Gliko likes OC's position, but refuses to look ahead

Olympic College’s men picked off another first-place team in the Northern Division of the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges basketball race.

Three days after knocking Edmonds from the top, the Rangers took down Shoreline, 99-90, in a road game on Saturday, Feb. 2.

Now, Olympic can find themselves with at least a share of the top spot if it can beat Peninsula at home tonight and Bellevue on Saturday, Feb. 9, in another home game at Bremer Center Gym. Olympic (6-3), Shoreline (6-3) and Edmonds (6-3) are all tied for second, a half-game back of Bellevue (6-2), which plays at Shoreline tonight. The top four teams qualify for the NWAACC Tournament, March 8-11 in Richland.

Olympic’s first-year coach Reece Gliko tells him team not to look at the scoreboard, so you know he’s not going to get into heavy motivational discussions about reaching the NWAACC Tournament.

“I’m not going to lie and say we don’t know where we’re at and what opportunity lies in front of us,” Gliko said. “We want that and we embrace that.”

But he wants his team, which has seven games left, to stay focused.

“We’re very blessed to be in the position we’re at,” he said. “The guys and I both understand every game we play is going to be a dogfight. If we begin to look down the road too far, you’re going to lose focus and not be as sharp as you can be.”

The Rangers have been sharp lately, especially Robbie Bybee, the sophomore guard who moved into the starting lineup when Olympic High grad Casey Manchester went down with a broken wrist earlier this month.

Bybee, from Pocatello, Idaho, popped in a season-high 22 points against Shoreline.

“He continues to play better and better,” Gliko said. “He’s really shooting it well. For not playing for two years, he’s doing a great job. He gives us another big threat to go with Ken (Waldo), Greg (Caldwell) and Fred (Grupe).”

Caldwell had 27 points, Waldo 20 points and 11 rebounds and Grupe 15 points and 11 rebounds in the win over Shoreline.

The Rangers outrebounded Shoreline 51-27, limiting the Dolphins to one shot.

Manchester might be back for Saturday’s game against Bellevue, said Gliko. That could be important down the stretch as the Rangers have been using just six players with Angelo Jeanpierre the only reserve getting major minutes.

Ranger women struggling

Olympic College’s women will try to break a six-game losing streak tonight at home against Peninsula, a team the Rangers beat earlier in the year.

Shoreline, a team OC also defeated, got revenge on Saturday, Jan. 2, knocking off the Rangers, 68-45, in Seattle.

Leana Abille led the struggling Rangers (3-6 NWAACC North, 6-14 overall) with 11 points. The Rangers shot just 22 percent from the field.

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