHMOND, Va. – The Auburn boys basketball team fell to the defending Class 1 state champs Lancaster 65-59 in the Siegel Center on the campus of VCU in Richmond.

Head coach Terry Millirons told us it was a matchup years in the making and the Lancaster-Auburn championship game certainly delivered.

The Eagles were seeking their third title in a five year span and had quite the start Thursday night under the bright lights of the Siegel Center.

Follow along with Eric Johnson’s highlight call of this game!

One of the top players in the state, Troy Henderson of the Red Devils, found his stroke early. He drove inside and finished on an acrobatic layup off the glass.

Then the Eagles were just as focused and locked in early as well. Nick Millirons hit a the three-pointer and absorbed the foul on the way down. Following the free throw, it was a 4-point play for the 5-point lead. He wasn’t done. Just call him whirlpool. Millirons this time with a spin move in transition. 28 points for Millirons as Auburn started to roll.

Brady Hale feeding Bryce Gill as the Eagles height posed problems inside the paint all night long.

Then in the corner, Drew Royal --feeling like royalty as Auburn goes up by 11 with his three pointer. The Eagles held their largest lead of the game. But it was just a 33-28 advantage at halftime.

But a 9–0 run in the third quarter from the Red Devils, changed momentum. Daveon Smith, usually a role player, took over the show. He showed up on both ends of the court, including 24 points on 7-of-11 shooting.

Henderson scored a game-high 30 points and found his groove after going cold for quite the stretch. He tied the game twice--a layup made it 39-39 then with under two minutes to play he did it again to tie the game at 59. His free throw completed a three-point play and put Lancaster in front.

Auburn committed 12 second-half turnovers that ultimately led to the 65-59 loss.

“We weren’t able to drive, we were getting a lot of turnovers and just weren’t in sync and some of those offensive rebounds we didn’t get. And also, we let them get way too many offensive rebounds in that second half,” Auburn head coach Terry Millirons says.

“Try to be on the attack, take shots they’re giving me and if not find the open man and see how things play out,” Auburn guard Nick Millirons explained.

Auburn’s motto all season long has been finish--it was even across their shirts in warmups ahead of the championship game. But they came up just a bit short capping off the 2023-2024 season.

About the Authors

Eric is no stranger to the Roanoke Valley. He is a Roanoke native and proud graduate of William Fleming High School.

Alli Graham came aboard the digital team as an evening digital content producer in June 2022.

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