Records: East Ridge Knights (9-9); South Lake Eagles (7-10)
The Lead: The Knights fell short to the Eagles in a close game down the stretch. The Knights were led by Senior Bryan Lupianez, scoring 26 points and grabbing 7 rebounds, while Senior Jose Morales also helped lead by adding 23 points and grabbing 8 rebounds.
The Knights traveled to Groveland to face off against the South Lake Eagles in their second matchup of the year. The Knights had beat the Eagles previously by 20, but the Eagles looked to put up a fight this time. In the first quarter the Knights quickly scored two points off a layup by senior Carter Holt, but the Eagles quickly responded with a three pointer. South Lake then went up, and had control of the game by the end of the first period. The Knights kept struggling throughout the second quarter, but were only down by single digits due to help by senior Jose Morales, who added eight of the Knights thirteen points in the second quarter; making the Knights down 37-28 going into halftime.
As the third quarter began, senior Bryan Lupianez gave the Knights life by putting on a shooting clinic as he had four three point field goals in the third period. The Knights were down by a handful going into the fourth quarter. In the last period of play, the Eagles did not seem to find a solution for senior guards Jose Morales and Bryan Lupianez, as they combined for a total of nineteen of the Knights’ 22 points in the fourth quarter. Senior Jose Morales hit two clutch mid-range jumpers and some free throws in the last three minutes of the game. The Knights were still down by ten, but Senior Bryan Lupianez flipped a switch, and scored seven straight points to bring the Knights down three with less than a minute left. The Eagles then had possession of the ball and committed a turnover, giving the Knights the ball back. In hopes to tie it up, Senior Jose Morales went to the rim, and scored a layup bringing the Knights to just a one-point deficit with 30 seconds to go. The Eagles then got fouled on a shot attempt, and missed both free throws, giving East Ridge a chance to score and win the game. The Knights came out of a timeout with the ball in their hands looking to score, the Eagles played good defense and forced a jump ball giving the Knights :03 seconds to score the basketball, which was not enough time to get a shot off giving South Lake the 67-66 win.
Bryan Lupianez (Senior) – 26 points, 7 rebounds
Jose Morales (Senior) – 23 points, 8 rebounds
Written by senior Bryan Lupianez