Article, 2006-2007 Season - Ohlone College Renegades Men's Basketball
Ohlone squeaks into Elite Eight
By Tony Gonsalez, Staff writer.
Sunday, March 4, 2007—Reprinted from Inside Bay Area.
FREMONT—The Ohlone College men's basketball team knew it would be in for a battle in the second round of the Northern California Regional of the Community College State Championships against a rugged San Joaquin Delta squad with a spot in the Elite Eight at stake.
In front of an enthusiastic home crowd, the Renegades fought off a rally by the Mustangs and put up the final rally themselves to win 63-60 and advance to the State Championships, which start March 8 at Selland Arena in Fresno.
"The kids really stepped it up tonight," Ohlone coach John Peterson said. "We did a great job keeping them off the boards in the second half."
Ohlone (27-3) looked as if it had the game in control, leading 46-38 with 12 minutes left. However, Stefan Calton capped off an 8-0 Delta run with a 3-pointer with 10:08 remaining to tie the score at 46.
Jermaine Smith made the most of his only basket in the second half with a thunderous slam off a Patrick Collier pass to give Ohlone the lead right back.
An Allen Hester 3-pointer gave Ohlone a 52-49 lead with less than eight minutes left.
Delta came right back with a 7-0 run, capped by a Lavar Beufville runner in the lane that gave the Mustangs their biggest lead of the night, at 56-52, with five minutes left.
Hester and Renardo Bass had consecutive three-point plays as Ohlone retook once again.
Leading 59-58 with 1:05 left, the Renegades worked the clock down before Whittington missed a 3-pointer, but Bass grabbed a key offensive rebound.
However, Collier took the pass from Bass and took an ill-advised 3-pointer that missed. The ball went out of bounds, but off a Mustangs player with 33.9 seconds left.
Hester made two free throws to set up the pivotal point of the game.
Trailing 61-58, Delta got the ball in the hands of Mike Kirby. He nailed a jumper with his foot on the line, making it a 61-60 Ohlone lead instead of a tie game.
Two free throws by Bert Whittington extended the Renegades' lead back to three points, then Calton missed a 23-footer at the buzzer, starting an Ohlone celebration on the court.
"We knew what kind of team they were, and we knew we had to play tough," Bass said.
Hester and Whittington led four Renegades players in double figures, scoring 12 points and grabbing five rebounds apiece. Bass and Collier added 11 points each.
Kirby led the Mustangs with 18 points and had six rebounds. Roman Van Allen added 14 points, but had only two in the second half. Michael Nunnally, who is headed to the University of the Pacific next season, added 12 points and pulled down a game-high 13 rebounds for Delta.
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