LANCASTER — If the Knight High School boys basketball team wanted to send a message to the rest of the Golden League, Tuesday’s blowout win over the Lancaster Eagles did it.
The Hawks (1-0 GL) beat the Eagles (0-1 GL), 65-42, on the road in the Golden League opener for both teams. Knight sophomore William Grant had a message for other teams in the league after the game.
“Watch out for us,” Grant said. “Don’t sleep on us. We’re coming for them – every team.”
The Hawks set the tone early on defense against Lancaster, only allowing the Eagles to score 10 points in the first quarter. Grant had nine of his game-high 17 points in the period, and made a stepback 3-pointer just before the buzzer to give Knight a 25-10 advantage.
Knight head coach Tom Hegre said the team’s focus to start the game was on the defensive end.
“We don’t talk too much about the offensive side of the ball,” Hegre said. “If we play hard on the defense, our guys know that good things will happen. I thought they did a great job of coming out with that mentality to start the game.”
Lancaster tried to stage a comeback with a 7-0 run in the second quarter, cutting its deficit to 13. But Knight answered with a 7-2 run capped by a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from junior Mekhi Smith.
The Hawks made four 3-pointers in the third quarter and extended their lead to 26. Lancaster senior James Wallace closed the quarter with a jumper that beat the buzzer, but the Eagles trailed 55-33.
Lancaster head coach Sid Melvin expected the team to have a good showing on its home court, but said the Eagles struggled to score all night.
“We never got it going offensively,” Melvin said. “Everything we did was in like a panic mode as far as driving to the basket. From the perimeter, we got nothing that we tried to get.”
Melvin credited Knight’s defense for holding the Eagles to only 42 points, but also blamed Lancaster’s tough shooting night.
“We got a lot of open looks, but those are the shots that we missed tonight,” Melvin said. “It’s very frustrating.”
Hegre said he felt glad the Hawks were able to open the league schedule with a road win. His goal for the team by the end of the season is to be in the best possible position for a playoff run, he said.
Grant led the team with 17 points off the bench, while senior Devon Martin scored 15.
Eagles senior point guard Jordan Brown scored 12 points.
Knight will play Littlerock at home on Friday. Lancaster’s next game is against Highland on the road on Friday.