The Southwestern Oregon Community College basketball teams return from the break with their NWAC South Region openers at home Wednesday, games that will be played earlier than the regular midweek schedule.
SWOCC hosts Mount Hood, with the women tipping off at 2 p.m. and the men at 4. For the rest of the NWAC season, the women tip at 5:30 p.m. and the men at 7:30 on Wednesdays. The Saturday schedule calls for the women to start at 2 p.m. and the men at 4.
The Lakers are at Clackamas on Saturday as part of the league schedule, which includes 16 total games and two byes since the region has nine teams and one doesn’t play each date. SWOCC’s byes are on Wednesday, Jan. 24, and Wednesday, Feb. 21.
SWOCC’s men finished the preseason at 6-6. Six members of the team are averaging double figures in scoring, led by Moses Miller at 15.7. Skyler Bradford is at 12.3, James Walljasper at 11.9, Jacob Bingham at 11.3 and Peyton Christman and Steven Price at 10.0. Chase Berry averages 8.0 and is among the NWAC leaders in shooting percentage at 60.6 percent.
Bradford was named to the all-tournament team at the Dale Bates Invitational in Eugene after the Lakers placed third in that tournament.
SWOCC’s women were 3-8 in the preseason, led by sophomore point guard Jessica Matheson, who ranks second in NWAC for scoring at 22.5 points per game and also is sixth in assists (4.9) and fifth in steals (3.4).
Madison Bell (11.2) and Lose Fonua (10.0) both also average in double figures for scoring.
Teams from the South Region were ranked first in both the women’s and men’s coaches polls in December.
Unbeaten Umpqua was ranked first in the last women’s coaches poll of 2017 with Clackamas fourth.
Portland (11-2) was No. 1 in the men’s poll, with Chemeketa seventh and Lane 11th.
The Lakers see their first action of the new year in a dual against Pacific Lutheran University at Tacoma, Wash., on Saturday.
The team competed in a club swimming meet at Woodburn before its break for the Christmas holiday and Payson Cunningham set a school record for the 100-yard individual medley with his time of 55.95 seconds.
The SWOCC men’s and women’s wrestling teams compete at the national duals in Fort Wayne, Indiana, on Thursday and Friday.
The men have one home dual in January, against Warner-Pacific on Jan. 27, the final action before the West Regional on Feb. 11 at Clackamas.
SWOCC’s men ranked 11th in the national NJCAA poll in December, with Clackamas ranked first.
The women also host Warner-Pacific on Jan. 27, the team’s final competition before the two national meets, the WCWA Nationals at Oklahoma City on Feb. 9-10 and the NCWA Nationals at Allen, Texas, on March 8-10.