Weekly men’s basketball update

Mohamed Bafakih, Sports Editor

Bakersfield 64, Canyons 55 (OT):

It couldn’t be a more perfect time for head coach Rich Hughes and his Renegades men’s basketball team to turn this season around.

The Renegades (18-9 overall, 8-5 Western State Conference – South) returned to the Gil Bishop Sports Center last night to face College of the Canyons (14-12, 6-7 WSC) in yet another shootout.

In the first meeting at Canyons on Jan. 24, the Cougars were led by Ricardo Greaves’ 21 points and six rebounds in a 76-74 Canyons win, but Greaves on Feb. 19 was a non-factor as he finished with just four points in 31 minutes.

For BC, it was a slow first half but three players scoring in double-figures in the second half and overtime period helped carry the Renegades to a 64-55 victory.

Bakersfield swingman Deandre Dickson struggled from outside, but two of his 19 points came in at the perfect time. With under a minute remaining with BC down by two, Dickson nailed a jumper inside the three-point line near the team’s bench to tie it up at 48 and force it to overtime where BC’s backcourt of Austin Welch and Jameik Riviere took over.

Welch came in averaging just under two points per game but scored a season-high 10 points with all of them coming in the second half and overtime.

“He’s learning… but he’s tough, fearless and tough to guard,” Hughes said on Welch’s breakout performance.

Riviere also was sent to the free-throw line often down the stretch where he was 6-for-9 on the night.

Riviere finished with a team-high 20 points.

Winners of six straight now, Bakersfield is one win away from going undefeated in the second half of conference play and rightfully its first playoff berth in four years against a well-rested Antelope Valley College team (24-5, 12-1 WSC) here at home at 3 p.m. on Saturday. AVC was scheduled to play Glendale Wednesday night but due to lack of players, Glendale was forced to forfeit.


WSC-South Standings:


  1. Antelope Valley (24-5, 12-1) – ranked 7th in the state and WSC-South Champions
  2. Citrus (16-9, 9-4)
  3. Bakersfield (18-9, 8-5)
  4. West L.A. (16-8, 7-6)
  5. Canyons (14-12, 6-7)
  6. Santa Monica (10-15, 5-8)
  7. A. Valley (9-17, 3-10)
  8. Glendale (3-21, 2-11)