Posted On: 01/8/18 11:14 PM
Midway through the season, many teams in the Eugene/Springfield area have impressed, and many still have something to prove. Take a look at our first edition of the Eugene/Springfield power rankings and see how things have shaken up so far.
The Colts have impressed so far, boasting an impressive 8-2 record placing them atop the 5A state rankings. Notable wins against Sprague and Sheldon are highlights for the Thurston, who may have the most complete 5A starting lineup. Behind talented 2019 pick-and-roll duo Isaac Lange and Mason Miller, the Colts have scored and defended at a high level, causing them to reek havoc against an onslaught of 6A teams. Their one blinding miscue came in a blowout loss to Tualatin.
Similarly to Thurston, The Churchill Lancers have faced multiple 6A foes, picked up wins, and found themselves near the top of the 5A rankings. Silas Bennion has been an exceptional scoring threat, exploding for a fearless 30-point outing against Willamette. Isaiah Wallace adds to a talented backcourt, while Jonathon Nchekwube and Kaelan O’Neil provide length and size inside. The Lancers picked up impressive wins against Sheldon, South Eugene, and Willamette, but a 12-point loss to Grants Pass is a head-scratcher.
The Irish may have the deepest, most talented lineup in the area, but have yet to put it all together. A combination of Patrick Herbert and Dominic McGarvey at post should be lethal, but remains consistently decent at best. Anthony Luvert and Devante Bailey are some of the most athletic guards in the area, and the Irish have even more talent at forward in Zak Hankins, Uta Mageo, and Jaren Banks. Sheldon has lost to both Thurston and Churchill, and a 22-point loss to North Medford in the league opener was certainly not encouraging. Despite these losses, wins over Central Catholic and South Salem are impressive, and a deep talent pool should keep Sheldon afloat.
4. South Eugene
Despite a very rocky start, the Axemen have begun to swing things in the right direction after going 2-2 at the Les Schwab Invitational. South picked up their first conference win against South Medford without key forward Will Graves, a player that should return in the near future and make an immediate impact. After facing on of the hardest non-conference schedules in the state, the Axemen enter a somewhat depleted Southwest Conference with Jay Elmore remaining at the helm. The sharpshooting guard is still the most threatening player in the area, and makes South Eugene dangerous.
With a stout post combination in Dylan Reichenberger and Jacob Curtis, the Wolverines have remained consistently decent, and hope to turn the corner heading into conference play. Despite some close losses to Springfield and Churchill, Willamette came away with big wins against Roosevelt and Tualatin. With solid guard play from Seth Skeele and Luke Burke, the Wolverines can certainly be capable of picking up wins in the Southwest conference and finishing the season strong.
6. Marist Catholic
Marist’s current claim to fame lies with their wins over Thurston, Bend, and Mountain View. Although these wins are solid, Marist’s only big time test has come against Thurston. Jace Krier, Spencer Franssen, and Isaac Zachem provide a solid corps for the steady albeit unproven Spartans, who hope to make statements against league foes Thurston and Churchill in the future.
Convincing wins over Crater and Willamette prove that Springfield is no joke, but some inconsistent performances throughout the season have left some to be desired. Jaden Reynolds and Zach Brown have been weapons inside, and Bryson Breese has provided solid guard play. The Millers are playing at a top ten level in 5A, and key games against Churchill and Thurston could be nail-biters.
8. North Eugene
The struggling Highlanders have come away with only two wins on the year, and one came against a 4A opponent. It was impossible to place North anywhere but last on this list, but much of the season still remains. Brennan DeGarmo and Cameron Parks are both sophomore leaders for the Highlanders, and could possibly bring the team to unfamiliar success in the second half of the season.