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The Hornet

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The Hornet

Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

Hornets claim the top seed for SoCal Regionals

Fullerton finished their regular season as the 2019 OEC Champions, posting a record of (25-3 overall) (10-2 OEC).

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Hornet players Dylan Banks, Ronne Readus, Rodrick McCobb, Lance Coleman II, and Omajae Smith pose after practice on Tuesday, Feb. 26. Photo credit: Ciera Chavez

Lance Coleman II has been the leading scorer for the Hornets averaging 19.5 ppg to go along with 7.6 rebounds and 2.5 assists. This earned him co-MVP of the Orange Empire Conference.

“Honestly, it’s a nice award to have. I could have not done it without the support of my family, coaches, and players around me,” Coleman II stated.

Coleman II scored a career-high 40 points against Orange Coast College on Jan. 30, during his MVP season.

“I walked into a different mentality. I knew that when Zeke went out, I would have to take on another scoring role,” Coleman II added.

Ronne Readus averaged a double-double of 12.6 ppg and 11.3 rebounds throughout the season as he took on the sole responsibility of being the Hornet’s anchor on defense. As a result, Readus was selected as Defensive Player Of The Year for the Orange Empire Conference.

“It’s a great accomplishment… I worked really hard individually on my off time by myself to do what was necessary to have a successful season. My mentality changed from not knowing what was expected of me last year to being a dominant presence on both ends of the court,” Readus reflected.

Readus recorded a season-high 19 rebounds for the Hornets on four different occasions and had a monster performance that propelled the Hornets over their rivals Cypress on the road. During this performance, Readus had 21 points, 19 rebounds, and 7 blocks in the 68-64 victory on Jan. 23.

To go along with having both MVP and DPOTY players on the roster, the Hornets had several players be recognized for their achievements on the court. Sophomores Jailen Moore and Rodrick Mccobb were selected to First Team All-Conference players, while freshman Omajae Smith was selected to Second Team All-Conference.

“It’s been a long time coming to be honest with you. Last year I didn’t receive any recognition like that. This year I’ve been putting in all the work, so I really earned it for myself. But I’m not done yet, the real award is putting on that ring,” McCobb emphasized.

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Fullerton Head Coach Perry Webster had the following to say on being selected as Co-Coach of the year and his team’s success as student-athletes throughout the season.

“I try not to get involved in thinking about my own personal goals or awards. For me, it’s more exciting that our players were recognized for their outstanding achievements. I just try to focus on the process daily of molding the team….also trying to enrich all of the athletes within our program’s experience. I believe we’ve done a great job these last 4 years and are only going to continue to get better as we move forward,” Hornet head coach Perry explained.

The Hornets have shown that through unselfishness and overcoming adversity, anything is possible with this talented group of athletes.

“Rodrick and Omajae have been so key because of their unselfishness and willingness to focus on defending and rebounding and helping Lance, Ronne, and Jailen get their shots in their spots,” coach Perry vocalized.

Although the team faced their biggest hurdle of the season when they lost Zeke Alley, coach Perry believes at times it has been difficult for the team to adjust with guys having to play out of position, but the team has handled the challenge pretty well.

Coach Perry reflected on how this group of players has had such a big impacted his coaching career.

“No group of guys has ever impacted me the way this team has. Entering my fourth year here, I felt like personally, I needed a little shot in the arm and this group provided it. More than any other year I really got to focus on coaching basketball,” coach Perry admitted.

“I am so proud of this group of guys, I’m so proud of where we have gotten to as a program in our recruitment of high level and high character players. I will remember this group and certain players on this team for the rest of my coaching career. I have no doubt about that,” coach Perry added.

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Coach Perry telling his team they need to make a few adjustments on defense so they can stop their opponents and get the win for the Hornets. Photo credit: Tameka Poland

In a season filled with accolades, the Hornets have their eyes set in winning State Championship after losing to this year’s quarterfinal opponent Allan Hancock last season in the second round.

“The key moments were honestly all the loses we took. They made us better by making us bounce back even stronger and further than we were before. So that really helped us get to where we are today,” added Coleman II.

The SoCal quarterfinal matchup is set for Saturday, Mar. 2 at 7 pm. Fullerton will play on their home court against Allan Hancock and try to avenge last year’s loss.