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The Hornet

Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

Hornets use a huge run to propel themselves past the Wolverines

Fullerton overcomes a slow start to defeat San Bernardino Valley College to avenge their lone loss from last season in convincing fashion.
Matthew Gonzalez
Hornets’ freshman guard Christian Watson sizes up Wolverines’ freshman guard Kenyani Lee. Watson led Fullerton in scoring with a game high 18 points.

The Hornets secured a convincing win against the Wolverines in the “Hornets Nest” Wednesday night, 76-52.

FC used a 25-6 run to end the first half to get out to a large lead that they never relinquished.

Hornets’ freshman guard Christian Watson stole the show for Fullerton, scoring 18 points on 9 of 11 shooting, a very efficient night for the guard. He also recorded five assists, three rebounds, and four steals, stuffing the stat sheet for the winning squad.

“I was just taking what the defense gave me, my coaches and teammates put me in spots to be successful. Other than that, it was just trusting my work, going out there and getting it done,” said Watson.

Freshman guard Christian Watson attacks the rim for a layup in Fullerton’s 76-52 win over San Bernadino Valley on Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2023. (Matthew Gonzalez)

Last season, the Hornets traveled up to San Bernardino Valley to take on these same Wolverines, where they were handed their only blemish on a near perfect season. This game was personal for the Hornets.

Tensions seemed to run high all game, as there were multiple technical fouls given throughout the game.

“They had gotten us last year, it definitely was a personal game. We wanted to come out and make a statement, especially on our home court,” Watson said.

Once the ball tipped off, you could feel a different energy about this contest. The Wolverines got off to a fast start, taking an early lead over the Hornets 6-1, capitalizing on Fullerton’s early turnovers.

It did not take long for the Hornets to get an energy booster, as around the 16-minute mark Watson was able to create a turnover and sophomore guard Jaden Byers scooped up the loose ball. Byers proceeded to throw down a left-handed dunk over sophomore forward Malachi Owens, igniting everyone in the gym.

Hornets’ sophomore guard Jayden Byers looks to get by his defender, Wolverines’ freshman guard Isaiah Espinoza. (Matthew Gonzalez)

The celebration that ensued angered Owens, as he went on to start a bit of a pushing match between himself and Byers. However, they were separated before anything could escalate, and Byers was assessed with a technical foul.

The lead went back and forth for about six minutes, with neither team really gaining any separation. At one point, the Hornets went back to back possessions airballing three point attempts much to the dismay of Hornets’ head coach Perry Webster.

At the 9:20 mark of the first half, Hornets’ freshman forward Shawn Woodson hit a big three to put the Hornets up 23-18. They did not look back after this, going on a 25-6 run. The Hornets led at the half, 45-24.
“For us, it was just about getting defensive stops consistently. If we could get defensive stops, we know we are a tough team to guard on the other end,” Webster said. “If we continue to get stops, we know we are going to be a tough team to beat.”

The Hornets held the Wolverines just a tad below their season average in field goal percentage to just 37.5% but also held them way below their three point percentage at just 11.1% in the first half.

The defense forced nine turnovers as well, which came from their press defense that gave the Wolverines offense fits all night.

Entering the second half, the Hornets kept the pressure on, playing spectacular defense. Although they continued to get stops for coach Webster, the offense had fallen flat. In stepped freshman guard Addy G’Bye, who recorded 10 second half points to bring the offense back to life.

Fullerton freshman guard Addy G’Bye jump stops and gets ready to shoot while his San Bernadino Valley defender is on G’Bye’s hip. (Matthew Gonzalez)

The Hornets (6-2) offense struggled in the second half overall, shooting 42.9% from the field. The offense leaned heavily on free throws, going 11-15 from the charity stripe.

The Wolverines shooting was not their strong suit, as they came into the matchup shooting just 38.5% from the field and 24.0% from the three point territory. They ended this game shooting just 35.2% from the field and a measly 10.5% from three.

One huge focal point in Webster’s game plan was how could the Hornets slow down the scoring production of the Wolverines dynamic duo, freshman guard Jason Lee and sophomore forward Michael Miller. The two averaged a combined 30 points, nearly half of the team’s scoring each night.

The Hornet defense held them to a combined 12 points on 3-16 shooting. Lee’s only points came from free throws.

“It was about making them play to their weaknesses, also putting guys on them that we believe can be stoppers,” said Webster. “Jaden Byers and Justin Davis I thought did a good job stopping Lee, and Amound Anderson II guarding Miller.”

Hornets’ freshman guard Justin Davis drives baseline, beating his man off the dribble. (Matthew Gonzalez)

Sophomore guard Sylis Gray was the lone bright spot for the Wolverines (3-5) offense, scoring 15 points and grabbing five rebounds. Gray came into the game avergiving just 5.5 points per game.

Outside of Watson and G’Bye, Byers was another source of offense for the Hornets racking up 11 points and three rebounds.

The Hornets will now wait a full week until they play in game action as they host the 37th Annual Fullerton College Classic that starts on Dec. 7 and ends on Dec. 9.

The Hornets first matchup comes up against the Los Angeles Southwest College Cougars on Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. at the Hornets Nest.

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About the Contributors
Quinn Cisneros
Quinn Cisneros, Sports Editor
Quinn Cisneros is a third semester Sports Desk Editor for The Hornet Newspaper.  He is a six-time award winning journalist, including a first place CMA Pinnacle award for Sports Multimedia Story and second place for Sports Investigative Story. His other awards are a Meritorious Award for Enterprise Story/Series for his involvement in a Title IX investigation and honorable mention for Best Game Story from JACC. As a contributor to Around the Hornet in Fall 2023, he received another honorable mention for Audio Podcast and in Spring 2024 as an editor of Around the Hornet, he received third place for Audio Podcast from JACC. His interest in journalism came from his passion of sports. He enjoys watching, playing, and writing about sports. Quinn's end goal in journalism is to become a sports analyst. When not writing he enjoys spending time with his dog.
Matthew Gonzalez
Matthew Gonzalez, Staff Photographer
Matthew Gonzalez is a third semester staff photographer for The Hornet. Aside from being a staff reporter, he is also into sports photography. Matthew's passion in sports comes from watching and covering football, soccer, and basketball. During his free time he enjoys working out or listening to music. He is a huge Taylor Swift lover. Matthew plans on transferring to Cal State Northridge next fall to get a bachelors degree in Journalism.  His end goal is to work for a newspaper company.

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