In the CCCAA State Semi-Final game at Ventura College, No. 1 South Fullerton College came out strong against No. 2 North Fresno City College smothering the Rams 58-49.
Both teams entered the game with identical records of 28-3, but Fullerton broke loose with the victory earning another shot at the CCCAA State Title.
The Hornets began the game with a 10-0 run capped off by a three-pointer by Lance Coleman II. At 7:42 FC's defense had confused Fresno (5 early turnovers/9 total in the first half) taking a 19-5 lead. The Rams slowly cut into Fullerton's lead going on an 8-1 mini-run (20-13) at 2:32. The Hornets pushed back with an 8-3 run that was highlighted by a deep three-pointer by Dylan Banks as the first half expired. By halftime, Fullerton owned a 28-16 lead.
FC went into the second half maintaining a 10-point lead through the first ten minutes. By 9:26, Fresno had cut into the Hornet's lead 44-36. Coleman II drained another three at 8:45 beginning a 10-2 run putting Fullerton up 54-38 with 4:37 left in the game. With just under a minute left, Fresno hit two three-pointers getting within five of FC (54-49), but at 25 seconds Jailen Moore widened the gap for Fullerton hitting both of his free throws (56-49). Fullerton, with time on their side, simply ran the clock out preserving the victory and a shot at the 2019 State Title.
Leading all scorers with 15 points was Lance Coleman II. He also added 8 rebounds and 3 assists. Ronne Readus had 10 points with 6 boards, while Dylan Banks put up 9 points with 6 assists. Jailen Moore chipped in with 8 points in the win.
Prior to the game, Lance Coleman II earned All-Southern California Player of the Year honors. This was the second time in the last three seasons that a Hornet was chosen for the award. In 2017, Ian Fox was selected. Ronne Readus earned 1st Team All-State honors as well.
Up Next: The No.1 South Hornets (29-3 overall) will play in the CCCAA State Championship Final against No. 1 North City College of San Francisco (31-1 overall) on Sunday, March 17th at Ventura College. Tipoff is at 1:00 pm.
*Photos by Jim McCormack