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March 6, 2007 > Ohlone men's basketball team advances to championship tournament

Ohlone men's basketball team advances to championship tournament

By Biff Jones

It is a good thing Ohlone men's basketball team has a deep bench, plays eleven to twelve players regularly and substitutes four to five players at a time. In last Saturday night's regional final, the number two ranked Renegades of Ohlone faced number seven seed, San Joaquin Delta Mustangs of Stockton for the right to move on to the state tournament this coming week-end at Selland Arena in Fresno. First, the Renegades were missing sophomore guard Sean Amos, who was back in his hometown of Philadelphia giving a eulogy for his best friend, murdered just over a week ago. Amos was expected to be back on campus on Sunday. Next, some players came down with the flu while others were nursing pulled muscles and cramps. Then there was Delta, a team that likes to play tenacious defense while slowing down the offense and crashing the boards. This would make for a long, hard fought battle for the favored Renegades.

The first half was pretty even most of the way with neither team getting a lead of more than four points. Ohlone had trouble from the three point arc and only made four of nine, attempts. Three of those four came from wingman Patrick Collier who led the Renegades first half attack with those nine points as Ohlone took a 33-31 lead into the dressing room. In the second half the Renegades went up by eight points early in final stanza but at the ten minute mark the game was tied 46-46. It would now be a "dog fight" to the finish. Ohlone was hoping to run and shoot and take the game score into the eighties but Delta's pressure defense prevented that from happening. In addition, the Renegades three point shooting woes continued and they would connect on only two out of thirteen attempts over the second half.

To partially offset the poor outside shooting, Ohlone was able to convert on eight of ten foul shots. With less than five minutes to play the score would be either tied or stay within two or three points until the final buzzer. In the last ten seconds Delta appeared to tie the game at 61 on a three pointer but the Mustang's shooter was ruled to have one toe on the three point line, thus leaving the Renegades up 61-60. On the ensuing inbounds play, Ohlone point guard Bert Whittington was fouled. He then calmly sank two of the team's eight second half free throws to put the Renegades up 63-60. Delta had one last shot at tying the game, but their three point attempt was no good, and it would now be on to Fresno for the young men from Ohlone after the 63-60 nail biter.

Next up for NorCal number two seed Renegades (28-3 overall record) will be SoCal number nine seed, Antelope Valley College Marauders (29-6) of Lancaster, a 76-75 winner on two made free throws with three tenths of a second remaining, over Santa Ana College last Saturday night. The game is set for this Thursday, March 8 at Selland Arena in Fresno. In the eight team state championship tournament, Ohlone is the second seed from NorCal while Antelope Valley is listed as the third seed from SoCal since higher seeds lost in the SoCal regionals. The winner then plays in the semi-finals on Saturday, the 10th against the winner of Ventura College and Yuba College of Marysville. In the other bracket it is Fresno City College vs. Compton and Saddleback of Mission Viejo vs. West Hills of Coalinga. Those two winners meet in the other semi-final on Saturday.

The quarter-final games are set for Thursday at 1 p.m., 3 p.m. 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. with the semi-final games scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. The two semi-final winners will tip it off on Sunday, the 11th at 1 p.m. for the 2007 California CC Championship. All games are at Selland Arena. The women's state tournament is also being played at Selland Arena, Friday-Sunday, March 9-11. Game times on Thursday, Friday and Saturday are Pacific Standard Time (PST), but on Sunday they will be Pacific Daylight Time (PDT). Do not forget to set your clocks forward on Saturday night. Good luck to the men of Ohlone in their quest for a state title.

Last week's (February 27th) article in TCV by this reporter on "Ohlone men's basketball team moves on. . ."

It was incorrectly reported that in NorCal, the number one, three and eight seeds were defeated and in SoCal the number one, three, four and eight seeds lost. In NorCal, number one seed, Fresno City College, won their game and hosted number nine seed Hartnell of Salinas last Saturday night, rather than Hartnell hosting number sixteen seed Monterey Peninsula. In SoCal, number three seed, San Bernardino Valley, was victorious and played a home game against number six seed Saddleback of Mission Viejo on Saturday night, instead of Saddleback being home to number fourteen seed Citrus of Glendora.

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