By ERHS Student Bryan Lupianez and Coach Grant Mollett
The Knights played seven games over the past two weeks and ended up winning four and losing three. Unfortunately, two of those three losses were district losses. Those losses will directly impact the Knights’ seeding in the district tournament in February.
January 14, 2019
Records: East Ridge Knights (6-5); Umatilla Bulldogs (2-13)
The Lead: East Ridge cruised to a victory over Umatilla for their third straight win on Monday night’s contest. Senior guard Jose Morales had himself one of his best games of the season, filling up the stat sheet with 11 points, 6 rebounds, 8 assists, and 5 steals. Complementing him were senior guards Bryan Lupianez and Malcolm Reed who lead the game in scoring with 18 and 16 points, respectively. Junior guards Austin Grant and Gavin Shepman stepped up and gave the Knights some energy off the bench by scoring 8 points (Grant) and securing 6 rebounds (Shepman).
The Knights hosted the Umatilla Bulldogs in their fourth consecutive game. The Knights set the tone early in the game by getting a plethora of steals and drawing fouls to convert into points at the free throw line. However, The Bulldogs showed some life, as they scored in back to back possessions. East Ridge lead at halftime 29-14.
The third quarter was a field day for the Knights, as the Bulldogs had trouble breaking their full-court press, and East Ridge converting with an abundance of transition buckets. The fourth quarter was the Knights’ best quarter of the game. They did not seem to let up and scored an impressive 26 points. The Knights looked like they were clicking and having fun to collect their third straight win by finishing the Bulldogs off with a score of 72-51. East Ridge will host its first-ever in-school game tomorrow versus Mount Dora High School to finish off their 5 game stretch and looking to secure their 4th straight win.
Bryan Lupianez (Senior) – 18 Points
Malcolm Reed (Senior) – 16 Points
Jose Morales (Senior) – 11 Points, 6 Rebounds, 8 Assists, 5 Steals
Austin Grant (Junior) – 8 Points
Gavin Shepman (Junior) – 6 Rebounds
January 15, 2019
Records: East Ridge Knights (7-5); Mount Dora Hurricanes (5-11)
The Lead: The Knights keep on showing great team chemistry, as they secure their fourth straight win to finish their five-game stretch. Senior guard Bryan Lupianez led all scorers with 19 points. Senior Guard Jose Morales is really starting to show that he is a true point guard by going for his second straight game with 7+ assists, showcasing his play-making ability.
The Knights hosted the Mount Dora Hurricanes in the school’s first-ever in-school game. The Knights had the whole student body at the game, making it their most packed game of the season and they performed at the highest level. To start the game, the Knights were on fire by making their first 10 shots including two back to back three-pointers by senior guard Jose Morales. Senior guard Carter Holt followed up with two straight strong finishes at the rim for the Knights, while also setting up Senior Bryan Lupianez for two three-pointers. The first quarter ended with the Knights leading the Hurricanes by a score of 31-6 by shooting an amazing 11 out of 12 in the first period.
As the second half went underway, the Knights looked a little bit too comfortable and went back to how they started off the season, by looking very undisciplined on the offensive end. The Hurricanes took advantage of this and gave the Knights all they had to come back and erase East Ridges 21-point lead and going into the fourth quarter down by a score of 41-40. The fourth quarter was crucial for both teams making it a dog fight to see who can pull out the win. The Knights went back to being under control on the offensive end, and pulling away by four points, then getting a stop on the defensive side of the ball and forcing the Hurricanes to foul the rest of the way. The Knights shot an impressive 19 out of 26 from the free throw line, junior guard Austin Grant was a big part of this by going a perfect four for four in the fourth quarter and knocking down a three-pointer from the corner in the clutch to seal the game with an end score of 62-52.
Bryan Lupianez (Senior) – 19 Points
Jose Morales (Senior) – 14 Points, 8 Assists
Malcolm Reed (Senior) – 14 Points
Austin Grant (Junior) – 7 Points
Carter Holt (Senior) – 6 Points
January 17, 2019
Records: East Ridge Knights (7-6); Ocoee Knights (7-8)
The Lead: The Knights took a commanding lead at halftime but couldn’t hold on to continue their win streak as Ocoee overcome a 15 point lead. The Knights were led by Senior Malcolm Reed who recorded 15 points and 11 rebounds and Bryan Lupianez with 10 points and 5 assists.
The Knights traveled to Ocoee High School looking to capture their first district win and continue their winning streak. The East Ridge Knights started off strong in the first quarter by moving the ball a lot on offense and getting multiple stops on defense. Senior guard Jose Morales gave East Ridge some energy off the tip by hitting his first three-point attempt followed by a layup by Senior Carter Holt. Ocoee was a very tall and lengthy team which meant East Ridge had to fight for every single rebound. Senior Malcolm Reed recorded 9 rebounds in the first half alone to negate some second-chance opportunities for the Ocoee Knights. East Ridge went up by 15 at the end of the quarter looking confident. East Ridge kept the same energy on both sides of the ball throughout the whole second quarter and ended up going into the second half up 41-30.
The second half was a whole different story for East Ridge, as Ocoee came out on fire hitting shot after shot while East Ridge couldn’t buy a bucket. Ocoee carried all of this momentum and took it to the fourth quarter and ended up beating East Ridge with a total score of 67-51.
-East Ridge needs to learn to stay poised when up by double figures going into the second half and cannot let up as it happened in the last two games.
-East Ridge needs to improve their free throw shooting as well as they shot 61% from the line versus Ocoee and to beat a team in the caliber of Ocoee, free throws are a necessity.
Malcolm Reed (Senior) – 15 points, 11 rebounds
Bryan Lupianez (Senior) – 10 points, 5 assists
Carter Holt (Senior) – 9 points
January 19, 2019
The boys’ varsity basketball team’s record fell to 7 – 7 with a loss to Evans High School in the Metro v. Florida Challenge this past Saturday. The Knights were led in scoring by juniors Treasure Bennett and Austin Grant, who both contributed six points each. Seniors Michael Powell and Malcolm Reed contributed five rebounds each. The Knights will play against Dunnellon High School on Monday, January 21 at Forest High School in the MLK Day Classic.
January 21, 2019
The East Ridge varsity boys basketball team’s record improved to 8 – 7 with a win against Dunnellon High School on Monday in the MLK Day Classic at Forest High School. The Knights were led by junior Austin Grant with 19 points and 8 rebounds. Additionally, seniors Malcolm Reed and Carter Holt contributed 13 and 9 points, respectively. The Knights will host Foundation Academy on Thursday, January 24th at 7:00 PM.
January 24, 2019
Records: East Ridge Knights (9-7); Foundation Academy Lions (3-16)
The Lead: The Knights blew out the Lions by a score of 59-35. The Knights were led by senior Bryan Lupianez with 19 points, 6 assists, and 5 steals and senior Malcolm Reed with 18 points. The Knights won their second straight game.
The Knights hosted the Foundation Academy Lions in their second contest of the season. When they first met, the Lions gave East Ridge a fight early into the game. This time the Knights went at them early to start the game off with Malcolm Reed hitting two three-pointers in the first quarter. The Lions showed a little bit of life in the second period by coming back and going down six going into the second half by a score of 25-19. As the third quarter started senior Bryan Lupianez exploded by shooting the lights out from behind the arc, making five three-pointers and scoring 17 of the Knights 21 points in the third period. The Knights kept the lead throughout the fourth quarter and finished off the game by beating the Lions by a score of 59-35.
The Knights will host cross-town rival Lake Minneola Hawks, in what will be a close game with a great atmosphere on Friday night.
January 25, 2019
Records: East Ridge Knights (9-8); Lake Minneola Hawks (11-9)
The Lead: The Knights suffered a tough loss against the cross-town rival Lake Minneola. East Ridge put up a fight the entire game, but could not seem to go up at any moment in the ball game. Seniors Malcolm Reed and Jose Morales, who tallied 15 and 13 points, respectively, led the Knights.
The Knights hosted the Lake Minneola Hawks and looked to get revenge from the first time they matched up at the beginning of the season, which turned out to go the Hawks way. As the first quarter started, the Hawks quickly scored from two steals, as they turned them into dunks, giving them a huge momentum advantage. The Knights followed up by senior Malcolm Reed, who made a three-point shot. The Hawks then came down and scored a putback layup. After the first quarter, the Hawks led. The second quarter brought the Knights closer and closer to going up with senior Jose Morales hitting two three-pointers. However, the Hawks would not let up and kept scoring. The Hawks led at the half by a handful of points.
The start of the second half got scrappy as both teams fought for each loose ball and rebound. The Hawks seemed to be more poised than the Knights and would take some time off the clock as they were in the lead. As the fourth quarter began, East Ridge was down but refused to give up. Senior Bryan Lupianez hit two clutches three-pointers late in the game to bring the Knights down by only four points. East Ridge had to play the fouling game, forcing the Hawks to shoot free throws. As all of that happened it was too little, too late for the Knights to push back, and unfortunately lose the game by a score of 55-49.
Malcolm Reed (Senior) – 15 points
Jose Morales (Senior) – 13 points
Bryan Lupianez (Senior) – 12 points, 6 assists
Treasure Bennett (Junior) – 8 rebounds
The Knights will wrap up the regular season this week with three games. The Knights will travel to play their cross-town rival South Lake High School on Wednesday, January 30th for a 7 pm tip-off. That game is the rescheduled game from December. On Thursday evening, January 31stthe Knights will host district rival Lake Howell, in their final regular season district contest. On Friday, February 1stthe Knights will play its final regular season game of the season by hosting Tavares High School for a 7:00 PM tip-off. Friday night’s game will also be Senior Night to recognize East Ridge’s five seniors, Bryan Lupianez, Malcolm Reed, Jose Morales, Carter Holt, and Michael Powell.