Rangers look to rebound

Sophomore team leaders Jamae Feddock (left) and Adria Layne battle for a rebound. The two 5-foot-11 post players combined for 18 rebounds a game last season. - Photo by Jesse Beals
Sophomore team leaders Jamae Feddock (left) and Adria Layne battle for a rebound. The two 5-foot-11 post players combined for 18 rebounds a game last season.
— image credit: Photo by Jesse Beals

The biggest news coming out of the Bremer Student Center gym this basketball season was the sudden resignation of women’s coach Rick Peters a few weeks ago which left little time for new coach Megan Buchmann to prepare to take over a team that came within two wins of reaching the playoffs.

“Officially I found out three days before practice started (Oct. 15),” said Buchmann, who played two seasons for the Rangers (1997-1999) and was Peters’ assistant for the 2002-03 season.

She inherited a team that has its three biggest scorers returning in Jamae Feddock (14.2 points, 8 rebounds), Adria Layne (13.3 points, 10.2 boards) and Jen Harris (11.7 ppg.)

The Lady Rangers also have returning guard Erin Mueller to run the show on the floor. Add in potent freshmen posts Lexi Paoli and Loni Tostenrude (both 5-foot-11), and OC should be moving up in the standings.

“Some of the girls are still adjusting to the change, but they know they’re here to play basketball,” Buchmann said.

Tostenrude, a South Kitsap product, said the biggest challenge is realizing she’s not the biggest player on the court anymore.

“I have to be more physical and get up and down the court a lot faster,” said Tostenrude, who should get plenty of playing time as Layne works on getting academically eligible by the end of December. The women began their season yesterday at the Shoreline Tournament.

Over on the men’s side, second-year coach Billy Landram’s team is coming off a 7-11 season where it scored 71 points per game behind the power of graduated big men DC Egge and Will Pence. The only problem then — as now — is that the Rangers are prone to giving up a lot of points (allowing opponents 82 per game last season).

This year’s team also is lacking in height with 6-5 freshmen Robert Thomas (Garfield) and Chevie Roach (Tok, Alaska) the tallest on the team.

“What we lack in height we make up for in speed and effort,” said sophomore Nate Seitz, a 6-4 shooting guard who averaged 17.5 ppg and shot 34 percent from outside the 3-point arc. “If you’re a small team, you have to out-hustle the other team to get offensive rebounds. We have to play good defense and get those offensive rebounds. I need to improve my rebounding because we don’t have those big guys so I can get it out so we can push it back (up the floor.)

“We’re doing a good job of working on our inside-out game to open the floor.”

The Rangers do have 10 players between 6-0 and 6-4, including 2004 Nisqually League MVP Brady Marunde, a shooting guard from Sequim, that give Landram a plethora of line-up options.

“We have four or five guys that are similar that we’re trying to work in,” Landram said. “They need to bring in energy so hopefully we can be fresh and they have to crash the boards everytime.”

One help on the rebounding end is 5-10 returning sophomore Ashley Robinson who is always around the ball.

Landram likes what he sees so far, though he’s not making any predictions how the season will work out.

“We’ve increased our talent level,” he said. “They’re young but they’re coming along now. It’s a long season and hopefully we’ll get the kinks out before the start of league play.”

The Rangers have their first game today at Portland.

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