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The No. 1 Hornets will play in the title game of the state tournament for the third time in five seasons after defeating No. 3 East LA 75-63.

It will be the third trip to the ship for Head Coach Perry Webster's Hornets. The last time they won it all was the 2018-19 season when the No. 1 from the South Fullerton beat the No. 1 from the North San Francisco 85-79. It will be an exciting title game on Sunday with two heavyweights ready for a rematch.

The game against East LA played out like their first meeting last December 2nd with the Hornets beating the Huskies by double digits.

Fullerton came out a little cold in the opening minutes as East LA took advantage with a 14-5 lead by the thirteen-minute mark. The Hornet offense soon woke up swinging a 9-2 run getting back in the game by eleventh minute (16-14) on a three-pointer by RJ Banks. The fight was on as both teams went neck and neck down the halftime stretch. By the time the dust cleared by the end of the first half the Hornets and Huskies were tied up at 35-35.

The battle continued for the first four minutes of the second half, until ELAC swung the momentum their way with a 50-43 lead by the twelfth minute. The game changed dramatically by the sixth minute in Fullerton's favor when Jeremiah Davis slashed to the basket for layup putting the Hornets up 57-56. Smoking like a barn-fire, the Hornets took off blazing on a 12-0 run with less than two minutes left in the game (69-56). With the damage done and armed with a healthy lead, Fullerton ran out the clock sending the team to the state title game.

Sean Newman Jr. led the pack in scoring with 19 points and 6 assists. RJ Banks followed that up with 13 points and 5 rebounds. Jeremiah Davis scored 10 points and Shaquil Bender dropped in 9. Sammy Howlin scored 7 points and was a beast on the boards with 13 rebounds.

Making the All-State Team for Fullerton were Sean Newman Jr. and Shaquil Bender.

Up Next: The No. 1 Hornets (31-1 overall) will play No. 1 in the North San Francisco (29-3) on Sunday, March 12th in the CCCAA Title Game at 1:00 pm. WATCH THE GAME LIVE!

Fullerton and San Francisco battled it out earlier in the season (Nov. 17) with the Hornets getting past the Rams in an overtime shootout 105-102. The defending State Champion, CCSF defeated West Valley last season in the title game 91-66.

*Photo by Jim McCormack