The No. 1 team in California, Fullerton College, took on district and conference rival Cypress College on Wednesday night in the Hornets Nest and bested the Chargers 68-64.
Fullerton's record now stands at 19-1 overall and 4-0 in the Orange Empire Conference. Ranked No. 15 in Southern California, Cypress' loss places them at 14-7 overall and 3-2 in the OEC.
Fullerton is now riding a 17-game win streak, but their streak of beating opponents by an average of 21 points ended tonight at 3 games.
Having a bye last Friday, the Hornets looked well rested as they opened up the game with a 7-2 run. The first bucket of the game was a resounding dunk by Ronne Readus. FC pushed their lead to 18-9 by the 10-minute mark that was set up by a couple of free throws by Dylan Banks
Fullerton's defense kept Cypress out of sync throughout the first half forcing them to shoot just 22%. With 3 minutes left, Fullerton took a 14-point lead (29-15). Banks' three-pointer helped the cause. By the end of the half FC maintained a healthy 34-21 advantage.
If anyone in the crowd thought that the second half would be much of the same with Fullerton cruising on for the win, they were wrong.
The Hornets did come out hitting two more shots for their largest lead (17) to open the half going up 38-21 by the 18-minute mark. However, the Chargers came out dealing as they went on an astounding 26-10 run that stretched 10 minutes. A three-pointer by Isaac Stell brought Cypress within 1-point with 7 minutes left to play. The dogfight was on.
The final 7 minutes featured 4 lead changes and 5 ties as both teams slugged it out until the final second. With 19-seconds left in regulation and the game tied 64-64, Lance Coleman II put FC ahead hitting both of his free throws. Cypress drove down to the top of the key with 6 seconds launching a three-pointer and missed. The Hornet's Ronne Readus was fouled after rebounding the ball and fouled. Forced to the free throw line with seconds left, Readus hit both to put the game on ice.
Ronne Readus was unstoppable nearing a triple-double with 21 points, 19 rebounds, and 7 blocked shots. Lance Coleman II delivered 12 points with 8 rebounds, and Jailen Moore chipped in with 9 points. Omajae Smith put up 8 points with 5 rebounds and Rodrick McCobb scored 6 with 6 rebounds.
Up Next: No. 1 Fullerton (19-1 overall, 4-0 OEC) travels out to Copper Mountain this Friday, January 25th for another conference match-up. Tip off is at 5:00 pm.