May 28, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

STATE CHAMPS! Fullerton College men’s basketball team brings home the top prize

3/17/19: Tournament MVPLance Coleman II and head coach Perry Webster cut down the nets after their Fullerton College Hornets defeated City College of San Francisco, 85-79, in the title game of the CCCAA State Tournament Sunday at Ventura College. Photo Courtesy Jim McCormack

Tournament MVP Lance Coleman II and head coach Perry Webster cut down the nets after their Fullerton College Hornets defeated City College of San Francisco, 85-79 Sunday. (Photos Courtesy Jim McCormack, For OC Sports Zone).

When your opponent is 63-2 and the defending champion, one of your starting guards is limited to nine minutes of game time because of the flu and fouls, your leading rebounder plays only 10 minutes because of foul problems and then fouls out while sitting on the bench and you are outrebounded by 11 you are likely in for a long afternoon.

To see the slide show, please click on the first photo


And Sunday was a long day but ultimately a joyous one as Fullerton College overcame all of the aforementioned obstacles leading from start to finish in edging City College of San Francisco 85-79 in the CCCAA men’s state championship basketball game at Ventura College.

Monday, Fullerton coach Perry Webster was still feeling the effects of a raucous Sunday. “I’m tired and I have a sore throat, but I’m so proud of our kids. What an amazing performance.”

The Hornets survived in a foul-plagued contest where officials specialized in “reaching” calls while pretty much ignoring much harder fouls. The result was a ragged contest in which 66 fouls were called and eight players, four from each team, left the contest with five personals.

Fullerton went to the foul line 46 times and made 36 free throws, many late in the contest when CCSF was forced to foul. The Hornets made 11 free throws in the final 1:11 … Jailen Moore (3), Rodrick McCobb (3), Lance Coleman II (3) and Anthony Resendez (2).

In such contests heroes emerge and Sunday, for Fullerton, it was a steady 18-point, 9-rebound game from tournament MVP Coleman and a best game of the season for all-tournament selection McCobb, who was the only player on either team to play the entire 40 minutes, scoring a season high and game high 23 points.

“I told Rod before the game he was going to play 40 minutes and I knew he was good to go. He is so mentally tough, a special, special kid,” Webster said.

Fullerton center Ronnie Readus was the team’s third all-tournament choice even though he played only 10 minutes. Readus was on the bench with four fouls five minutes into the second half when his reaction to a foul on Moore in front of the Hornet bench earned him a technical, which counted as his fifth foul.

Moore hit three of Fullerton’s 7 3-pointers, each coming at a point where the Hornets needed a lift and then the three crucial free throws in the final minute.

Reserved guard Dylan Banks, who had an excellent state tournament, was limited to 20 minutes because of fouls but helped the Hornets sustain their game-long lead with 11 points.

With Readus in foul trouble the Hornets also needed a big game from Vaj Rice and he came through with a rugged 27 minutes, scoring seven points and collecting four rebounds. Another reserve, Harrision Bonner also saw extended action, making four free throws and gathering five rebounds in 22 minutes of action.

The trip to the state finals was the second in three years under fourth-year coach Perry Webster. The Hornets lost to San Diego City College in 2017. In four seasons at Fullerton, Webster is 98-26.

The state title is Fullerton’s fourth, the last being in 2006, tying it with CCSF, Compton and Riverside City College for second-most in CCCAA history. Long Beach City College, Cerritos and Fresno City College have each won five.  

FOR PICTURES OF THE HORNETS SEMIFINAL WIN, PLEASE CLICK HERE

FOR PICTURES OF FULLERTON’S OPENING WIN, PLEASE CLICK HERE

-Courtesy Jim McCormack, For OC Sports Zone