Team News, 2006-2007 Season - Ohlone College Renegades Women's Basketball

Injuries holding back Ohlone women

By Steve R. Waterhouse, Staff writer.

Reprinted from Inside Bay Area - December 21, 2006.

IN her six years at the helm, Ohlone College women's basketball coach Elizabeth Stanley has transformed the Renegades into one of the top teams in Northern California year in and year out.

Coming off a 23-5 season after which many players left due graduation, the Renegades had to reload.

Stanley was pleased with her freshman recruits and was quite optimistic about this season—until the injury bug hit.

"We've had to shuffle the lineup a lot," Stanley said. "It's pretty bad right now."

  • Point guard Danesha Wright (Berkeley High) has been hampered with a knee injury all year. But she's playing through it and is averaging a team-best 18.4 points per game while shooting at a 41 percent clip.
  • Forward/center Ceciley Johnson (Albany), who is averaging 15.8 points and over 10 rebounds per game, and is shooting 46 percent from the floor, has a broken thumb but is playing through it.
  • Forward Demi Wilson (Mountain View), a 46 percent shooter from the floor who is averaging 5.3 points per game, has a serious knee injury, and her return date is still unknown.
  • Guard/forward Taylor Lyons (James Logan) is playing through a slightly sprained ankle.
  • Guard/forward Aoife Sands (Granada) has a foot injury that she's playing through.

"It's crazy," Stanley said. "From our team's standpoint, every player is critical, and anytime you lose one, it seems everybody feels that sense of loss. And it certainly hurts in our rotation."

All of that has added up to an 8-4 record and a No. 15 ranking in the state.

"If you're going to get injured, this is the time for it to happen, in the preseason," Stanley said.

With all of the injuries, some players have had to step up and play in different positions. Other players are getting the opportunity to play—and making the best of it.

Take American graduate Caprice Hall. Stanley didn't figure the 5-7 guard to get much playing time this season. But Hall has, and she's making an impact nearly every time she gets on the floor.

Hall is averaging 10 points per game.

"We call her 'Steady Eddy,'" Stanley said. "She's been doing the job both offensively and defensively."

Freshman Jeni Williams is also seeing more time. While her stats don't reflect how valuable Williams is, Stanley said, she has played stellar defense.

Sophomore Christina Vargas (John F. Kennedy-Fremont) is also making a difference for the Renegades.

"She's grabbed some big, very big rebounds for us," Stanley said.

All this adds up to a very dangerous Ohlone team, should it get healthy. The added experience for the youngsters, combined with some rest for the veterans, could be enough to get the Renegades deep into the state tournament.

"Our numbers are low right now, but when we get everyone back, we'll be right back up there," Stanley said.

Ohlone will be back in action Friday, when it hosts Chabot at 7 p.m. Many would think this is the big rivalry game, but it isn't. Chabot plays in the Coast Conference North, and the only time the two meet is when a preseason game is scheduled or in the state playoffs.

THE JC ROUTE: There are people out there who have this stigma about community colleges and why people go there.

You don't see or hear anything about that at Laney, where Wednesday four players signed letters-of-intent to further their educational and football careers at four-year schools.

Heading the list for the Eagles is running back Frank Summers (Skyline), who inked his name to attend UNLV.

In his two years at Laney, Summers amassed 2,631 yards on 467 carries and scored 27 touchdowns. He holds the single-game rushing mark at Laney with 280 yards.

Skyline product Logan Uu, a 6-0, 175-pound linebacker, will be heading to Minnesota. Umi Grant, a 6-0 wide receiver from Southern California, is off to Southeast Missouri State. Marc Cheatham, a 6-3 wide receiver from Encinal, is off to Minnesota. Defensive lineman Chris Perry (6-4, 260) will be going to Colorado, and Joe Bates of Skyline inked his name to attend San Jose State.

Staff writer Steve R. Waterhouse can be reached by e-mail at srwaterhouse@angnewspapers.com or by calling (510) 353-7024.

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