East County Sports

Readus, Hornets eliminate Jaguars

Fullerton after defeating Southwestern and advancing to Ventura.


East County Sports staff report

FULLERTON (3-10-2019) – The California Community College Athletic Association got what they wanted.

In a postseason men’s basketball tournament that totally ignored the state coaches poll, Southwestern College, ranked fourth in Southern California by 8th in the tournament seeds, were eliminated by Fullerton, the Southland’s No. 1 overall ballclub, 87-84, Saturday (Mar. 9) at the Hornets’ Nest.

Fullerton (27-3) joins Chaffey, Citrus and Santa Monica (an upset road winner at Riverside) out of the South Regional and to the state Elite 8, to be held next week at Ventura College. It’s the Hornets second such berth in four seasons.

Meanwhile, the Jaguars, the final Pacific Coast Athletic Conference school in the draw, was eliminated, finishing with a stellar 25-5 overall record.
Trailing by 10 points, 59-49, with nine minutes to play, Southwestern whittled the deficit down to one, 65-64 on a 3-point bucket by Tyler Simmons with four seconds remaining. But forced to foul, Fullerton made two late foul shots to seal the victory.

The teams were level at 31-all at halftime, then Fullerton mounted its brief double-digit lead as Omajae Smith and Lance Coleman each scored 8 points in the second half. Smith finished with a game-best 15 points.

Meanwhile, forward Ronne Readus, who once played his high school ball at El Cajon Valley, completed a double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds.
Simmons led the Jags with 14 points.

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