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June 17, 2009 > Ohlone's outstanding players sign to four-year schools

Ohlone's outstanding players sign to four-year schools

By Idorenyin Uto-Uko

Ohlone women's basketball has one of the best team's in the state. The team swept through the competitive Coast Conference with an impressive 12-0 record and made it to the "Sweet 16" of the state basketball tournament.

Many of the team's top players have signed with some of the nation's four year colleges and universities.

A key part to the team's success this year was the phenomenal play of Fremont native Cassie Bates. Bates, a Washington High grad, stepped up in a major way in her first year of college basketball.

While at Washington Bates was known as a shooter. Quickly, the Ohlone staff found that Bates had the talent to play the point guard position.

Bales lead the team with 3.3 assists per game. She was also named as Renegade of the Year by her teammates and nominated as third team all state. Her accomplishments garnered her a scholarship with Division II powerhouse Carson-Newman.

Bates will have three years of eligibility when she suits up for the Eagles in the fall.

"I think I should take hold of this opportunity," said Bates. Off the court Bates is very humble. But she becomes very tenacious when she is on the court. "I just know when I step on the court that I give it my all."

Ohlone Coach Laura Elliot has seen Bates grow over the past season and understands the freshman's work ethic.

"Cassie is a competitor regardless," said Elliot. "She is a timeless worker and just likes to compete."

The same attributes Coach Elliot admires is why Carson-Newman University in Jefferson City, Tennessee, offered Bates a full scholarship.

"Cassie is very fast and athletic with great leadership skills and should fit nicely in our up-tempo system," said Carson-Newman Coach Dean Walsh. "She is relentless on defense which will be key to our pressing and defensive schemes."

Casceal Swaggard, one of the top scorers and rebounders for the running Renegades the past two seasons, signed with Montana State. The cool and collective under pressure "CC" will continue her dominating defense for her new team.

The 5-foot-10 athletic Oakland Tech grad garnered many awards while playing at Ohlone. She, like many of her teammates, had a slew of schools she could have selected. But the smooth shooting conference MVP and all state nominee secured a spot with the MSU Bobcats who participated in the Division 1 Big Sky Conference.

"Casceal was a big part of our success last year. She had the ability to impact games on both ends of the court for us," said Ohlone Head Coach Julia Allender. "She will do great at Montana and I look forward to following her carrer."

This year Bates had another freshman sensation to contend with. Luckily, it was her teammate from the record-setting Renegades Markiell Styles.

Styles showed a lot of grit on the glass while grabbing rebounds and perfecting her shooters touch. She decided to take her style points and sign with University of Nevada-Las Vegas.

"I am very excited for Markiell, this is a huge opportunity for her and says a lot about our program," said Coach Allendar

Styles has really flourished as a player and student at Ohlone. "Even though I had trouble adapting, going to Ohlone proved to be the best decision I've made for my basketball career," Styles said.

Despite losing Swaggard, Bates and Styles, Ohlone still has many great players and a much regarded recruiting class. They return eight players from this year's team for their defense of the Coast Conference.

"I have some of the top talent in the area at certain positions," said Coach Allender, "and I expect great things to come from them."

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