In the Hornets biggest margin of victory this season, the men’s basketball team beat Irvine Valley College Wednesday night in a collective effort, 71-32. Fullerton had their best defensive showing for Head Coach Perry Webster’s return to The Nest.
“It’s always good to get a win on our home floor and I was excited to be back with the guys,” Coach Perry emphasized.
During the first five minutes of the game, Irvine Valley was held scoreless while the Hornets went up 8-0. When the Lasers finally scored off a layup, the Hornets immediately responded in their next possession as Sophomore Center Ronne Readus pounded inside for an easy layup off an assist from Sophomore Guard/Forward Lance Coleman II.
Once Sophomore guard Dylan Banks entered for the Hornets seven minutes into the game, he made an immediate impact on both ends of the court. It started with his steal from halfcourt and Banks followed it with a fast break transition dunk attempt that turned into a made layup including the foul.
“I took care of the ball very well and got my teammates open. I take pride in being responsible to run the offense when I’m on the floor. In addition, every game is a chance to get better, and if we keep playing defense the sky’s the limit for our team,” Banks said.
This sequence demoralized the Lasers while at the same time energized the Hornets and their fans. Banks was immediately greeted by his teammates after making the layup. Banks would follow up the layup by converting at the free throw line to complete the three-point play to make the score 18-4 in favor of the Hornets.
When the Lasers made a push and cut the lead to 12 points in the latter stages of the first half, Hornets Coach Perry executed a timely rotation to bring back starters Coleman II and Sophomore Guard Jailen Moore into the game to secure their lead.
By the end of the first half, the Hornets would push their lead back to 15 points leaving the score 34-19 going into halftime.
Coming out of halftime, the Hornets quickly went on a 6-0 run starting with Coleman II’s three-pointer via Freshman Guard Omajae Smith’s assist. Smith would follow Coleman II’s shot in their next possession by converting on an and one opportunity.
From then on, Coleman II would make five out of his next six shots in the second half. This included a 4 point play that added excitement to a game that already was concluded.
With the combination of the Hornet’s lockdown defense that was further displayed in the second half, the Lasers also cleared their bench knowing the game was already in hand.
Ultimately, the Hornets proved to be too big and strong for the Lasers. Irvine Valley tried everything they could but wasn’t able to prevent the Hornet’s biggest blowout margin of victory performance. There were countless possessions in both halves where the Hornets bullied their way to the basket and rebounds.
As a result, the Hornets would finish the game with five steals and six blocks to go along with another double-double performance from Coleman II (20pts-11reb-3ast).
“Tonight we did a good job coming out the game with energy by playing defense and taking open shots. We look at every game to get better for what we want to accomplish down the road,” Coleman II stated.
“We don’t need to worry about our opponents, we just need to keep playing well. That’s not a very great opponent. They’re a bad team, but our guys still came out to play hard and so I’m happy,” Coach Perry added.
The Hornets (22-2) (7-1) will play on the road against conference opponent Santa Ana College Friday, Feb. 8 at 5 p.m.