Prep Basketball Holiday Weekend Preview
The Churchill Lancers have been the crown jewel of OSAA 5A basketball through the early season. They’ve run a perfect 7-0 campaign winning by an average margin of 35.8 PPG. Five of the team’s seven wins have come by a margin of 30 points or more, including a 92-30 win over Crescent Valley to kickoff the season.
The Lancers are currently in the Mesa Challenge Basketball Tournament in Mesa, AZ. They have games on December 26th-29th against teams from Arizona and California before returning to Eugene to face North Eugene High School on January 2nd.
The Spartans, led by head coach Bart Pollard, have bounced back nicely after dropping their first two games to Crescent Valley and West Salem. Marist has won three straight games against Marshfield, North Eugene and Cottage Grove to move to 3-2 on the season.
Marist is currently in the Wilsonville Invitational Tournament which will take place this weekend. They need to quickly string some wins together to climb the 5A rankings.
The Highlanders have not had the start to the season they were hoping for. North Eugene has struggled on the road (0-3) and at home (0-3) and have lost by an average of 15.2 PPG.
The Highlanders will take part in the Les Schwab South Coast Holiday Invitational where they hope to grab a win in one of their three neutral site games. North Eugene has to show some life soon before the season is completely lost. One win could spark a change.
Sheldon basketball is not the juggernaut that the state champion football team is. Not to take anything away from the boys on the hardwood, many of them are members of the football team, because those are big shoes to fill.
The Irish are playing in the Les Schwab Invitational but have so far been blown out in both contests by Jesuit and Southridge respectively. Sheldon is in a slump; losers of three straight and needing a bounce back win. They play Clackamas tomorrow.
The Millers sit at .500 on the young season with huge swing games ahead of them. After Springfield completes the Barlow Trail Tournament this weekend, they start opening up with league play.
At 26th in the 5A rankings, and games against Thurston, Marshfield, Willamette and North Eugene kickstarting 2013, we’ll find out whether the Millers will sink or float.
South Eugene athletics has fallen on rough times. Football has been abysmal for years and basketball has struggled as well. The Axemen sit one game above .500 and will play in the Abby’s Holiday Classic this weekend. South has one win via forfeit, putting them over that hump.
Two of their loses have come by three points or less, making their games much more enjoyable to watch than their struggles of last season. With some winnable games ahead before jumping into league play, now is it the time to make it or break it. We’ll see what this team is made of soon.
After opening the season with a 70-56 loss to West Salem, the Thurston Colts bounced back with three straight wins. Following that winning streak? Thurston has lost two in a row to middle of the road teams in Sheldon and Lincoln.
The Colts have three games in the Wilsonville Invitational Tournament – same tournament that Marist is in – to make a turnaround. The Colts will start league play on January 2nd at Springfield, which will begin a three-game road series against Willamette and North Eugene as well.
Rounding out our local coverage is the Willamette Wolverines at a record of 4-2 (0-1) and a 12th place rank (out of 39) in the OSAA 5A rankings. The Wolverines have been the strongest local team outside of Churchill thus far.
Willamette will play in the West Salem Holiday Hoop Fest starting off with a game against David Douglas and finish with two more games. They will be tested when the return to action in 2013 with games against Sheldon, Thurston and Springfield in early January.
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