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February 25, 2009 > Ohlone and Chabot basketball get ready for March Madness

Ohlone and Chabot basketball get ready for March Madness

By Idorenyin Uto-Uko

Ohlone and Chabot men's basketball teams are two of the best programs in junior college basketball in the Bay Area. Ohlone annually wins 20 or more games and is consistently in the hunt for a conference championship. Chabot is always a force to be reckoned with and a contender for a top-three finish in the North Division of the Coast Conference.

Both teams wrapped up their respective regular seasons in fine fashion. Ohlone (24-8, 10-2) blew out the undermanned Canada College (3-22, 1-10), 69-26, in their final home game. The Renegades held their visiting opponent to only eight first half points. "Our guys just got out after the ball," explained a modest Ohlone coach John Peterson after the team's substantial victory.

The Canada win proved to be a perfect tune-up for the Renegades when they traveled to San Jose City College (24-8, 11-2) on Saturday, Feb. 21.

As expected, the game was very physical from the tip off. The two athletic teams from the East and South Bay areas demonstrated why they are among the best in the Coast Conference. Neither team could spread a lead larger than three points in the first half. Ohlone's foul trouble kept SJCC in the game; and SJCC poor shooting kept Ohlone in the game in the half.

The second half began just like the first with quickness and hard-nosed play from both teams. The Renegades would outlast the Jaguars and go on a 17-2 run, which led to their 57-39 victory.

The San Jose City game was an excellent factor in determining Ohlone's placing in the Nor-Cal playoffs this week.

"This proves that we can beat a good team on the road in the playoffs if we need to," said Coach John Peterson.

Chabot finished the season 18-17 overall and 6-7 in conference-play, an amazing accomplishment for a team that has nine freshmen on its roster. Three of the freshmen have had standout seasons: Jourdon Demuynck, Derrick Bruce and Mark Stevenson.

Demuynck, Bruce and fellow freshman Lonnie Brazil were the top scorers for the Gladiators in their 81-71 loss to Skyline on Wednesday, Feb. 18. Demuynck and Bruce had 15; and Brazil netted 13.

"I know we are on the bubble for making the playoffs," said Coach Aye. "But we are still hoping for a 16 or 17 seed." One of Chabot's wins came against Ohlone, on the road, in January, 71-65.

Coach Aye, who also earned his 700th career victory this January, understands his team's youthfulness and potential for future accomplishments.

"If we stick with it and work hard we've got a chance to finish strong this year and be a real good team next year," Aye said.

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