Rocky start for local teams


December got off to a shaky start for the Spurs and Stars. 

The Spurs dropped a pair of games at home, falling 105-99 to the Greensboro Swarm on Friday and 101-93 to the Salt Lake Stars on Saturday. The pair of losses puts them at 4-4 on the year, two and a half games back of the Rio Grande Valley Vipers for first place in the Southwest Division.

Texas, meanwhile, traveled to Manitoba for a two-game series against the Moose. The Stars rolled to a 6-1 in on Saturday, but couldn’t hold on in a 5-4 loss on Sunday. They are 11-8 on the year with 24 points, good for eighth in the 16-team Western Conference. 

Cory Jefferson had his first double-double for the Spurs in Friday night’s loss, scoring 19 points with 13 rebounds. Jerrell Eddie had 20 points and Patricio Garino had 18 points with 9 rebounds. Austin cut the lead to three points in the fourth quarter, but couldn’t complete the comeback. 

Dejounte Murray returned to Austin from San Antonio for his second stint on Saturday. He played a team-high 39 minutes and led the team with 30 points. Jefferson had another solid game, scoring 8 points with seven rebounds. Despite a one point advantage at the half, Austin gave up 34 points in the fourth quarter to suffer its second straight loss. 

Austin is on the road for the next five games, facing the Santa Cruz Warriors Friday at 9 p.m. The Spurs next play at home on Dec. 18 at 3 p.m. against the Westchester Knicks. 

On the ice, the Stars started their trip to Canada with a dominant performance on Saturday, scoring four goals in the second period to run away with the win. Brandon DeFazio scored 11 seconds into the second period, the quickest goal in franchise history, and Travis Morin got his 400th career assist in the win. 

Texas rallied twice on Sunday, including a power play goal by Morin late in the third period to tie the game at four apiece. But Manitoba scored with less than two minutes left to edge out the Stars. Morin scored two goals in the game.

They return home to begin a five -game homestead on Friday against the Rockford IceHogs at 7:30 p.m. and play the IceHogs again on Saturday at 7 p.m.