Region IX Champions!
The OJC men’s basketball team won the Region IX Championship in 2012!
The championship round of the men’s Region IX Tournament came down to a matchup between Otero Junior College and Casper College. In an ‘on-the-edge-of-your-seat’ championship game, the intensity of play was all that anyone could have hoped for as these two teams battled until the closing seconds for the right to advance to the national tournament. Otero led most of the game with its largest lead stretching in 14 points; however there were 10 lead changes and four ties. In the closing seconds the Rattlers widened the gap on a one point lead with a field goal to take the win with a score of 73-70.
Otero Junior College 2012 - 2013 Men’s Basketball Preview
According to seventh-year head coach Houston Reed, the Rattlers have returned seven sophomores from last year’s roster. That number can be misleading because only three of those players gained genuine playing experience. For some added experience, the Rattlers added four transfers to the roster. Five true freshmen will complete the roster.
“This group is as talented as any group we have assembled in my tenure here,” said Reed. “The challenge for this group will be fulfilling specific roles, playing as a collective group, and forming an identity that includes toughness,” he said.
The Rattlers will be not be returning any starters from last year’s 2012 championship team. Perryonte Smith, Chris Strong, and Lathan Lieb all saw consistent action as freshmen. Kallen Link worked hard in the off season to improve his stock. Yoshio Allen missed much of last season with any injury, Elliott Hamdeed and Andre Reider will give the roster added depth. “We will need this group to fulfill a lot of different roles that are equally important,” Reed commented.
The Rattlers added four transfers. Kentwan Smith and Daniel Hield are both natives of Freeport, Bahamas. Smith competed at division one Louisiana-Lafayette last year, while Hield was at Odessa College. Terrell Brown transferred from division one South Dakota and was 5A metro player of the year in Colorado Springs in 2010-11. Point guard Jason Armstead was at Cowley County Community College previously and red-shirted at Otero last spring. “This group of guys really need to get everything out of this season. Their additions could be what puts us in contention,” Reed stated.
On the freshman side, Chris Golden is an all-state guard out of Milwaukee. The Rattlers kept the New Mexico connection alive by gaining sharp shooter James Healy from Cibola High School. The freshmen class is completed by adding three Colorado natives in Derek Hillyer from Bayfield, Nick Ongarato from Broomfield, and Alex Padgett from Fruita. “We love this group of guys. We feel they embody the foundation of the program and are great fits here at Otero,” Reed added.
According to Reed, South Sub-Region IX will now be playing all their opponents in a home-home match up this season. Now giving the Rattlers sixteen conference games. “From our analysis Region IX has a lot of good teams this year. We understand the type of effort and execution we’ll need to play with daily to be one of those teams,” said Reed.
~ Coach Houston Reed
MEET the 2012 - 2013 Rattler Basketball Team
Back Row Left to Right : Andre Reider, Boulder, CO; Terrell Brown, Colorado Spings, CO; Chris Strong, Albuquerque, NM; Kallen Link, Colorado Springs, CO; Daniel Hield, Freeport, Bahamas; Derek Hillyer, Bayfield, CO; Kentwan Smith, Freeport, Bahamas; Yoshio Allen, Aurora, CO; Alex Padgett, Fruita, CO.
Front Row Left to Right : Lathan Lieb, Clovis, NM; Nick Ongarato, Broomfield, CO; Elliott Hamdeed, Colorado Spings, CO; Perryonte Smith, Milwaukee, WI; Jason Armstead, Pleasant View,TX; Chris Golden, Milwaukee, WI; James Healy, Albuquerque, NM.
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