The Bakersfield College women's basketball team opens the 2017-18 season with high expectations after narrowly missing out on winning the Western State Conference-South a year ago.
Last season the Renegades (17-9, 8-2 WSC-South) won 17 of their final 21 games after an 0-5 start and finished in second place in the WSC-South, just one game behind Santa Monica.
BC, which last won a conference championship in 2015, closed out the year on four-game winning streak. The Renegades were competitive every time they took the floor. BC led or was tied for the lead going into the fourth quarter in each of its four post-Thanksgiving losses.
Despite returning just four players, The Renegades hope to continue their winning ways when they host Pasadena City College on Friday at 7 p.m. and Riverside City College on Saturday at 5 p.m.
Both games are part of the four-team Turner-Stanley Crossover Tournament, which will be played at the Gil Bishop Sports Center.
The two-day event will also feature Antelope Valley College.
Croney was fourth on the team in scoring in 2016-17, averaging 9.1 points per game on 44.9-percent shooting from the field. She also pulled down 4.1 rebounds per contest.
Kroeger ranked second on the team in rebounding (6.9 RPG) and averaged 4.9 PPG.
"Croney has just ratcheted it up a notch," BC coach Paula Dahl said. "She really can get up and down the floor. She is great at anticipating steals. She can get to the hole and she can rebound. Angie is not afraid to muscle up inside on the post. She's very athletic and can rebound. She can also shoot and she can get to the rim."
Croney and Kroeger will be joined in the projected opening-game starting lineup by fellow second-year BC players Bianca Zamora (3.2 PPG) and Tristyn Salazar (2.8 PPG) plus freshman Breanna Mendez (Arvin High School).
Dahl is excited about her current group of players. She believes they can compete with the same high level of intensity and teamwork that helped BC rank No. 3 in the state in steals per game (16.0) and 12th in assists per game (16.2) a year ago.
"We're returning some really solid kids, who have really set an amazing tone for energy," Dahl said. "And then we have some really key freshman that are really going to help us out a ton. I'm pretty excited to see what we're going to do."
Dahl's biggest concern for her team is a lack of depth inside. The Renegades also lack a true point guard but according to Dahl that shouldn't be a problem.
"My style of offense doesn't really require that," Dahl said. "They can shoot and they can do a lot of really good things. I think we're just going to be fun to watch."
But more importantly the Renegades should be conference title contenders.
"Winning the conference championship is always our goal," Dahl said. "We're working hard to try to accomplish that. We were pretty close last year. I definitely want to be in the hunt again this year."
The Renegades open their season this Friday, when the host the Turner & Stanley Crossover Tournament. Riverside, Antelope Valley and Pasenda will be the other particpants in the tournament. BC will play two games over the weekend.
Riverside vs. Antelope Valley - 5:00 PM
Bakersfield College vs. Pasadena - 7:00 PM
Antelope Valley vs. Pasadena - 3:00 PM
Bakersfield College vs. Riverside - 5:00 PM