Article, 2009-2010 Season - Ohlone College Renegades Men's Basketball

Ohlone men, Chabot and Laney women represent East Bay at state JC basketball tournaments

By Matt Schwab, Oakland Tribune.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010—Reprinted from Inside Bay Area.

Two upstart women's basketball teams, Laney and Chabot, and one men's powerhouse, Ohlone, [emphasis added] will represent the East Bay in the California Community College Athletic Association Elite 8 state championships at Cal Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks.

Laney (25-5), the No. 3 seeded team among four from the north, will face South No. 2 Ventura (31-1) at 7 p.m. today. North No. 4 Chabot (17-11) will challenge South No. 1 Fullerton (30-1) at 5 p.m.

Both Laney, a second-year program, and Chabot are making their Elite 8 debuts.

Chabot was just the 10th seed in the North Regional playoffs but advanced through what Gladiators coach Don Queyrel dubbed the "Cinderella bracket" by bouncing Sierra-Rocklin in the final round.

The Ohlone men's team, the North No. 1 seed, made the Elite 8 for the second straight season. The Renegades (24-4), champions of the tough Coast Conference-North Division, will open Friday against South No. 4 Saddleback (26-5).

Ohlone's 6-foot-9 center Reggie Jones averaged 14.6 points per game and was the MVP of the Coast-North.

The men's and women's semifinals are Saturday, and the title games are Sunday.

One season after going 8-19 and finishing up with just six players, Laney has been one of the state's best stories under coach Ron Williams.

"It's an interesting mix of kids," said Williams, who has 11 players this season. "I've got kids that are young enough not to know any better, and I got older kids that just have enough belief to think they aren't going to lose anything."

Forward Shonetta Crain-Williams, who topped balanced Laney with 14.4 points per game, has helped the Eagles take flight. She's also a bit of a prophet. After the Eagles' loss to Solano on Dec. 18, she said Laney wouldn't lose another game. Twenty straight wins later, Laney enters the Elite 8.

Crain-Williams had 13 points and 13 rebounds as Laney topped visiting San Joaquin Delta 56-54 in the North Region's final round.

A 2006 El Cerrito High graduate, she had knee surgery after playing as a freshman at San Francisco State. She transferred to Chico State before returning to basketball this season with Laney.

"Her season is kind of indicative of what she does," coach Williams said of his adopted daughter, Shonetta. "She's a tough-minded kid. She goes out there like a journeyman and gets it done. … Bad feet, bad hair, whatever, she just kind of gets it done."

Guard Danielle Larkin (8.8 points a game) and post Divinity Bradley were key returners, and freshman Laticia Booker stepped into the starting rotation with authority.

Ventura beat Laney in the Eagles' season opener Nov. 27 at the Ventura-Kiwanis tournament.

  • WHAT: CCCAA State Basketball Championships
  • Where: Cal Lutheran University, Thousand Oaks
  • When: Today-Sunday
  • WHO: Eight community college men's teams and eight women's teams compete in single-elimination tournaments.
  • LOCAL TEAMS: Today: Chabot women vs. Fullerton, 5 p.m., Laney women vs. Ventura, 7 p.m.; Friday, Ohlone men vs. Saddleback, 3 p.m.

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