BC tops Canyons in conference home-opener by 41

Mohamed Bafakih, Contributing Edtior


It didn’t take very long for the state’s 16th-ranked team, Bakersfield, to defend its ranking as they bulldozed past College of the Canyons Saturday evening at Gil Bishop Sports Center, 99-58.

The 41-point win was the largest margin of victory this season for Bakersfield (13-3 overall, 2-0 Western State Conference-South), which had four players finishing in double figures led by freshman James Pendleton’s 19 off the bench (8-of-11 FG).

“It was really good to see him gain some confidence tonight and show what he could really do,” head coach Rich Hughes said following the onslaught. “He’s our Vinnie Johnson of the Detroit Pistons age [minus the nickname ‘The Microwave’]…he’s just an energy guy and can score it quick.”

Both teams swapped lead changes early in the game, but a 7-2 run for the Renegades midway through the first half jump-started a series of steals and transition buckets.

BC came into the conference home-opener second in the state in both assists per game (18.8) and steals per game (11.9).

“Our guards are very fast,” Hughes said as to what enables them to commit steals. “Whatever limitations we have offensively, we got to make up for it with transition steals in the press and we were able to do that tonight.”

Canyons (5-9, 0-2 WSC-South), came in ranked at the bottom in turnovers a game with 19.3, committed 24 turnovers against the Renegades with 18 coming off of BC steals.

The Cougars were led by James Chevious’ 13 points and nine rebounds as the team combined for a 36 percent shooting night from the floor.

Bakersfield’s Jameik Riviere added 17 points, 12 assists and five steals, while his backcourt mate Lawrence Moore chipped in 12 points and seven steals. Sophomore big-man Deandre Dickson also posted 15 points and nine rebounds.

The Renegades will head to L.A. Valley (6-8, 2-0 WSC-South) on Jan. 13 and Glendale (5-9, 1-1 WSC-South) on Jan. 16 before returning home for a big showdown against Antelope Valley (16-1, 2-0 WSC-South) on Jan. 20.

“They [Antelope Valley] are two-time defending conference champions and atop of the state, so we’re always going to play catch-up to them…if we take care of business and they take care of business the next two games, it’ll be a phenomenal game and hopefully we get a lot of fans out,” Hughes said.