Renegades hit peak as season nears end


Amber Hayden

Sophomore point guard Isaiah Rogers (22) drives against Citrus' defense after a Deandre Dickson (23) screen. Rogers finished with nine points and Dickson finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds in a 74-68 Renegade victory and sweep over the Owls on Feb. 7.

Mohamed Bafakih, Sports Editor

Whether it is head coach Rich Hughes’ precise selection of suits that match the oppositions school colors or just guys wanting to go streaking (winning in this case), Bakersfield College men’s basketball has picked the right time to peak.

The Renegades (17-9 overall, 7-5 Western State Conference – South) decided to reverse an almost mentally extinct four-game losing streak late last month with a five-game winning streak to follow into the last month of conference before yesterday’s matchup against College of the Canyons (14-11, 7-5 WSC).

“Sometimes a pinch doesn’t wake you up, sometimes you need a sludge hammer to the head,” Hughes stated. “If we can get teams in the 60s however, we got a high percentage chance to win.”

During the five-game winning streak Bakersfield allowed 57.6 points per game – lower than Hughes’ goal and over 15 points less than points allowed in the first half of conference.

Prior to finishing out their final two games at home, the Renegades hit the road for the last time in the regular season.

On Feb. 11, it was against Santa Monica (10-14, 5-7 WSC) who torched BC in the Jan. 17 meeting behind Brandon Baker’s 22 points off the bench.

The Renegades, however, caught fire from the opening tip to the final buzzer as they shot 47.6 percent from the field.

Point guard Jameik Riviere filled up the stat sheet with 16 points, six rebounds and six assists while Alex Daniels and Deandre Dickson added 12 apiece to go along with 15 rebounds from Dickson. CJ Johnson came off the bench to add eight points as Bakersfield defeated Santa Monica 71-50.

BC followed that dominant performance once again against Glendale (3-20, 2-10 WSC) on Valentine’s Day after a gut wrenching upset by the Vaqueros in the previous meeting at Gil Bishop.

The Renegades outscored the Vaqueros 50-32 in the second period after being down by four at the break.

“We wore them out,” Hughes said.

Dickson finished in double-figure scoring for the 25th time this season with 21 points to go along with 15 rebounds.

Riviere added 19, Isaiah Rogers with 13, and Demontrey Mitchell and Isiaah Bryant with eight and seven apiece.

“Our focus is to finish this second half of conference 7-0… this is when you are notching it up,” said Hughes.

With one game already played vs. Canyons (updated story and standings on and the conference finale vs. first place Antelope Valley (23-5, 11-1 WSC) at Gil Bishop Sports Complex on Feb. 21 at 3 p.m., the push for the playoffs continue to remain visible for the Renegades.