March 13, 2007 > Ohlone men let one slip away to end a great season!
Ohlone men let one slip away to end a great season!
By Biff Jones
Ohlone men's basketball team had their 2006-2007 season come to a sudden end last Thursday, March 8 at the California State Community College Men's Basketball Tournament in Fresno's Selland Arena. After winning the Coast Conference North Division during the regular season in which they had been ranked number one in NorCal most of the year, they were crowned champions of one of the four regions of NorCal section post season play, and had hopes of adding a state title to their resume.
That title dream was dashed by the Antelope Valley College (AVC) Marauders of Lancaster in a thrilling 71-69 loss in the state tournament. After both teams traded leads early in the first half, the Renegades of Ohlone caught fire and went up by fifteen points with about one minute left in the half, mainly on hot side shooting, as the Renegades would hit on nine out of fourteen attempts from three point range. Before the half would end, the Marauders proved they would not go away quietly as they scored the last four points of the half over the final thirty seconds of the first stanza, to cut the lead to eleven points at half-time.
In the second half Ohlone would again build the lead to fifteen points, but the hot three point shooting would all but disappear. Except for one sixty second stretch when the Rengades converted on three, three-point shots, the shooting from outside the arc was non-existent. Gradually, AVC climbed back into the ball game and with about four minutes remaining in the game, Ohlone found its lead cut to nine points at 69-60. Those sixty-nine points would be the last the Renegades would score over the final four minutes of the 2006-2007, while the Marauders gradually tied the score before going ahead 71-69 with about one minute left. Over the last minute of play, Ohlone found the chances to win the game, but could not find the bottom of the net. They decided to go for the win, rather than a tie and overtime, as they missed three, three-point attempts, which would have put them in the lead, before time ran out on the game and the season, 71-69.
Many of the players from the primarily dominant sophomore squad of Renardo Bass, Bert Whittington, Jermaine Smith (out of Fremont's Irvington High), Mike Holmes, Giovanni Vernon (Tennyson High of Hayward), Patrick Collier, Brandon Lott, Alex Arias, Allen Hester, Sean Amos, and Willis Gardner, are expected to move on to four year colleges and universities next year to continue their education and amateur basketball careers. The results of their applications for continued formal education are expected sometime in April.
For head coach John Peterson it was a tremendous season ending with an overall record of 28-4. Coach Peterson will now have to hit the recruiting trail to build next year's team around returning freshman, Korey Hutchinson (from Redemption Christian Academy in Hayward), Jeremiah Cardwell and Hamidou Coulibal. Congratulations men on a fantastically exciting season.