Hornet sophomore guard Rodrick McCobb earned himself a spot on the all-tournament team after playing the entire 40 minutes, as he led Fullerton over the defending state champions City College of San Francisco in an 85-79 victory Sunday afternoon at Ventura College.
McCobb had a game-high 23 points to go along with 6 rebounds and shot 8 for 12 from the field. While Tournament MVP Hornet sophomore guard/forward Lance Coleman II added 18 points and 9 rebounds with 11 points coming in the second half from the free throw line in his performance down the stretch.
Fullerton faced foul trouble early and had to use their bench players more than usual. However, the Hornets defense stood resilient in the first half only allowing 31 points in 12-37 (32.4%) shooting for the Rams.
After displaying a lockdown defense, the Hornets offense was efficient behind the efforts of sophomore guard Dylan Banks. Banks would have himself 9 points to lead the Hornets in the first half from 3 of 4 shooting. Banks also led the Hornets in steals with 2 during the first half.
Despite the Hornets playing lights out defense to go along with shooting an efficient 12-24 (50%) from the floor and 5-9 (55.6%) from the three-point line, they found themselves only having a 6 point lead going into the halftime.
This point differential proved to be the only difference between deciding who would win the 2019 CCCAA State Championship.
Five Hornet players found themselves in foul trouble with 2 or more fouls.
Entering the second half, McCobb took on the role as the facilitator for the Hornets and operated the offense accordingly.
Hornet sophomore center Ronne Readus would immediately foul out of the game after receiving a technical foul on the bench from celebrating Hornet guard Jailen Moore’s 3 point shot.
Without the Hornet’s big man on the floor, the Rams continued to attack the paint with some success.
In the absence of Readus, both Hornet sophomores Vaj Rice and Harrison Bonner embraced the roles as defensive anchors on the perimeter and in the paint. Bonner grabbed 2 steals and 2 blocks in the closing half for the Hornets.
Despite not being able to find a shot in the second half, Coleman II impacted the game at the charity stripe and on the defensive end by grabbing 6 rebounds. Coleman II knocked down 11-12 (91.6%) free throws. All of his free throw attempts came from the second half and during the crucial period of the game.
This championship game got physical and scrappy at times with fouls being called left and right. In the second half alone, Fullerton had a total of 36 free throw attempts. The Hornets would knock down 28-36 (77.8%) free throws in the second half to secure their victory.
McCobb’s offensive performance in the second half was spectacular and what was the focal point in what propelled the Hornets to victory. McCobb scored 17 points out of his 23 points from 6 of 8 (75%) shooting in the second half.
This is Fullerton’s first state title in 13 years since they won it back in 2006 under head coach Dieter Horton. As a head coach, this was also Fullerton head coach Perry Webster’s first State Championship.
The Hornets complete their historic season (30-3,10-2) as 2019 OEC Champions and more importantly the 2019 CCCAA State Champions.