Before their anticipated matchup for their last regular season home game, Hornet’s sophomore players Lance Coleman II, Ezekiel Alley, Dylan Banks, Vaj Rice, Jailen Moore, Rodrick McCobb, Ronne Readus, Anthony Resendez, and Harrison Bonner were honored for their contribution to Fullerton College’s basketball program.
In a promise with one another as a team, the Hornets made right on their mission to avenge their second loss of the season that came at the hands of Copper Mountain. This loss was an away game played on Friday, Jan. 25 with a score of 69-63.
Fullerton Head Coach Perry Webster was pleased with his team’s performance following a comeback effort in the second half to blow away their formable opponent.
“We talked about that before the game. The other team we lost to earlier in the season which was Citrus, we had come back and beat again. So we wanted to make a statement for our playoff criteria for anybody who had beaten us, we made sure we would beat them back,” coach Perry explained.
At the start of the first half, the Hornets were able to jump to an early 6-0 lead. This was a result of shutting out the Fighting Cati’s offense with lockdown defense closing the lanes and early missed free throws from Copper Mountain.
However, Copper Mountain found stride after taking the game’s first timeout and proceeded to go on an 18-2 run. During this run, the Hornets couldn’t buy a basket and continued to turn the ball over due to the raised intensity of Copper Mountain’s full-court defense.
Hornet guard/forward Lance Coleman II would help end this run and bring the Hornets closer, as he made two three-pointers and a layup. Hornet guard Roddrick McCobb also added a layup and the Hornets closed the gap heading halftime trailing 23-18.
“In the second half, we knew we couldn’t help but make shots because we played terrible in the first half as nothing fell in. We just stuck together and made the right plays,” Coleman II emphasized.
“It’s always nice to have my parents here. They are my support system and I am always trying to put on a show for them,” Coleman II added.
During the first half, fans from both teams were aware of the last meeting between the two sides. Therefore each possession and especially free throw attempts were met with sound effects from the crowd. Copper Mountain had a distinct female fan who would make screams during every Hornet free throw. Fullerton had the support of the home crowd, cheer squad, and band members.
The second half was all about the Hornets as they came out storming with a 19-3 run in the first seven minutes. This gave the Hornets a 38-26 lead. Hornet guard Jailen Moore started the run by making the first basket of the half with a three-point shot.
Moore would have 3 three-point shots during this run for the Hornets to go along with Coleman’s 2 three-pointers. The only difference for the Hornets between the first and second half was the three-point shots were finally going in.
Hornet guard Dylan Banks played a major role in the Hornet’s rally when he entered the game with the Hornets down 24-23. He maintained a consistency to protect the ball and find open teammates. As a result, the Hornets took the lead and never looked back.
“My job is to facilitate for the team as the point guard. If I play my part and role, we will have continued success,” Banks stated.
“Tonight means everything because my family has always been supporting me through all the things I’ve been through,” Banks added.
From there, the Hornets kept continuing to build up the lead by converting on three-point attempts and hitting their free throws up until the final whistle.
In the second half, the Hornets finished shooting 14 for 30 (46.7%) and 9 for 16 (56.3%) from three compared to their first-half performance of 7 for 34 (20.6%) and 2 for 16 (12.5%) from three in their victory.
Fullerton’s last regular season game will be away against conference opponent Saddleback on Friday, Feb. 22, the Hornets will be crowned as 2019 OEC Champions.