Wildcats district bound, Knights leap up in AAC

Wildcats move on

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  • | 7:17 a.m. January 21, 2016
  • Winter Park - Maitland Observer
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After taking a drubbing at SMU, the Knights were looking for a rebound, and they found it on their home court in an 89-69 win over East Carolina on Saturday afternoon.

The game was never a close one after the Knights seized the lead with a Tacko Fall layup on the first inbound. In its entirety the game was tied for 16 seconds. The 20-point blowout that followed at one point stretched as broad as 78-42 with 13 minutes left in the game.

The game was so quickly in hand that the Knights took advantage of ample opportunity to play their bench, with seven extra players coming in by game’s end. Justin McBride, in another bid for a sixth man award, sank 12 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in just 17 minutes on the court, snagging six offensive rebounds for the Knights, who outscored ECU on second chance shots 14-6. McBride nearly shared the 13-point game-high scoring with three other players, A.J. Davis, Daiquan Walker and Adonys Henriquez, and nearly doubled the next best rebounder, in half the court time.

In the game the Knights shot 54.2 percent from the floor, including 50 percent of their three-point attempts in the first half. And the Knights’ defensive pressure held ECU down to just 40.9 percent shooting.

The result was UCF getting boosted to 9-6 overall and 3-1 in the American Athletic Conference, and keeping the Pirates’ winless streak in the AAC alive. That puts the Knights in a two-way tie with Memphis for second best conference record, behind only undefeated No. 10 SMU.

Wednesday night at press time the Knights traveled to face rival USF for the second time this season, but this Sunday they’ll make their longest road trip of the year at Tulsa (11-6, 3-2). The Golden Hurricane are fresh off a 60-51 win over UConn (12-5, 3-2).


Despite holding a late lead after a strong comeback, the Rollins Tars fell 88-86 to Palm Beach Atlantic on Saturday afternoon. Sam Philpott’s team-leading 16 points weren’t enough to edge PBA’s Michael Simpson, propelling his team to the win with 29 points.

The Tars were ahead with only 28 seconds left after James Ferrell threw down five points in a matter of seconds, but a late three by Simpson ended it.

The loss dropped the Tars to 11-6 on the season and 4-3 in the Sunshine State Conference, two rungs down the ladder from SSC leader Eckerd, which has yet to lose a conference game in eight matchups.

Wednesday at press time they played Florida Southern (8-9, 4-3). Saturday they travel to face a struggling Tampa (5-11, 1-6). That game tips off at 4 p.m.

Winter Park

For Winter Park’s boys basketball team, a trouncing of Boone in a district game on Jan. 14 gave way to a late collapse against Freedom at the Master’s Academy Classic.

Doubling Boone’s scoring output in the final quarter, the Wildcats pulled away for a 55-36 blowout to effectively clinch the top spot in the district. Their 64-51 loss to Freedom mounted gradually after they entered the second half of the game tied. Winter Park’s Wyatt Wilkes led the charge with 11 points, 6 rebounds, 6 turnovers, 4 steals and 2 blocks in the game.

After a game at press time Wednesday, the Wildcats (12-8, 3-0) will finish off their district schedule with a Friday night matchup at home against Colonial. The struggling Grenadiers (9-10, 1-2) aren’t in position to threaten the top of the district.

The lady Wildcats are 19-4 overall and 4-1 in the district with their only loss coming to Colonial on Dec. 4. That was also the last time they lost a basketball game.

The Wildcats blasted Boone 68-35 on Jan. 14 to take their final district game of the season, with only a game left before the district playoffs. They close out the regular season at 7 p.m. tonight.


The Eagles fell to 11-8 overall and 3-0 in the district with a 58-55 loss to Hagerty on Jan. 16. The Eagles only have a handful of games to go.

The lady Eagles blew out Lake Region 90-7 Jan. 12 then demolished Auburndale 92-43 on Jan. 14. Three players topped 20 points in the Auburndale game, with Mashi Bradley leading the way with 25 points. The Eagles are now 15-4 overall and undefeated in the district. They play Boone at the Brighthouse Networks Shootout at Colonial at 4:15 p.m. on Saturday.


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