NWAC: So far so good for OC Rangers basketball teams

It’s one thing to think you’re going to be better, but it’s another to prove it.

So far, the Olympic College basketball teams are living up to their preseason expectations. Both Northwest Athletic Conference squads are coming off fourth-place finishes at holiday tournaments.

The OC men (3-1) have already won more games than they did a year ago when they finished 2-22 in the NWAC. The Rangers’ only loss was to 4-0 Lower Columbia at the Red Devils’ Thanksgiving Tournament. OC came back to beat Southwest Oregon and Yakima.

And the OC women (3-1) look like they must might challenge for an NWAC North Region playoff berth after going 0-24 and 6-18 the past two seasons.

Yeah, it’s early, but it looks like both teams will be playing meaningful games when the conference season begins in January. Stop by cozy Student Center Gym to get a close-up look. It’s a great place to watch a college basketball game, especially when the place is packed, which hasn’t happened in recent years.

The women are at Tacoma on Thursday, Dec. 4. The team is getting balanced scoring. Sophomore Mariah Frazier was an all-tournament pick at the Clackamas Thanksgiving Tournament where the Rangers were 2-1. They won wins over Clackamas and Mt. Hood, so  Frazier is averaging 11.0 points and a team-high 8.0 rebounds. Amanda Carper of Kingston (13.0) and Macy Walker of Port Angeles (11.3) lead the Rangers in scoring.

Tacoma’s Brian Neal is averaging 18.6 points and point-guard Gavin Peppers from Washington D.C. is averaging 17.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 2.8 steals for the men, who host Tacoma on Friday. Louisiana’s Cortavious Williams, the only sophomore suiting up at the moment, averages 10.6 points and a team-high 8.0 rebounds.


Peninsula College’s Ryley Callaghan, freshman from South Kitsap, made the all-tournament team at the Skagit Valley tournament over the weekend. Callaghan is averaging 25.8 points after four games with a high of 33 for the Pirates. … Sawyer Kluge, freshman from Bremerton, scored 23 points off the bench in her last game for Umpqua CC (Roseburg, Ore.) and averaged 16 point in her first three games while playing just 20 minutes a game. Ashli Payne, freshman from Olympic High, averages 14.0 points and 7.3 rebounds for Umpqua.


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