OC takes it down to the wire

Olympic College’s playoff picture is a lot clearer now, thanks in part to freshman guard Casey Manchester, who recently busted out some new contact lenses.

Manchester dropped in 21 points in an 81-75 win over Everett on Wednesday, Feb. 27, enabling the Rangers to end a four-game losing streak and move into a tie for the fourth and final NWAACC Northern Division men’s basketball playoff spot with one game left.

Here’s the possible scenarios heading into Olympic’s 5:30 p.m. regular-season finale tonight at Edmonds:

• The Rangers (8-7 NWAACC North, 14-13) can clinch a berth in the 16-team NWAACC Tournament at Tri-Cities Coliseum in Kennewick on March 8-11 if they win at Edmonds (10-5, 14-13) and Whatcom (7-8, 14-13) beats visiting Skagit Valley (8-7, 12-13). That would leave Olympic alone in fourth place.

• Olympic’s season ends tonight if it loses at Edmonds and Skagit beats Whatcom. Skagit would join Shoreline, Bellevue and Edmonds, currently in a three-way tie for first, as the Northern Division’s representatives at the NWAACC Tournament.

• If OC and Skagit both win, a Monday, March 4 playoff will be held at Skagit. (Skagit and OC split games, but because of a random number system used by the NWAACC, the game would be at Skagit).

• If Whatcom wins and OC loses, there will be a three-way tie for fourth. OC will play at Skagit on Monday, March 4 with the winner playing at Whatcom on Tuesday, March 5. (Whatcom gets the bye based on a better record in head-to-head meetings).

OC coach Reece Gliko watched his team recover from a sloppy first half that included 17 turnovers and 1-for-13 shooting from 3-point range to beat Everett.

Manchester, who’s recovered from a broken wrist that sidelined him for five weeks, hit 6 of 12 field goals, including two 3-pointers. He made 7 of 8 free throws.

“(Casey) played in an attack mentality like I want him to,” Gliko said. “He didn’t hesitate at all in the second half.”

Fred Grupe (25 points, 16 rebounds), and Angelo Jeanpierre (10 rebounds, 7 points) also came up big for OC.

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