Grant Mollett, M.ED – East Ridge High School

Minneola (November 30)  The East Ridge High School boys’ basketball team opened up its 2018-19 season this past Friday against district rival Lake Minneola High School. The Hawks of Minneola played host to the Knights in a non-district game.  Last season the Knights won both contests against the Hawks, and they hoped to kick off their season with a victory.

The Knights and the Hawks got off to a sluggish start offensively in the first quarter. The Knights slowly worked their way to a 6 – 1 lead in the first five minutes of the game.  Lake Minneola retaliated quickly and tied the game at eight in the last two minutes of the first quarter.  Back to back three-pointers put the Hawks up at the end of the first quarter, 11 – 9.  The second quarter was much more exciting from an offensive standpoint.  Throughout the second quarter, there were six different lead changes, but the Hawks would retain their lead by halftime, 30 – 26. East Ridge struggled from the field, shooting only 37% in the first half. Likewise, the Knights struggled from the line, shooting merely 38% in the first half.  Additionally, the Knights had a difficult time taking care of the basketball, as they committed seventeen turnovers in the first half.

Early in the third quarter, the Knights cut the lead to one with a three-pointer from senior Jose Morales.  However, the Hawks regrouped, and late in the third quarter, they went on a seven-point run against the Knights.  The Hawks extended their lead by the end of the third quarter, 48 – 40. The Knights would have to scrap in order to bridge the gap, as they went on a four-point run to start the fourth quarter.  A three-pointer by senior Kendrick Brown at the 2:30 mark cut the lead to two points.

After four unanswered points by the Hawks, Morales contributed a three-pointer at the 1:12 mark to bring the score to 60 – 57.  In the final minute of the game, Morales would get fouled and make one of two foul shots to cut the lead to two.  The Knights needed a stop, and in an attempt to force a five-second violation, they were called for an intentional foul.  The Hawks capitalized on the two foul shots with thirty-one seconds left to play.  Senior Malcolm Reed was fouled with sixteen seconds left, and he capitalized on both foul shots, making the score 62 – 60, with the Hawks in the lead.

During the fourth quarter, the Knights dropped in a total of four three-pointers, including one in the clutch by Brown with two seconds to play in regulation – putting the score at 64 – 63.  Though the Knights were out of timeouts, they had to find a way to stop the clock, so they called a timeout and received a technical foul.  The Hawks capitalized on both of the foul shots, and the Knights were unable to force a turnover on the last possession of the game.  The Hawks edged out the Knights by a score of 66 to 63.


Total Points – 63















The Knights were led by senior Kendrick Brown, who scored 24 points. Additionally, seniors Jose Morales and Malcolm Reed contributed 13 and 12 points, respectively.   Malcolm Reed also pulled down eight rebounds and delivered three assists. Additionally, junior Treasure Bennett led the Knights with eleven rebounds.  Senior Jose Morales led the Knights in steals with six.

This season the East Ridge boys’ basketball team is placed in Class 8A District 5 with the following teams: East River, Edgewater, Lake Howell, Lake Minneola, Ocoee, West Port, and Windermere.  They hope to make some noise in the district this season and improve from their district tournament performance last season. Last season, East Ridge defeated Lake Howell High School in a district quarterfinal game but lost to Ocoee High School in a district semifinal game.

East Ridge has a talented group of seniors who are eager to compete in a competitive district this season.  The Knights will be led by returning seniors Jose Morales, Kendrick Brown, Bryan Lupianez, and Carter Holt.  Juniors Treasure Bennett, Malik Favours, Ben Ritzel, Dawson Metcalf, Caliq Jones, Gavin Schepman, and Jorell Cuthbert along with key transfers senior Malcolm Reed, senior Michael Powell, and junior Austin Grant will round out the Knights’ 2018-19 roster.  The Knights are coached by Mike Clutter, who is in his seventeenth season as the varsity head coach at East Ridge High School.

This week the Knights will travel to Umatilla on Monday night, December 3rd for a 7:00 tip-off. On Thursday night, December 6th the Knights will have their home opener with district rival Edgewater. Last season, Edgewater High School defeated East Ridge in the regular season, and won the district title and advanced to a regional final contest in the post-season.

Grant Mollett

Grant Mollett, M.Ed., is the ERHS Social Studies Department Chairperson, AP World History and AP European History Teacher, Varsity Girls Cross Country Coach, and Varsity Boys Basketball Assistant Coach. He is also a contributing ERHS sports writer for the SOUTH LAKE TABLET.

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