Basketball season over for BC teams

Leanne Cave

The 2005-2006 season has come to a close for the Bakersfield College basketball teams. However, both the men and women can reflect back on positive efforts that entertain high hopes for the 2006-2007 season.

The men:

Under first-year coach Rich Hughes, the Renegades managed to accrue an overall record of 18-13 and capture a playoff bid for the first time since 2002, a goal the men had set their sights on before season began.

“On the men’s side, this was Rich Hughes first year as head coach, the fifth in eight years, and it was a great year for us,” said Jan Stuebbe, BC athletic director. “We finished the season with a winning record, we made the playoffs and we were second in the conference. I’m really excited, the future looks real promising for the BC men’s basketball program.”

In the first round of the Southern California Regional playoffs on Feb 22, the ‘Gades traveled to Cerritos College with expectations of adding another victory to their credits as well as advance to the second round.

However, those hopes were dashed when they were beaten by Cerritos, 77-58.

“We achieved some pretty high goals,” Hughes said. “We had the first winning record since 2001(18-13, 8-4 WSC, South Division), we made the state playoffs (first time since 2002) and we finished second in the conference with a chance to win the conference (best since 1998). Nobody expected us to be at this level this season.”

Even though BC did not advance to the second round, there were some individual performances worth mentioning. Terrence Johns, co-Most Valuable Player in the Western State Conference (with Michael Martin of West Los Angeles), led BC with 22 points. Johns was also the leading scorer for the ‘Gades throughout the season with a 46.9 field-goal percentage, nailing 22.5 points per game. He will receive all-state honors as well when they are selected next week, according to Hughes.

“Johns is the second all-state player I’ve coached,” Hughes said.

Andrew Ready scored in double figures against Cerritos, tossing in 14 points. Ready had 85 assists for the ‘Gades and was a WSC honorable mention selection for his efforts this season. Steve Alford also contributed to the ‘Gades success this season with an overall team effort as he was also named to the All-WSC team. Alford scored in double figures a number of times, was the team leader in assists with 109 and was tough on the boards, grabbing rebounds in key situations.

“We had quite a successful year, we would have liked to have gone further, but we have something to build on,” Hughes said. “We were young this season, most of our team coming back. I don’t think anybody expected us to have a chance to win the conference.”

In the season finale at Gil Bishop Sports Center on Feb. 18, the ‘Gades beat Glendale College 80-73 to seal the state playoff invitation. The invitation was especially sweet because of the new format. Under the old format, 32 teams were selected to participate; this season only 20 were invited.

Once again, Johns led the way for BC as he scored 27 points, but it was an overall team effort that eventually sealed the win. Three other players posted double figures in the contest. Aaron Perez added 11 points and pulled down 11 rebounds. Ready banked in 13 while Christian Martin contributed 10 more points. Perez has been stellar on the boards with 218 rebounds for a 7.3 season average.

With all but two players returning for the 2006-07 season, the men’s basketball team should be well on its way capturing a conference championship as well as a state playoff bid.

But only time will tell.

“This season we were pretty good, we made the playoffs,” Johns said. “Next year we will know each other much better and have better team chemistry as sophomores.”

The women:

The Renegades (16-14, 8-4 WSC South Division) did not receive a state playoff bid but made things interesting for the rest of the conference by staying alive in the WSC race, winning six of seven down the stretch. While the two losses to College of the Canyons didn’t help, the loss that ultimately eliminated BC from the regional tournament was a 57-54 loss to Los Angeles Valley in the first half of the season.

“The season was really long for us,” said Sarah Ortiz, BC forward. “We had injuries, and we kind of burned out. We had a talented team and all of us got along so that made the season bearable.”

The up-and-down season ended on a high note when the ‘Gades knocked off Glendale 77-73 on Feb. 18 at the Gil Bishop Sports Center. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough to seal a playoff bid, even though the women had a better overall record than Los Angeles Valley.

In the victory against Glendale, Maddi Padgett, a freshman, scored 23 points, 12 of those resulting from 3-point shots. Padgett was also 4 for 4 on the free throw line.

“Maddi has really come on for us from the perimeter,” said Paula Dahl, BC coach.

Stephanie Roberts, who has played consistently in all phases of the game the entire season, added 13 points, 13 rebounds and six assists. On the season, Roberts has averaged 11.8 points, has 167 rebounds for an 8.0 average per game and 115 assists.

“I’ve just got a lot of open looks,” Roberts said. “I give all the credit to my team. When LaShay went down, we had to come together as a team to get the rebounds, get the open shots and make our lay-ups.”

LaShay Bagsby, who did not play the last two games due to injury, has been a force as well for the ‘Gades. Bagsby has a points average of 12.5, 205 rebounds on the season and plays solid in the post blocking opponents shots consistently.

The ‘Gades were balanced as far as team scoring. Ortiz, who currently plans to attend San Francisco State, led all scorers with a 59.2 field-goal percentage for a 15.1 point average per game. Not only was Ortiz consistent in scoring, but also in rebounding as well, grabbing 193 for an 8.8 per game average.

On the defensive side of the ball, much credit goes to the play of Sharrel Washington, who has contributed to transition scoring with steals and causing turnovers by the opposing teams. “Sharrel has played stellar defense for us,” Dahl said. “Her aggressive style causes the other team to commit turnovers.”