BC Men tumble boards in 78-74 win over Santa Monica | Sports

With less than two minutes to go on Wednesday night, Eloy Medina caught the ball in his corner, falsified a shot and pocketed a clutch three as his defender sped by to extend Bakersfield College’s lead to five.

It was the dagger and the culmination of mixed outside shooting performance for the renegades who finished 10 of 34 from across the bow.

But just as important was a game a minute later, in one of BC’s last possession, where they failed to score but secured two offensive rebounds to cut the clock and cut Santa Monica College’s hopes for victory.

When all was said and done, BC won 78-74. The Renegades had an impressive 20 offensive rebounds versus Santa Monica’s six, another standout feat for the second best offensive rebound team in the state.

“(It’s) hardship, just hardship,” said BC coach Aaron Chavez. “I’m a fiery guy, that’s just how I am … I expect the same from the kids.”

BC (9-4, 1-0) had to be good on the glass because it shot just under 38 percent off the field, while Santa Monica (6-9, 0-1) shot 49 percent. The Corsairs took countless baskets in the first half, practically unchallenged.

Santa Monica’s efforts were led by Alex Villi (22 points, eight rebounds), who helped the Corsairs build an early lead that was eventually undone by the bench with BC’s Joshua Lewis’ 21 points of the season’s fastest time. Tyrell Coleman almost got another triple-double with 16 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists.

Villi scored an early goal in all respects, with an early putback, pull-up jumper, and spinning layup to increase the Corsairs’ lead to 13-5. But after a Chavez break, Coleman and Lewis hit 3 pointers to trigger a 16-4 run in which Santa Monica’s only two baskets came in transition from Maxwell Moses.

BC used a series of drives from Tony Counts (eight points, 11 rebounds) to take the 21:17 lead and maintained a similar lead for much of the first half. The Renegades missed an important chance to extend them when they gave a last-minute three to Moses and Medina missed an extremely low shot, meaning the Corsairs were only 34-32 back.

That kept them within striking distance even after a 3-pointer pull-up from Coleman and another deep shot from Medina. Santa Monica, who didn’t score in the first half, began pulling contact inward and used six straight free throws to tie the game at 44 before a spinning drive from Moses gave them the lead.

But, as Chavez put it, “Josh did some plays.”

After a timeout, Lewis hit a 3-pointer, then Villi responded with one of his own. Unimpressed, the runner-up came back and put BC in the lead with another, then showed his inside play on a successful drive to make the 52-49.

BC had a total of 17 second chance points and some key points came as the second half came to an end. When Anthony Jaramillo used a near-break layup to give Santa Monica the lead back, Medina cleared things up with a nice one-handed putback. He also quickly countered Villi’s second 3-pointer, who tied the game at 60, making sure BC was in control of the swing.

“The best defense is to let them take the ball out,” said Chavez, “and we were lucky they had to take the ball out when it was really necessary. That gives you two to three extra seconds to come back.”

The most unusual game of the game came when Medina missed from a long distance with four minutes remaining. Coleman blocked the rebound and somehow threw a one-handed putback hookshot through the contact of the Corsairs into the net. He made the following free throw to extend BC’s lead to 68-64. Two minutes later, the offensive rebound from Medina and the Renegades ended the game for good.

“We made a few stops and ended up taking some free throws that we needed,” said Chavez.

With a conference victory in their luggage, the Renegades will travel to Citrus on Saturday.

Reporter Henry Greenstein can be reached at 661-395-7374. Follow him on Twitter: @HenryGreenstein.

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