Hornets Tame the Wildcats


Freshman guard Jeremiah Davis slams home a breakaway drunk while freshman guard RJ Banks tries to jump with Davis at Fullerton College on Feb. 25, 2023. Photo credit: Yasmin Sotelo

Quinn Cisneros, Staff Writer

The Hornets easily breezed by the Wildcats Saturday night in the second round of the CCCAA Regionals at the Hornets Nest. Fullerton built off a 25-4 run midway through the first half and never looked back, winning 106-71.

The Hornets had numerous big game contributors, but the one that stood out the most was freshman guard Jeremiah Davis. Davis scored 20 points in just 23 minutes shooting an efficient 75% from the field along with four rebounds, one steal, and an assist.

“I took advantage of getting downhill. They weren’t great at defense. We just took advantage of getting by them and making the right plays, making extra passes, just simple stuff like that,” Davis said.

Freshmen guard/forward Jeremiah Davis shooting for a 2 pointer against West Los Angeles College on Sat. 25, 2023
Freshmen guard Jeremiah Davis hitting the mid-range jumper over freshman guard John Clausell at home against West Los Angeles College on Feb. 25, 2023. Photo credit: Yasmin Sotelo

This wasn’t the first time the two teams squared off this season. The two programs first met on Dec. 9th in the 36th Annual Fullerton College Classic, where the Hornets came away with an 84-70 win.

It was however the first time the Hornets (28-1) played a game in just about two weeks. The big question was whether there was going to be any rust. It looked like there was early on in the game.

Things were tied at 18 a piece midway through the first half until the Hornets exploded on a 25-4 run to make the score 43-22 within just eight minutes of game action.

“There was a little bit of concern, I thought the first 5-10 minutes there was a little bit of rust that we had to shake through,” said Head Coach Perry Webster. “Then, I thought once we got past that we were good. It took us a little bit to get our legs, I thought guys were a little tired. I got to do a better job of that as we head into the next week.”

The Hornets had great momentum heading into the break being up 47-31 shooting 46.9% from the field while holding the Wildcats (19-11) to just 35.3% from the field. The Hornets were able to force nine turnovers alone in the first half.

“We flipped to a zone for a little bit and just kind of threw them out of their rhythm. Then, we got ourselves going. It was just a matter of time before we started hitting shots. We didn’t feel like they could stop us. We felt like there were a lot of bad matchups out there for them,” Webster said.

Once the second half started, the Hornets picked up right where they left off. The Hornets shot 65.7% from the field in the second half. Sophomore guard Kobe Newton shot a perfect 5-5 from the field scoring 13 of his points in the period, while freshman guard Sean Newman Jr. had a couple of spectacular “And-1’s” that had the crowd ecstatic.

Freshmen Sean Newman Jr. going up for a lay up against West Los Angeles College on Sat. 25, 2023
Freshmen Sean Newman Jr. finishing a layup with a West Los Angeles College defender closing in at The Hornets Nest on Feb. 25, 2023. Photo credit: Yasmin Sotelo

The Hornets would go on a 14-2 run to put them up 30 at around the 10-minute mark. Just to show how things were going for the Hornets on the evening, sophomore guard Shaquil Bender wasn’t able to finish a dunk, but the ricochet bounced right to Newton standing in the corner, and he was able to finish it off with a nothing but net three-pointer.

Yet again, it was an intense game with high emotions considering it is the playoffs. At around the 16-minute mark in the second half Newman Jr. was fouled hard yet converted the basket anyways.

The nature of that foul by Wildcats freshman center Elijah Charles had the Hornets entire team upset. What happened afterwards was a pushing match that had to be halted immediately, while benches were held back. Charles and Bender were assessed with double technical fouls.

When asked about the situation Davis was honest. “We just wanted to play smart. We already knew adversity was going to hit us. We already knew they were going to talk their ‘trash’ [and] we did not want to feed into their energy.”

Newman Jr. led all scorers for the game with 24 points and five assists. While Newton had 21 points of his own in the win.

Sophomore guard Kobe Newton goes up for a lay up against Sophomore guard Devan Ford at Fullerton College on Sat. 25,n 2023
Sophomore guard Kobe Newton puts the ball high and off the glass to score over the leaping sophomore guard Devan Ford at Fullerton College on Feb. 25, 2023. Photo credit: Yasmin Sotelo

The Wildcats were led by freshman forward Joshua Jones Jr., who kept his team afloat for a short while in the first half scoring 20 points for the game. Sophomore guard Gavin Davis tacked on 14 points as well in the losing effort.

The Hornets will remain at the Hornets Nest to face the San Diego City Knights (24-5) at 7 p.m. on Saturday March 4th.