Article, 2008-2009 Season - Ohlone College Renegades Men's Basketball

Ohlone cruises into semifinals of its own tourney

By Steve R. Waterhouse, Staff writer.

Sunday, November 8, 2008—Reprinted from Contra Costa Times.

Another year of Ohlone College men's basketball brings another year of smothering and suffocating defense—the bread and butter of coach John Peterson's system.

The host Renegades forced 32 turnovers in a first-round win over Feather River on Friday and on Saturday they were at it again, forcing 37 turnovers as they cruised to a 74-50 win over Sacramento City in the semifinals of the Jonathan Wallace Memorial Tournament at Epler Gymnasium in Fremont.

"What it does is take teams out of their patterns and forces them to make plays," Peterson said of Ohlone's pressure defense.

Ohlone (2-0) jumped out to a 12-2 lead only to watch Sac City bounce back and tie the game at 12-all. That's the closest the Panthers (1-1) would get.

Led by James Hancock's 13 points in the first half (21 for the game), Ohlone went on a 14-6 run to end the first half to take a commanding 45-27 lead.

"Once we get one turnover, we keep going for more and more," said A.J. Flournoy, who scored eight points.

With the win, Ohlone advances to the finals for the fourth time in the last five years. The Renegades will face the winner of Merritt and Shasta. Due to a power outage, that game was postponed at halftime and moved over to Las Positas for the second half. The championship game is slated for today at 3 p.m. at Ohlone.

This year's version of Ohlone is deep, quite deep. Peterson played 16 players Saturday—most of whom could be starters.

But Peterson is still trying to figure out his rotation.

"I don't know yet," Peterson said. "It's going to be at least 12."

For the players, this kind of friendly competition brings out the best in them.

"It does," Flournoy said. "We have a lot of players who can start on other teams but have to take a backseat, That's fine. We're here to motivate each other."

And Ohlone is no secret to the rest of the state. The Renegades are the top-ranked team in Northern California and No. 2 in the state according to

"We try not to pay attention to the rankings," Flourney said. "We play like we have a target on our backs. We've got to bring it all the time."

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