The Hornets knock down the Pirates on Sophomore Night

Cristian Sandoval

The Hornets showed no love to the Orange Coast Pirates in yesterday’s 81-52 home victory and improving to 21-4.

On a night were Fullerton College Sophomores were shown appreciation before the game, the Hornets 29 point victory moved them up to third place in the Orange Empire Conference to a record of 10-4.

The Hornets were coming off a devastating loss to Santiago Canyon that gave them their fourth loss of the season.

The start of the game was back and forth, with the Pirates being up 15-14 at the eleventh-minute mark.

From there the Hornets went on a 27-8 run during the first half putting the score at 41-23 in favor of Fullerton.

From there, the Hornets never looked back and the Pirates were never able to regain the lead.

Maintaining the lead and not relaxing was something the Hornets were very aware of.

“It’s not that time of year, our guys understand that … so we won’t be doing any relaxing,” said FC Head Coach Perry Webster.

The Hornets had a very productive first half, with freshman guard-forward Ronnie Stapp providing four out of the seven steals in the first half.

Fullerton also outscored the Pirates bench 15-1 in the first half and managed to shot 56% from the field goal range, surpassing their season average of 46%.

The Hornets started the second half strong with an 11-5 run, with freshman center Jacob Eyman making back to back dunks and extending Fullerton’s lead to 24 points.

As the second half played on, the Hornets struggle to score and went almost four minutes without a basket until Ronnie Stapp made a layup and extended the score to 63-41.

Although Fullerton finished the game with a win, they managed to have 17 turnovers and the Hornets conceded 23 points from those turnovers which troubled FC Coach Perry Webster.

“Yeah, that was concerning. We sat DJ a lot and Omajae a lot in the second half … and those guys are our primary ball handlers, so other guys are having to handle the ball and there were some mental mistakes that we could clean up but they competed pretty hard in the defensive end and I’m proud of that,” said Webster.

The Hornets score leader was sophomore point guard DJ Houston, scoring 16 points, had 6 assists, 6 rebounds and 4 steals.

The team’s second score leader was freshman forward RJ Knibb, coming off the bench and scoring 15 points, 5 rebounds as well as 1 assist.

There are two games left in the season and the Hornets are looking to finish on a strong note.

“We really have to finish strong, coming off a huge loss … we were really motivated to pull through and get these last two wins after this one and get us a boost for playoffs and have a streak going, getting our confidence up,” said Houston.

Next Up: The Hornets will continue to finish the season strong as they will visit Conference leaders Riverside College on Wednesday, Feb. 19, at 5 p.m.