EUGENE -- Students at South Eugene High School honored the lives of two fellow classmates at a varsity basketball game Wednesday night.
Jack Harnsongkram and Connor Ausland drowned along the Oregon coast over the weekend. Ausland would have suited up for the Axemen Wednesday night, but he was visibly absent. His number 35, however, was everywhere.
"It's hard walking into French class without him (Ausland) being there," said friend Olivia Roberts. "But we know he's watching over us."
Students said the same thing about Harnsongkram. He did not play basketball, but the night was as much about him as it was Ausland.
Photos: Jack and Connor remembered
"I definitely think they'd be happy to see how many people came to support them," said friend Jessica Shivers.
The most poignant part of the evening came just before the game started.
South Eugene took the floor with only four players, leaving a spot open for Ausland. The tip-off was then graciously given up by the opponent, Churchill High School.
"We're here in memory of Connor and Jack and to support the other school," said Churchill student Chilo Lee. "I know it's hard."
The home crowd chanted "Jack and Connor!" followed by a rhythmic clap.
South Eugene got off to a slow start. They were held scoreless for the first several minutes of the game, but after they got their first basket, the momentum shifted in their favor and they never lost it.
South Eugene went on to win the game.