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Stratford’s Vaughn Breit puts in a basket from point-blank range during the Tigers’ 61-34 win over Auburndale on Friday night at Stratford High School. (Photo by Paul Lecker/For Zaleski Sports)

By Paul Lecker For Zaleski Sports

STRATFORD – The Stratford boys basketball team showed how good it can be.

Despite a 6-0 start to the season, Stratford head coach Curt Schmidt said he hadn’t seen his team put it all together yet this year. That changed on Friday.

Stratford was efficient on both ends of the floor, shooting 61 percent, limiting Auburndale to 25 percent from the field, and using a big first half to win the battle of undefeated teams 61-34 on Friday night at Stratford.

A basket by Cody Trowbridge and a 3-pointer from Cooper Weinfurter gave Auburndale a 7-6 lead four minutes into the game before the Tigers took over.

Stratford scored the next seven points and outscored Auburndale 30-3 during the final 13:40 of the half to put this one away early.

The Tigers are now 7-0 overall and takes over first place in the Marawood Conference South Division at 5-0. Auburndale suffers its first loss of the season, falling to 9-1 overall and 5-1 in the conference.

“Our execution was tremendous,” Schmidt said. “We definitely did some good things defensively. I’m very, very proud of the kids for what they did defensively. We did execute, the best we possibly could, our game plan. We tried to limited their 3-point attempts, contain the paint, and limit their transition baskets. Offensively, we attacked certain people, certain angles and were able to do pretty well doing what we had hoped to do.”

Stratford used its distinct height advantage to take control.

Ben Barten scored 10 of his game-high 22 points in the run to end the first half, and he, along with Vaughn Breit and Dawson Danen underneath, limited Auburndale from driving to the basket. Forced to shoot from the outside, the Apaches were not up to the task.

Auburndale went just 1-for-17 from the field the rest of the half after taking the brief lead and were down 36-10 at halftime after making just four field goals in the opening 18 minutes.

“The players came in focused,” Schmidt said. “They had their best practice yesterday. We’ve talked about it that we are not there yet, offensively and defensively. Tonight, we put it together on both ends.”

Auburndale came out in the second half with some full-court pressure and scored the first six points, but Stratford quickly recovered and led by at least 20 the rest of the way.

Chandler Schmidt added 12 points on 5-for-5 shooting and Danen had 11 for the Tigers.

Trowbridge scored nine points to lead Auburndale, which finished just 13-for-51 from the field and were 3-for-25 from 3-point range.

Stratford will play a nonconference game at Owen-Withee on Tuesday before hosting Abbotsford next Friday, Jan. 10, for a Marawood crossover game. Auburndale has a week off before playing Chequamegon at home on Jan. 10.

Tigers 61, Apaches 34 Auburndale 10 24 – 34 Stratford 36 25 – 61 AUBURNDALE (34): Cooper Weinfurter 2-15 2-4 7, Paul Kollross 0-1 0-0 0, Kaden Hoffman 0-2 1-2 1, Hunter Wright 2-10 1-2 6, Fletcher Raab 1-9 0-0 2, Schuyler Gilhausen 1-4 0-0 3, Jason Wilcox 0-1 0-0 0, Cody Trowbridge 4-5 1-2 9, Terrance Roberson 0-1 0-0 0, Dylan Paun 3-3 0-3 6. FG: 13-51. FT: 5-13. 3-pointers: 3-25 (Gilhausen 1-4, Wright 1-6, Weinfurter 1-8, Roberson 0-1, Wilcox 0-1, Raab 0-5). Rebounds: 21 (Wright 6). Turnovers: 7. Fouls: 11. Fouled out: none. Record: 9-1, 5-1 Marawood Conference South Division. STRATFORD (61): Teddy Redman 0-5 2-2 2, Riley Bauman 0-0 0-0 0, Cody Miller 0-0 0-0 0, Kale Weisenberger 0-0 0-0 0, Max Vanderhoof 1-1 0-0 2, Chandler Schmidt 5-5 2-3 12, Dawson Danen 5-8 1-3 11, Tyler Lappe 1-1 0-0 2, Chase Flink 1-1 0-0 2, Jake Skroch 0-0 0-0 0, Keegan Weiler 0-0 0-0 0, Vaughn Breit 4-12 0-2 8, Ben Barten 11-13 0-1 22, Zack Seitz 0-0 0-0 0, Nick Fox 0-0 0-0 0. FG: 28-46. FT: 5-11. 3-pointers: 0-7 (Redman 0-2, Breit 0-2, Danen 0-3). Rebounds: 35 (Barten 13). Turnovers: 13. Fouls: 14. Fouled out: none. Record: 7-0, 5-0 Marawood Conference South Division.