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November 12, 2008 > Ohlone basketball ignites Fremont

Ohlone basketball ignites Fremont

By Idorenyin Uto-Uko

Generally, March is reserved for college basketball tournament fever. But, the fever has already started to ignite itself for the Renegades of Ohlone Community College at the Fifth Annual John Wallace Memorial Basketball Tournament at Ohlone College, played over the weekend of November 7-9.

The Ohlone men's basketball team has reached the championship game of the three-day tournament four of the past five years. This year was no different. The Renegades, ranked number two in the state in the preseason coaches' poll, played themselves into the final with wins over Feather River College and Sacramento City College.

In the first game against FRC, Ohlone's defense applied pressure and turned on the heat from start to finish, forcing 32 turnovers. Ohlone used a combination of 3-pointers and arsenal of scoring weapons to oust Feather River.

This year's edition of Renegades has a lot of depth. They have a 16-man roster, many of whom could start.

"I don't know who is going to start yet," said Head Coach John Peterson. "It is going to be at least a 12-player rotation."

The Renegades faced stiff competition in their second game of the tournament against SCC, but the outcome was still the same: an Ohlone College win.

Ohlone's smothering defense was too much for Sacramento City. They jumped on the team from California's capital early, beginning the game on a 12-2 run. But SCC clawed back with 3-pointers by Dustin Forrester. Forrester still couldn't find a way to help his team win.

The championship game was pushed back due to a power outage at Ohlone College. The game was rescheduled to be played at Las Positas. The outcome was not determined before TCV went to press.

Still, win or lose in the championship game of the John Wallace Memorial Basketball Tournament, Coach Peterson feels good about his team's chances this year.

"This year's team is probably the best team I have had since I have been here in terms of character, play and unselfishness," said Coach Peterson. "I think we can have four or five players to average in the double figures this season."

Ohlone returns Tim Bowman, Carlos Johnson, Eric Pitts, Leon Hart, Alpha N'Diaye and A.J. Flournoy from last year's team. Joining them are newcomers Simba Gwanyanya, Jamal Blalock, Quaran Johnson, Ronnie Sawyer and James Hancock.

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