Rangers ink new talent

After finishing the 2003-04 Season with an 11-13 record, Olympic College women’s basketball coach Rick Peters had one specific mission when it came to recruiting.

Get bigger.

With that objective in mind, Peters announced the signings of 6-foot-1 Kendra Henry (Spanaway Lake) and a pair of 5-foot-10 players — Lexi Paoli (Port Townsend) and Loni Tostenrude (South Kitsap). Toutle Lake’s Rachel Morton also was signed by the Rangers.

“We were two games out of a playoff spot,” said Peters, referring to the Rangers’ 7-9 record in the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges North Division. “We were right there. I would say we lost some games because teams were getting second-chance points.”

Tostenrude appears to be the best of the group. She became the Wolves’ go-to player during their 12-10 season and averaged 13 points and Bridge Division-best 10.5 rebounds per game.

“Loni had a lot of different options and we were glad that she decided to stay here and play ball,” Peters said. “She’s a very physical, aggressive player and I think she’ll fill a weakness that we had last season.”

Even though the Rangers only lost three players off last year’s team — sophomores Jessica Bento, Robbie Lee and Amber McKinnis — Tostenrude is expected to vie for playing time, and possibly the starting power-forward position, immediately.

“She’ll have to come in and work, but I think she’s capable of coming in and starting,” Peters said.

Henry averaged 7.6 points per game on a Spanaway Lake team that finished 10-10.

“Kendra is even a bigger girl,” Peters said. “She’s a rebounding machine and has a nice touch. I see her at (center). She’s physical and likes going for rebounds.”

Peters said Paoli is comparable to Tostenrude, while Morton likely projects as a small forward.

With a pair of 5-foot-11 returners this year — former SK star Jamae Feddock, who averaged a team-best 14.2 points per game last season, and ex-CK standout Adria Layne — the Rangers should be much larger this year.

And Peters isn’t concerned about the guard positions with Jen Harris (North Kitsap), Erin Mueller (Billings, Mont.), Renee Soeneke (Neah Bay) and Karla Waldron (North Mason) returning. Feddock and Layne also are capable of playing guard.

That could leave a difficult path for guards who are expected to walk-on at OC. Those players include 2003 SK graduate Sharon Daly, Shakira Dixon (Olympic), Noel Gregory (CK) and Jamie McLean (SK). Christina Bui, a 5-foot-4 guard from SK, could make the challenge even more difficult if she signs her offer from OC.

“We have a ton of guards, so it will be competitive making the squad this year,” Peters said.

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