Boys basketball strolls past Wilber-Clatonia, can’t top Auburn in season-ending loss

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Bret Cole ’20 powers past Auburn defenders in pursuit of a layup. Cole led the Jeffs in scoring (8) on Thursday. Photo by T. Gustafson

An 18-46 loss against Auburn in subdistrict play on Thursday, Feb. 27 officially brought the Jeffs’ boys basketball season to a close after winning their first game against Wilber-Clatonia two days prior.

On Tuesday, Fairbury opened the tournament in Beatrice against Wilber-Clatonia. The Jeffs emerged victorious on the road against the Wolverines back in January in a 40-34 match. The same outcome was seen in subdistricts, now with a 48-27 win.

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Chance Amundson ’20 drives past a shuffling Auburn defender. Both of the Jeffs’ subdistrict games were played in Beatrice’s high school gym. Photo by T. Gustafson

Advancing to Thursday meant taking on the undefeated (25-0) Auburn Bulldogs. Offense did not come as easily for the Jeffs: a 24% success percentage from the field, 0 three-pointers with 15 attempts and only three trips to the free throw line marked the box score.

“We knew we would have to beat a really good Auburn team,” senior Bret Cole said. “We added some new plays to match up against Auburn’s defense, [but] we weren’t getting any of our shots to fall, which hurt us since Auburn was able to get a big lead on us. It also wasn’t our best game defensively.”

After finishing last season with an 8-15 record, the Jeffs turned around and flipped their wins and losses columns in the 2019-20 school year by finishing 15-9. With this improvement also came higher expectations regarding postseason play.

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Dylan Starr ’21 seeks out a pass to jumpstart an offensive play against Wilber-Clatonia. Fairbury competed and prevailed against the Wolverines twice this season. Photo by T. Gustafson

“Our goal was to make it to State,” Cole said. “After we had people come back from injuries, we started playing some really good basketball towards the end of the year. If we had our whole team the whole season, we might still be playing.”