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December 13, 2005 > Women Renegades put 'full court press' on conference title

Women Renegades put 'full court press' on conference title

No matter whether you call it "B" ball, "Roundball" or just plain Basketball, this game combines the best of individual talent, team play and strategy. At Ohlone College, the women Renegades have consistently fielded a competitive team with potential to bring home championship trophies. This year is no exception, and under the continuing leadership of Coach Elizabeth Stanley, the Renegades are poised to move through this year's season on a winning note.

"We focus on the individual as a whole," says Stanley. She notes that the athletic department now has a full-time counselor for academics which demonstrates the commitment of the college to student athletes. Team members come to Ohlone for a variety of reasons. Stanley has coached players who want extra playing time when moving from high school athletics to the collegiate level and others who are using the community college experience to "explore new options" in athletics and academics. She adds, that students often have a better idea of why they are attending college as a transferring Junior after attaining an Associate Degree at Ohlone College. "Some players want to see if they can play at this level while others may not have received an offer from the school of their choice or realize they need to focus more on academics." Coach Stanley says that there are players who have graduated from a four-year college without using their eligibility and want to play. "Community college offers that outlet."

Under Coach Stanley, women's Renegade basketball focuses on defensive, physical play. "We like to think we get our offense from our defense." If defensive play is effective, says Stanley, "we get fast-break opportunities and the game is more exciting - more 'up tempo' - with lay-ups, steals and smart offense. All of our coaches - and I have a great group of coaches - come from a defensive, more physical style, up-tempo mentality." Of course, style depends on talent on the court and depth on the bench. "We are very fortunate this year; we have a little of everything - great spot shooters, fast players who can get in the lanes, get steals and grab rebounds - a great dynamic mix." Basketball is a game of possessions," says Stanley. "We have to work hard to get the ball and work smart when we have the ball. If we do those things, we can anticipate success."

"Everyone is a walk-on," says the coach. "I am all about inclusion, so if there is a way to make room for a young woman to be part of athletics, I make every effort to accommodate her." She says that all players are treated in the same way; they all need to achieve high standards academically to remain on the team. "At all levels, a good coach will do his or her best to find the right balance for their athletes." Because basketball schedules tend to be concentrated at times, Stanley says that she reserves extra study periods for team members to catch up on their academic responsibilities. "As egocentric as coaches can be, a good coach cares about their team and will pay attention to the whole person rather than just the athlete."

Not only has the Ohlone women's basketball program prospered in league competition, winning the Coast Conference in 2004, but players are proving their mettle as some move on to four-year programs and head to greater challenges on the court. Latisha Jackson was recruited by Fresno Pacific where she was awarded a "full-ride" scholarship and Nikki Smith accepted a partial basketball scholarship to CSU Bakersfield as that team anticipates the transition to Division I competition. Coach Stanley comments that many standout players at club or high school level competition are shocked when they face Ohlone college basketball. "This is a step up. As players move up to college ball, the number of players decline but those who participate really love the game and spend a lot of time playing and work hard at being good at their craft." She adds, "These players are more passionate and committed to their sport."

The public is invited to watch the lady Renegades drive, block and shoot on the hardwood of Epler Gymnasium as this talented group displays championship form in their quest for another conference title. Their next game will be on Thursday, December 15 against San Joaquin Delta College at 6 p.m. Check out the full schedule at http://www.ohlone.edu/org/athletics/docs/wbasketball_schedule.pdf. Coach Elizabeth Stanley can be contacted at estanley@ohlone.edu or through the Ohlone Athletic Department at (510) 659-6041.

Roster:
Angelica Benjamin, Annika Biard, Liezl Dacuycuy, Laura Elliot, Amanda Everett, Tasha Gonzales, LaKesha Hokes-Vaught, Erika Mahler, Jenna Nicholson, Aoife Sands, Erica Scoles, Erin Stewart, Alcha Strane, Christina Vargas, Kaycie Zimmerman.

Coaches:
Elizabeth Stanley, Edward Harris, Bob & Tina Frey, Tiffany Garland, Matt McGrath,

 
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