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The season has already been one to remember for the Linn-Benton Community College men's basketball team.

The Roadrunners finished the regular season at 20-9 overall and 10-6 in the Southern Region of the NWAC, good for second, the best since 1979 for the program.

With a 14-13 record last year, LBCC had its first back-to-back winning seasons since 1975-76 and 1976-77.

And now the Roadrunners are headed to the NWAC tourney. They take on Edmonds Community College at noon on Saturday.

"I think its a big step forward," coach Everett Hartman said. "Our goal at the beginning of the season was to get to the NWAC tournament.

"It's a real special feeling for the kids and the coaching staff, so it's a real big step forward."

The Roadrunners have been able to come together and click in a way that has not happened for the program in a long time.

Hartman makes sure all players get time on the court. That has allowed the Roadrunners to have a variety of leaders on any given night.

"The biggest thing is the kids buy into the system," Hartman said. "Everyone knows they have an opportunity to play and an opportunity to get up and down the court.

"There's team unity and team chemistry and everybody is playing for each other."

The Roadrunners are led by 6-foot-5 freshman Taylor Jensen from Forest Grove, who averages 12 points and 11 rebounds a game and led the NWAC in rebounding at 10.1 per game. He was freshman of the year in the Southern Region and first-team all-Southern Region.

Bailey Evers averages 13.8 points a game.

Former West Albany player Cooper Getsfrid is scoring 13.1 points a game.

"He's one of our more emotional and vocal guys," Hartman said. "He's done a great job of filling his role. I've been pleased with his play this year and his two-year career at Linn Benton."

Trey Ecker and Riley Davis are both from Philomath High.

Ecker's family and Hartman go way back. His father, PHS coach Blake Ecker, played for Hartman.

Trey Ecker averages 9.2 points a game.

"He's been a solid player for us this year, too."

Hartman praised Davis' versatility.

"He has been a wonderful addition to our program," Hartman said. "He gets his hands on more passes and rebounds than anybody I've been around."


Sports Reporter

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