Axemen Off To Rough Start

By: Jackson Naugle

Through the first four games of the 2017-18 basketball season, the South Eugene men’s varsity team sits at an unencouraging 0-4. Boasting one of the most difficult non-conference schedules in the state, the Axemen are not exactly surprised by their struggles, but certainly hope to turn things around.

After a 15-point road loss against South Salem, Dave Hancock and company sought redemption versus Sprague. Despite erasing a deficit as large as 17 points, the Axemen fell just short, 66-60, behind 17 points from Jay Elmore. Elmore, South’s leading scorer, put up 25 in his next outing against Jesuit, where the Axemen lost 74-63. Finally, the visiting Lincoln Cardinals gave South their fourth loss of the season, 73-66, behind four clutch three-pointers from Rasheed Butler.

Although just 0-4, the Axemen have shown some promise on the court this season, closing a somewhat large lead in each of their games.

“We’ve had some good stretches,” senior Henry Lininger said. “We just need to learn how to play well for a full 32 minutes.”

South’s next opportunity to win comes on Friday, Dec. 15 against Lakeridge. The depleted Pacers lost the Allen brothers, who transfered to Arizona’s basketball powerhouse, Shadow Mountain High School. Although making headlines across the country, Immanuel and Christian Allen will have no impact on the game Friday, and South could come away with their much-needed first win.

“We’re hoping to win this one,” Elmore said. “Hopefully it starts a win streak and gets us moving in the right direction.”

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