MOUNT VERNON - It’s opening night of league play for the Ranger basketball teams as they travel to Mount Vernon to take on the Skagit Valley Cardinals.
The Ranger ladies had an up and down pre-season, ending at 3-8. The team is led by sophomore transfer Lexi Ioane (West Seattle / Seattle, WA), who averages 15.3 points per game while shooting 49.3% from the floor. She adds 9 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game. The lone returner on the roster is South Kitsap alum Libby Borgonia. Borgonia adds 11.5 points, shooting 31% from the floor and 27.5% from the arc. Newcomer Brittini Blake (Kahuku / La ie, HI) is making waves in the paint, shooting 51% and pulling down 7.9 rebounds per game.
Tip-off is 5pm tonight and Head Coach Dave Hawkins is feeling good about his team. “They [the Cardinals] are always a tough game at their place. They always play hard and have a system that the coaches up there have perfected over the years.” The Cardinals are 5-9 and on a 2-game win streak. The team puts up 57.7 points per game, shooting 39.6% from the floor and 24.6% from the arc. The Rangers match up well, putting up 59.2 points per game while shooting 36.2% from the floor and 24.2% from the arc. “They are like us,” says Hawkins, “I think we match up well with them and tonight will come down to execution.”
On the men’s side, the 10-3 Rangers have won 8 of their last 9 while putting up 91.2 points per game. They are shooting 47.3% from the field and 40.1% from the arc. The team is led by sophomore transfer Josiah Westbrook (Squalicum / Mount Vernon, WA), who is averaging 20.5 points per game while shooting 55% from the field and 57% from the arc. He adds 4.8 rebounds per game while dishing out 4.8 assists. Freshmen Sam Gagliardi (Gig Harbor / Fox Island, WA) leads the team in rebounding with 5.8 per game, adding 17.2 points per game.
Head Coach Craig Murray is looking forward to tonight’s North Region opening. “Everything is about league now and I think we’re ready to handle our first league game.”
Tip-off is at 7pm and Murray thinks the match up tonight will be a preview to what the entire North will look like. “They shoot the three well and are very athletic,” says Murray. The Cardinals are 6-8, putting up 74.1 points per game.
As far as the Rangers, Murray is “definitely looking forward to seeing our guys perform. We score well and they have to defend us. Our big key is our defensive side of the ball while making the right play at the right time.”
The next home game is this Saturday, January 13th when the Rangers host the Edmonds Tritons. Women’s tip-off is at 2pm with the men following at 4pm.