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

Ohlone's defense tough

Renegades bury Las Positas, 88-56

By Kyle Bonagura, Staff writer.

Thursday, January 24, 2008—Reprinted from Inside Bay Area.

Fremont—Before Christmas, the Ohlone College men's basketball team was giving up 75 points per game. It was a stat deemed unacceptable by coach John Peterson—so getting better on defense became one of his primary focuses.

The work is starting to pay off, and Wednesday's 88-56 win over Las Positas was a perfect example of how far the defense has come.

Las Positas went into the contest averaging 74.3 points per game, but it couldn't find any offensive rhythm against the Renegades.

"(Ohlone) played harder than us and with more intensity," Las Positas coach Tony Costello said. "They beat us in every phase of the game."

This isn't the same Ohlone team that gave up 105 points in a loss to Santa Rosa or the one that got blitzed for 98 points in a loss against Napa Valley. Gone is the five-at-a-time substitution pattern—not enough depth—same with the full-court press.

Since Coast Conference play began Jan. 12, Ohlone has surrendered just 57.5 points per game, and it yielded just 42 and 43 points to Canada and Skyline, respectively. The intensity in the Renegades' half-court defense has pushed them to a 3-1 start in conference play, with the lone loss being by three points to the state's top-ranked team, City College of San Francisco, 69-66.

Peterson said they have Tim Bowman, a 6-foot guard who went to Ohlone from Philadelphia, to thank for the leading the turnaround on defense.

"He's got great strength and great lateral movement. He never gets beat off the dribble," Peterson said. "He has been our best defender all year."

And with the Renegades having more of a defensive focus, Bowman has seen his role increase.

Offensively, the Renegades got big nights from Chancious Rose (20 points) and Roman Martin (19).

"When Martin gets hot, he is dangerous, and he has been hot for weeks," Peterson said of the Pittsburg High product who drained five 3-pointers in the loss to CCSF.

Martin had eight points in the first half and led a second-half charge that put away Las Positas (10-12, 1-3).

If a rivalry is ever going to develop between Ohlone College and Las Positas in men's basketball, it's going to take some work by the Livermore school.

In the three games the schools have played since Costello left Chabot to form the program at Las Positas last year, Ohlone is 3-0 and has outscored the Hawks by an average of 23 points per game.

"There isn't going to be any rivalry if we're not competitive," Costello said.

Ohlone's next game is at home against Foothill on Saturday.

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