Men’s hoops responds after OT loss in Thanksgiving tourney

Omar Oseguera

BC forward Conroy Lester drives to the basket against San Diego Mesa College on Nov. 23.

Esteban Ramirez, Sports Editor

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After losing in overtime to San Diego Mesa College in the first day of the Thanksgiving Tournament, the Bakersfield College basketball team was able to respond with a win over Merritt College.

The Thanksgiving Tournament was at BC from Nov. 23-24.

“I thought we improved from the first tournament,” said BC coach Rich Hughes. “I thought against Mesa we gave it to them, and when we went into overtime they flat beat us.

“We gave them the opportunity to get into overtime. We need to finish out and I thought against Merritt we finished out.

“It wasn’t easy but we pulled it out. We still have a long ways to go, but it’s good to get the monkey off the back.”

On Nov. 24, the Renegades beat Merritt College 70-68 to give BC a 1-3 record early on the season. Guard Van Holloway led the way with 16 points.

Forward Damian Robinson also had a good game, scoring 10 points and grabbing nine rebounds and five of those rebounds were on the offensive end.

Going into the Merritt game, the Renegades were plagued by costly turnovers and giving up an average of 87 points in their first three games, but in this game they only turned it over 10 times and only allowed 68 points.

“We saw improvement in turnovers, but we struggled in our free throws,” said Hughes. “That’s going to be a big issue for us because we missed a lot of free throws against Merritt, but we just managed to hold them off.”

On Nov. 23, the Renegades fell to San Diego Mesa 92-79 in overtime.

BC had a seven-point lead with four minutes left in regulation, but the Renegades were outscored 14-7 by the Olympians to send the game into overtime with the score 74-74. In overtime, the Olympians took control of the game, outscoring the Renegades 18-5.

Leading the way for BC was guard R’Mand Harp with 20 points on 8-of-13 shooting.

Forward Conroy Lester added 14 points and four steals.

“We played hard, but we just got to come out and execute better,” said Harp.

“We took our foot off the gas and it cost us.

“We were up late but they came back, and once they came back instead of fighting harder we just stopped and kind of played weak after that.”

Hughes commented on how the team will respond after getting a win.

“The proof will come in the next game,” he said. “Are we going to rest on that win or are we going find holes that we need to fix? So if we go back to West Hills and turn the ball over, then all this stuff is just talk.

“We don’t want to talk about what we’re going to do, we want to show it, and right now we’ve done a lot of talking.

“It’s time for the team to show how we play, and get some wins the right way, by us fixing our problems and taking that momentum into the next tournament we play in.”

BC’s next scheduled home game will be against Santa Barbara City College on Dec. 1 at 3 p.m.

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