EUGENE — In a battle for third place in the Southwest Conference between the Roseburg and South Eugene boys basketball teams Tuesday night, the difference came down to a 45-second stretch in the fourth quarter.
“That’s the game,” Roseburg coach Mike Pardon said. “I always tell the kids, it’s just a fine line between winning and losing and that fine line was about 40 seconds.”
The Indians battled back from a double-digit deficit in the first half to tie the game at 39-39 in the final period, but South Eugene answered with a 7-0 run on its way to a 63-51 victory in the Purple Pit.
The Indians outscored the Axe 14-10 in the third quarter to go to the fourth trailing 37-34. Roseburg (13-9, 3-4 SWC) later tied the score with 6:29 left to play in the game on a layin by Kaden Seely.
South Eugene (16-6, 4-3) quickly squashed any momentum for Roseburg by retaking the lead on a layin by Cole McAninch. The Axe followed that with back-to-back steals and layins, plus a free throw, to build a 46-39 lead all in less than a minute.
“We did everything we wanted to,” Pardon said. “Except we turned it over in that section (of the game).
“If we don’t turn it over, it’s a tight game.”
Roseburg resorted to fouling down the stretch to conserve the clock, but South Eugene went 9-for-12 from the free throw line to clinch the win. McAninch was 7-for-7 from the line in the final period and finished with 26 points to lead the Axe, who lost 77-55 at Roseburg on Jan. 22.
Collin Warmouth hit five 3-pointers and scored a game-high 29 points for Roseburg, which dropped into a tie with Grants Pass (7-14, 3-4) for fourth place in the conference standings.
The Indians pulled ahead by seven in the first quarter, but went cold to start the second period. Roseburg didn’t score for the first 5:18 of the second quarter and South Eugene went on a 11-0 run to pull ahead 20-12.
The Tribe closed the gap to 27-20 at halftime and got within 35-34 in the closing minute of the third period.
The loss was Roseburg’s third straight, all of which have come on the road in Eugene.
When asked if the team is getting frustrated from the struggles on the road, coach Pardon said no. “I think we played well at times. I don’t think we’re frustrated. We just have to play 32 minutes.”
Roseburg returns home to Robertson Memorial Gym on Friday to host last-place South Medford (2-19, 1-6).
ROSEBURG (51) — Collin Warmouth 29, Seely 8, Lake 6, Black 3, Ellis 3, Adams 2, Avilez. Totals 18 7-8 51.
SOUTH EUGENE (63) — Cole McAninch 26, Harris 11, Clark 9, Paul 9, Boettcher 8, Edwards, Berryman. Totals 24 11-20 63
Roseburg 12 8 14 17 — 51
S. Eugene 9 18 10 26 — 63
3-point Goals — Rose. 8 (Warmouth 5, Lake 2, Black 1), S.E. 4 (Paul 2, McAninch 1, Harris 1). Total Fouls — Rose. 18. S.E. 6. Fouled Out — Ellis.
JV Score — Roseburg 46, South Eugene 41.