LCSC men start season ranked No. 5 in country

Idaho forward Quinton Forest attempts a layup as Lewis-Clark State forward Trystan Bradley (right) contests the shot during a 2019 exhibition game. Bradley is one of six seniors returning this season for the Warriors, who are ranked No. 5 in the preseason coaches’ top 25 poll released Wednesday.

The Lewis-Clark State College men’s basketball team was voted No. 5 in the country as the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics released its preseason top 25 coaches’ poll Wednesday.

For the Warriors, who finished last season 29-3 overall and No. 6 in the final poll, it is the highest preseason ranking in school history. They earned one first-place vote and 506 points.

LCSC opened the season with wins in 25 of its first 26 games and vaulted all the way to No. 3 in the country, the team’s highest ranking in school history. The Warriors did lose a pair of games down the stretch but eventually won the Frontier Conference regular-season and tournament championships in their final season in that league.

LCSC will return its top seven scorers and its four best rebounders from the 2019-20 season. The Warriors, who were picked to win the Cascade Conference title this year on Oct. 8, return six seniors from last year, with a total of 17 players on the roster.

“It’s a special senior class, but as a group of seniors, they haven’t done anything yet,” third-year coach Austin Johnson recently said on the Cascade Hoops Talk podcast. “I think, a lot of times, you’ll see seniors not always keep that foot on the gas or maybe they get tired of coach Johnson yelling at them all the time. We really try and guard against that. I’ll say that they’ve all kind of come back hungry, and one way or another, each of them are better at at least one thing than they were last year. We’ve got to put the pieces together.”

LCSC will open the season with an exhibition game at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 6 at the Activity Center against Yellowstone Christian.

The women’s team, under longtime coach Brian Orr, is just outside the top 25 in the coaches’ preseason poll after receiving 122 points. The Warriors, who were predicted to win the Cascade championship on Oct. 7, finished the 2019-20 season 21-10 and were just three points short of winning the FC tournament title.

LCSC opens the season at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 6 at home against Yellowstone Christian in an exhibition contest.

The next poll for the men and women will be released Nov. 18.

GOLFLCSC teams picked second in preseason poll

The Warrior men’s and women’s golf teams were selected second in the Cascade Conference preseason polls, it was announced earlier this week.

LCSC, which finished second in the Frontier Conference a year ago and returns its entire roster for both teams in 2020-21, finished behind Oregon Tech in both polls. On the men’s side, the Warriors grabbed four first-place votes and tallied 39 points. The women’s team got one first-place vote and 27 points.

Allowed to compete in two tournaments during the month of November, the Warriors currently just have four meets scheduled, all within the league: March 8-9 at Oregon Tech, March 22-23 at home and April 12-13 at Bushnell. The College of Idaho will conduct the conference tournament April 26-27.

MEN

CASCADE CONFERENCE PRESEASON COACHES’ POLL

1. Oregon Tech (3) 43; 2. Lewis-Clark State (4) 39; 3. Corban 36; 4. Bushnell 31; 5. College of Idaho 19; 6. Multnomah 17; 7. Walla Walla 11.

WOMEN’S

CASCADE CONFERENCE PRESEASON COACHES’ POLL

1. Oregon Tech (5) 35; 2. Lewis-Clark State (1) 27; 3. Corban 25; 4. Bushnell 21; 5. College of Idaho 13; 6. Walla Walla 7.

Walden may be reached at (208) 848-2258, dwalden@lmtribune.com, or on Twitter @waldo9939.

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