The Fullerton College men’s basketball team is off to a hot start after a second place finish at the Bakersfield Tournament. The Hornets lost to host and eventual champion Bakersfield 72-65.
The Hornets have been a part of three preseason tournaments and have placed no lower than third. Their lone tournament championship came at the Fullerton Classic, where they went 3-0 and their average margin of victory was 20 points.
When you take into consideration the history of Fullerton College basketball, this year’s hot start should come as no surprise. But after consecutive substandard seasons, this year’s team looks to restore the reputation of Fullerton basketball. After surpassing last season’s four wins just a couple weeks into the season, the team has given Hornet fans something to cheer about.
Fullerton has taken down some successful teams in the process. One of their more prominent victories was over previous unbeaten Mt. San Jacinto College who was in last year’s So Cal Regional semi-finals.
The recent success can be accredited to the new head coach Perry Webster and the influx of new players. Hornets Julian Richardson and Ian Fox are new additions to the team, but have taken leadership roles.
Richardson is leading the Hornets in scoring with 16.4 points per game.
“Julian can score from all three levels and is getting better defensively,” said Webster. “He has taken a leadership role with the guys and as a coaching staff we can rely on not only for basketball, he has been a really good Hornet for us.”
Fox has run the Hornet offense from the point guard position. He is averaging 12.1 points per game and leads the team in assist and steals.
The Hornets will compete in one more preseason tournament at Riverside City College Dec. 8-12. After the tournament, they will go on winter break before their last preseason contest against El Camino College. The Hornets will begin conference play Jan. 6 at Irvine Valley.
Webster knows the struggles of a long season being a key part of two state championship runs. Hopefully the coaches can keep the players hungry for more success this season.
“We are not satisfied, we know what this team can do,” said Webster. “We like winning, but we are not too high or too low, we want more.”