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Rangers’ win streak at seven
The Rangers are hoping to extend their luck beyond No. 7.
Not to say the Olympic College men’s basketball team is lucky to be undefeated at 7-0, but everything is working for a team few believed would compete for a postseason berth.
But sixth-year coach Billy Landram has OC playing with confidence, and Landram said his team is capable of beating anybody in the NWAACC (Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges).
“The confidence level is pretty high right now,” Landram said Thursday.
With a combination of veterans and newcomers on the roster, the Rangers have meshed early on, looking to balance experience and youth.
Justin Artis and L.P. Neloms, a South Kitsap grad who scored a team-high 20 points in the Rangers’ 82-67 win against Green River Tuesday, both return after strong freshmen seasons. Artis, originally from Tacoma, leads the team in points per game and has scored double figures in all seven games.
“We’ve got a good group of kids returning this year,” Landram said.
North Kitsap grad Dietrich Rios and another South Kitsap product, Tysaih Curry, are expected to play Tuesday after being ineligible for the first seven games.
The crux of the Rangers’ success, however, has stemmed from focus and hard work; a combination Landram said the team needs to continue if it’s going to make noise beyond the first weeks of the season.
“We knew we had some good players,” Landram said. “We just need to play together and work hard. So far, we’re doing both.”
While the Rangers find themselves atop the NWAACC North division, league play has yet to begin, meaning it’s too hard to tell how things are going to shake out.
“There are a lot of good teams,” Landram said, pointing specifically to Bellevue (9-1) and Whatcom (5-0). “They should be tough.”
The Rangers are traveling to San Bernadino, Calif., for a tournament over winter break and will compete against a handful of teams they would otherwise not see.
“That’ll be good for us, to play against some tough teams,” Landram said of the tournament, beginning Dec. 29.
League play begins Jan. 3, with OC visiting Edmonds.