basketball

The Southwestern Oregon Community College basketball team will have a delayed start to the NWAC South Region league season after NWAC announced late last week that the entire season will be pushed back nearly two weeks to the week of Jan. 17.

The league, in consultation with the men’s and women’s basketball committees, representatives from the NWAC Sports Medicine Advisory Committee and the NWAC Executive Board, decided to delay the season, the league announced.

“We believe this decision is beneficial to our student-athletes, coaches and the athletic support staff, as the cancelation of games within the NWAC and across the athletic landscape continues,” said NWAC Executive Director Marco Azurdia in a release on the conference website. “Our goal is get our league games played, as they are the most important games on the schedule, give our student-athletes a sense of normalcy as they work toward a championship opportunity, while being a safe as possible.”

In making the decision, NWAC noted how many college and professional games have been postponed because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, especially with the surge in new cases due to the omicron variant. January looks concerning before a drop (in new cases) in February and March, NWAC noted.

Region games that are canceled because a team has COVID-19 issues result in a forfeit loss for the effected team and a win for the team that is able to play. Delaying the season may help reduce or eliminate such canceled games.

SWOCC’s men’s and women’s teams will have the first three games of league play — against Clark and at Lane and Portland — rescheduled.

The league season now is scheduled to open with a game on Monday, Jan. 17, against Chemeketa in SWOCC’s Prosper Hall.

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