The Rangers are looking to make it a repeat of their successful 2018-29 campaign and a return trip to the NWACs
Olympic College’s women’s basketball team is coming off a post-season appearance at the Northwest Athletic Conference championship tournament and would like nothing more than to make it two years in a row.
After a 11-year absence, the Rangers returned to the NWAC Sweet 16 in 2018-19 but want more than to play one game in March in the conference’s biggest tourney. Their last trophy came in 1996 when the Rangers finished sixth.
OC returns a handful of sophomores including guards Hailey Simonson (North Mason), Kiara Sullian (Decatur) and Brianna Lammi (South Kitsap) to run the offense but are still a work in progress this early in the season.
“We have some nice pieces, but fitting them all together has been a little difficult,” said Olympic College coach Dave Hawkins. “Defensively we are right on schedule, but we’re having a hard time putting it together offensively.”
That shouldn’t be too much of a surprise as the Rangers lost All-Region guards Katie Campana (first team) and Danielle Monzon (defensive player of the year) so an adjustment period should be expected.
Hawkins, the North Region coach of the year last season, said the Rangers’ offense can be complicated at times “and it can take a while to get all the nuances down.”
“Eventually we will be fine,” Hawkins said. “But opening weekend we struggled finding some rhythm.”
Olympic lost to Mt. Hood 62-40 and SW Oregon 69-50 at the Olympic College Ranger Classic pre-Thanksgiving.
The 2019-20 Rangers are deeper and more athletic than they have been in the past, Hawkins added.
“There are some kids who can shoot it, a couple who can really control the post and they all can play defense,” he said. “With some quality sophomore leadership we hope to be in the mix for a return trip to the NWACs.”
“Once we find a good rotation and all the players find their niche, I think we could be good.”
Hawkins has high hopes for his freshmen class.
The Rangers next game is at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, versus Grays Harbor. They then hit the road for the Linn-Benton Crossover in Albany, Oregon, and the Skagit Valley College Holiday Tournament in Mount Vernon before returning to Bremer Student Center for their North Region opener at 5 p.m. against Whatcom.
Head coach: Dave Hawkins
Three Keys to the Season
- We have to control the tempo of the game and play to our strengths
- We have to control the paint at both ends of the floor
- Defensively we have to force teams to beat us by shooting over the top
Returners: Hailey Simonson (G, 5-3, so., North Mason/Belfair), Marquesha Greene (SF, 5-5, so., Decatur/Federal Way), Kiara Sullivan (PG, 5-2, so., Decatur/Seattle), Brianna Lammi (G, 5-2, so., Bremerton), Brooke Alcayaga (PF, 5-11, so., Cascade/Everett).
Newcomers: Halie Rodriguez (PG, 5-6, fr., South Kitsap/Port Orchard), Esther Pappuleas (G, 5-6, fr., Peninsula/Olalla), Jasmani Apker-Montoya (SR, 5-9, fr., Port Townsend), Kaitlin Jewell (SF, 5-10, fr., Yelm), Isis Crew (G, 5-10, fr. Thomas Jefferson/Federal Way), Timber Ware (G, 5-6, fr., Shelton/Skokomish), Grace Harder (C, 5-10, fr., Eagle River/Eagle River, Alaska).