The No. 1 South Fullerton College Hornets took on the No. 4 North Santa Rosa Junior College Bear Cubs in the quarterfinal game of the CCCAA State Championships held at Ventura College Thursday night. The Hornets narrowly prevailed 71-68.
The win advances Fullerton to the semifinal game for the second time in four seasons with Head Coach Perry Webster at the helm. It also ended the Bear Cub's successful season with an overall record of 23-8.
Santa Rosa dropped in their first two buckets taking a 4-0 lead to open the game. FC fired back with a three-pointer by Rodrick McCobb. The Bear Cubs pressed back taking a 9-3 lead. FC answered the call with a series of three's that tied it up at 16-16 by 13:47. Fullerton's defense managed to contain SRC's two hot shooters (Skylar Chavez 10 pts./ Ryan Perez 9 pts.) by the 4-minute mark going on a 11-6 run. By the end of the half, the Hornets owned a 37-31 lead.
In the second half, Fullerton and Santa Rosa continued to battle it out shot for shot. By 10:18, SRC owned a slim 51-49 lead. Coleman II hit a three to tie it up 56-56 at 7:56, but the Bear Cubs went on a 7-0 run taking a 63-56 edge at 6 minutes. The Hornets punched their way back into the lead (67-66) thanks to a trio of deadly three-pointers by Coleman II. With 33 seconds left in the game, Santa Rosa took a 68-67 lead, Coleman II struck again hitting 2 free throws to put the Hornets back up at 69-68. SRC was denied a bucket with 10 seconds left and you know who sealed the game with 2 more free throws... Coleman II. Santa Rosa had a few seconds to launch one more three to tie it up and missed as the last second ticked off the clock. In all, Coleman scored Fullerton's last 13 points to win the game.
It should not shock anyone who watched the game that FC's Lance Coleman II led all scorers with 31 points. He also added 13 rebounds for a double-double. Jailen Moore and Ronne Readus both contributed 12 points each. Readus also had 11 rebounds. Rodrick McCobb chipped in with 9 points in the win.
Up Next: Fullerton (28-3 overall) will play in the semi-final game against No. 2 North Fresno City College (28-3 overall) on Saturday, March 16th back at Ventura College. Tipoff is at 3:00 pm.
*Photos by Jim McCormack