Four days after senior forward Connor Ausland drowned in the Pacific Ocean near Yachats, the South Eugene boys basketball team played its first game, defeating Churchill 42-33.
Ausland got the ceremonial start for the Axemen. South Eugene came out onto the floor with just four players. The Axe won the tip and eventually turned the ball over to Churchill. The Lancers then called a time out, allowing South to substitute a player into the game in place of Ausland.
The Axemen took a 25-16 lead in the third quarter on a Spencer Dunlap three pointer. Churchill rallied to tie the game at 32, but South ended the game on a 10-1 run to earn the victory and snap a four-game losing skid.
South Eugene plays next at Sheldon on Friday. Churchill hosts North Eugene on Friday