Article, 2007-2008 Season - Ohlone College Renegades Men's Basketball

Young Ohlone tops Cabrillo in semis

With 13 gone from State Elite Eight squad, Renegades show promise

By Steve R. Waterhouse, Staff writer.

Sunday, November 11, 2007—Reprinted from Inside Bay Area.

Fremont—This is not the same Ohlone College men's basketball team that went to the State Elite Eight last year.

Nope, not in any way, shape or form.

The Renegades returned just one player—Jeremiah Cardwell—from a team that graduated 13 (11 of whom received scholarships to four-year schools). With 12 freshmen on the team, coach John Peterson considers this group a work in progress.

Still, the Renegades were up to their old winning tricks Saturday in the semifinals of the Jonathan Wallace Memorial Tournament with a 77-65 win over a tough Cabrillo at Ohlone.

"They're on the same page with each other, not with me," Peterson said. "They're getting there, it's just not there yet."

The win gives Ohlone another chance to its own tournament. Last year the Renegades lost to Diablo Valley College in the finals.

Ohlone will again take on DVC in the championship game at 3 p.m.

Early on, it didn't look like Ohlone was going to have a shot to beat Cabrillo. The Renegades had no continuity in the first half. They turned the ball over numerous times and watched the Hawks jump out to a 19-8 lead after a break-away dunk by Denver Mack.

Ohlone chipped away and found a spark in Alpha N'Diaye just before the half ended. He hit back-to-back layups to cut Cabrillo's lead to 34-29.

The second half was a complete turnaround for Ohlone (2-0). The Renegades came out and pressed, forced turnovers and went on a 9-2 run to take a 38-37 lead with 15:37 left—their first since being up 2-0.

"We need more of a defensive effort, and we hope that leads to buckets," Peterson said.

The game went back-and-forth for the next few minutes, and then Ohlone went on a 16-3 run that was capped by a pair of free throws by Roman Martin that gave the Renegades a 56-51 lead—a lead they wouldn't relinquish.

It also helped that Ohlone found a quality go-to guy in N'Diaye, who had 14 points and 14 rebounds. The Renegades got some offensive support from Eric Pitts, who scored 11 key points. Ohlone's Chance Rose added 13 points.

The Renegades also caught a break with 8:08 left in the game, when they got into the double bonus.

"That was huge," said Peterson, who watched his team go 29-for-39 from the free-throw line, including a 7-for-8 performance from Nate Liggins (11 points). "We got to go to the free-throw line and got into their bench."

Three Cabrillo players fouled out, including Mack, who scored 12 points—eight in the second half.

"This win was big because it's hard to teach many lessons when you're losing," Peterson said. "This is a great start for this group. They got the potential to be good after the New Year."

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