Win streak reaches four

Sam L. Jaime, Sports Editor

Since Dec. 16, the Bakersfield College men’s basketball team has only lost one game. With four games remaining in regular season schedule, the team is 17-8 and in first place.

Prior to drubbing Canyons 9179 on Jan. 28, the Renegades’ endurance was tested in back-to-back overtime games.

The first was a nail-biting, three-point victory in double overtime against Santa Monica on Jan. 21, during which freshman guard Jamar Hammonds accounted for 32 points and 15 rebounds.

Hammonds scored another 30 points on Jan. 25 against West LA, leading BC to an exciting 85-82 finish. Since Jan. 18, Hammonds has logged at least 20 points in each game he’s played, a trend that doesn’t surprise head coach Rich Hughes. “He’s capable. He’s had big games in preseason, and like all of our guys, we are playing better now than we did early. He’s a freshman, he’s getting his confidence and you are seeing the result of that,” said Hughes.

Heading into the final stages of the regular season, Hughes is mindful of the task ahead. “They’ve come along way as a group. We just have to stay focused, you can lose focus of what got you to this point of the year, so they just have to keep their minds set on playing for each other,” he said, “we’re just trying to get better. You just want to play your best at the end of the season, and hopefully we’re doing that right now.”

Finishing the season strong is paramount in order for the Renegades to reach the postseason. “We need to be first [place] or second [in our conference]. If we’re third, we won’t get in. If we’re first, we’re automatically in,” said Hughes, “Every game is different. Any team in our league could win the conference. We have to stay focused. We have to play the way we are capable of playing and our biggest thing is the defensive end. If we play good defense, we’ll always have a chance to win the game.”

The Renegades seek to increase their win streak to five games hosting LA Pierce Feb. 4 at 3 p.m. in the Gil Bishop Sports Center. Bakersfield College is 4-1 at home, and 4-0 in conference matchups to this point in the season.