Chokers hammer Rangers again

OC sophomore Will Pence bangs inside with Grays Harbor’s Nick Bamer for a rebound on Saturday during the Rangers’ 76-69 loss to the Chokers. - Photo by Chris Onstott
OC sophomore Will Pence bangs inside with Grays Harbor’s Nick Bamer for a rebound on Saturday during the Rangers’ 76-69 loss to the Chokers.
— image credit: Photo by Chris Onstott

It took some time for the Olympic College men to get their offense going late Saturday afternoon against Grays Harbor.

To be precise, it took the Rangers 30 minutes and 54 seconds before they got off the snide and into the basketball game when they were down 58-38 before Ashley Robinson’s bucket got it all started.

But as coach Billy Landram said, it was “too little, too late” to reel in the Chokers who went on to defeat the Rangers 76-69.

“It would’ve been nice to have five more minutes on the clock,” said Landram, whose team lost to Grays Harbor 89-79 on Dec. 6. “We got that run going, but you can’t be making runs when you’re down by 20. You’ve got to be making runs when you’re down by four.”

Slow starts on offense have become an unwelcome trademark for the 1-3 Rangers.

“We just come out slow all the time,” said sophomore Will Pence who led all scorers with 20 points. “And then we start to pick it up when we’re down.”

A slow start plagued the Rangers the night before as well in a 78-52 loss at Pierce.

“Last night we came out flat and not ready to go,” Landram said. “Tonight we came out with the effort, we are just not executing on offense. When you hold them to 34 at the half, you expect to be ahead.”

With the offense on hiatus, the Rangers’ defense had to work overtime to hold the Chockers to a 34-27 halftime lead.

“Having only 27 points hurt,” Landram said. “We didn’t adjust well to what they were doing.”

Grays Harbor made some adjustments at the half and started going with more outside shots to stretch their lead to 20 points.

OC had to make some adjustments as well with starting center DC Egge on the bench with foul troubles. That meant freshman power forwards Devin Reed and Jawan Carter needed to step up and they did with Carter pouring in a double-double of 19 points and 10 rebounds and Reed getting his own double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds, including 10 on the defensive end.

“Devin played big for us,” Landram said. “And Jawan is a tough match-up for everybody since he’s a tough person to guard.”

With the big men banging in, the Chokers got into foul trouble and had to go into their own bench as Mark Iverson, Jamie Rivenes and TJ Rogich all fouled out.

“We wanted to take it to the hole and when you’ve got a tough kid jumping into you it’s hard to defend,” Landram said. “There was a lot of contact and then it was up to the refs.”

The call went OC’s way nearly every time and they prospered at the free throw line, going 25-for-35.

“We stuck together when things were rough and fought back,” Landram said. “We pushed more and weren’t as stagnant. We got some rebounds and some good buckets.”

The Rangers dominated the boards, outrebounding the Chokers 52-34 and picking up 21 second-chance points.

“We have good defense,” said Pence, who had a pair of steals and five rebounds. “We just struggle on offense when we get confused. We just have to work harder and get it all together.”

Landram said the team was going to make some adjustments as it heads off tomorrow for a crossover tournament in Salem, Ore.

“We’re going to work on some offensive sets to exploit our strengths,” the coach said. “We’re going to try and build on our efforts and get a taste for what it’s like to put some wins on the board.”

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