LA GRANDE, Ore. – As the Evergreen Geoducks prepare for their annual alumni games on Saturday, they learned this morning how the rest of the Cascade Conference anticipates the conference standings this season. The Evergreen women were picked to finish ninth while the Geoduck men were picked 10th.
On the women’s side, the Geoducks picked up 26 points to finish sandwiched between Northwest Christian and Northwest. Despite losing All-CCC forward Danielle Swain to graduation, the Geoducks return a strong backcourt, led by seniors Sammi Clark (Monroe, Wash./Monroe HS/Edmonds CC) and Jessica Denmon (Oak Harbor, Wash./Oak Harbor HS/Skagit Valley CC).
College of Idaho and Eastern Oregon split five first-place votes to tie for the top spot in the preseason standings. Oregon Tech collected the other five first-place votes but were lower on other ballots to take third, followed by Southern Oregon, Warner Pacific, Corban, Concordia, Northwest Christian, Evergreen and Northwest.
On the men’s side, the Geoducks were picked 10th after finishing at the bottom of the standings each of the last two seasons. KJ Hong (Federal Way, Wash./Decatur HS/Shoreline CC) returns after missing the second half of the season last year and will be joined by All-CCC selection Frankie Johnson (Renton, Wash./Hazen HS). The Geoducks also return sophomore wing Michael Potter (Ridgefield, Wash./Ridgefield HS) and senior post/forward Marc Taylor (Boise, Idaho/Edmonds CC).
Southern Oregon earned seven of 10 first-place votes to secure first place in the preseason poll. The Raiders were followed by Warner Pacific, Oregon Tech, Northwest, Eastern Oregon, College of Idaho, Concordia, Northwest Christian, Corban and Evergreen.
The Geoducks take on their first outside competition on Saturday when they play host to the annual alumni games as part of Return to Evergreen festivities on campus. The women are set to tip at 3:30 p.m., followed by the men at 5:30 p.m. In addition to the games, the activities will include the official dedication of the Costantino Recreation Center, named for recently-retired Vice President of Student Affairs Art Costantino.