ROANOKE, Va. – Cave Spring visited Patrick Henry Tuesday night to battle in the River Ridge District tournament championship.
In what started as a close, back-and-forth affair, quickly shifted to the Knights playing from behind for much of the game. The momentum took a sharp turn early in the second quarter. After a foul was assessed to Patrick Henry’s Joseph Beasley, Cave Spring drew two technical fouls for its reaction to the play--one to Dylan Saunders and the other was assessed to head coach Jacob Gruse.
That sequence of events turned into a 14-2 Patriots run to end the first half, giving them a 34-23 lead at the break.
From then on in the second half, the Patriots continued to find success behind Leron Lipford who led the team with 24 points. Brooks Derey added 18.
“It’s a championship game, expected a little jitters and they’re a really good team and make you pay for your mistakes and then I thought in the second quarter we tightened it up and got a little lead going in there,” said Patriots head coach Jack Esworthy.
Stark Jones had the hot hand for Cave Spring, pouring in 23 points despite early foul trouble. Dylan Saunders added 17 points in what was the Knights third loss to the Patriots this season.
“I thought we fought really hard that was a really tough, physical game, a man’s game and I’m disappointed with the loss but I’m really proud of our guys, effort and our intensity and our toughness and our grit tonight,” said Knights head coach Jacob Gruse.
On the girls side of the River Ridge District, Pulaski County defeated Patrick Henry 58-46 to claim the girls title.