The Fullerton College Hornets are State Bound!
The number one ranked Fullerton College Hornets beat the Chaffey College Panthers 86-70 after hosting them for the SoCal Regional Final and advance to the CCCAA State Tournament in Livermore, California.
Fullerton hit 4 three-pointers and had 7 turnovers over the course of the game but their excellent ball movement, consistent rebounding and strong offense inside the paint made them unstoppable for the Chaffey College Panthers.
Chaffey made a total of 34 rebounds throughout the game and a total of nine baskets from behind the 3 point line but they were unable to overcome Fullerton’s superior ball movement and strength inside the paint and from mid-range.
Freshman forward Kendall Lauderdale lead the charge with an outstanding rebound dunk at 12:04 during the first half, giving the Hornets a 14 point lead over the Panthers.
Sophomore guard Kenny Barnes made 4 out of his 5 free throws during the first and by half time the score was 44-32 Hornets.
In the second half the Hornets really turned on the jets and were more consistent than during their first half performance.
Lauderdale was on fire, dominating inside and making a beautiful mid-range lay-up at the 16 minute mark.
Barnes made sure the Hornets kept the ball by making decisive offensive rebounds and earning 26 points overall. Barnes was 8 for 10 at the free throw line.
Hitting 50 percent of their field goals during the second and making 21 rebounds over the course of the game, the Hornets kept Chaffey from turning the game around, leaving the final score at 86-70.
“I don’t think there’s a team in JUCO history that wanted to win as much as we want to win right now,” said sophomore guard Ian Fox after the game. “Everyone’s playing really well right now and the skies are the limit. We want to win State, that’s the goal.”
“I was in a bit of a funk during the first half but I bounced back and got into the rhythm with my teammates and brought a good energy back into the team,” said Lauderdale after his performance which really shaped the course of the game.
When asked about moving forward Lauderdale commented: “We just got to play our game, don’t let the refs determine our game or the other team determine what we do, we just got to play our game.”
“We’re better on the road,” said Lauderdale.
“I’m really happy we got away with the win and looking forward to next week,” said head coach Perry Webster after the game. “I think Kenny, Ian, Kendall kind of showed that they were the best guys on the floor, and I thought Nick Anderson did a tremendous job guarding their best guy tonight which is a tough task.”
When asked about next week in Livermore: “It’s a three day tournament and that’s hard to win 3 straight but the way you do it is you got to go about it one at a time,” said Perry. “We got to focus on Thursday and then we can focus on Friday and then Saturday.”
“I like the way we’re playing and I think we have a good chance as anybody to go up there and win this thing. We’re not content and we got a lot of work to do,” said Perry.
Next Thursday the Hornets are set to play in the 2017 CCCAA State Finals at Las Positas College in Livermore, California. The State Tournament runs March 9-12.
The number one ranked Fullerton College will play against number four ranked Canada College on Thursday, March 9 at 1:00 pm.
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