Cave Spring Outlasts Salem 65-59 in River Ridge Basketball

Cave Spring senior guard Devin “Mookie” Beckner (#12 in white) drives through a trio of Salem defenders for an acrobatic layup late in the fourth quarter of the Knights’ 65-59 win.(Pic by Kaylee Maynard.)

Tuesday’s thaw from consecutive double digit days of below freezing temperatures finally brought back high school basketball to area gyms.

The layoff due to school closures reared its head at Cave Spring Tuesday night before the Knights used a second-half surge to pull out the tough 65-59 win over Salem.

The win kept Cave Spring at a perfect 3-0 in the River Ridge District (7-5 overall), while the Spartans dropped to 1-4; 3-10.

It was a back and forth affair throughout the opening half as both teams looked to establish a rhythm on both offense and defense.

Cave Spring came out of the gate strong, getting good looks inside to lead 15-9 after the opening 8 minutes.

But, the Knight’s game from behind-the-arc fell cold in the second quarter, and Salem took advantage by outscoring Cave Spring 19-10 to go to the halftime break up 28-25.

Cave Spring made some adjustments to start the second half, mainly looking inside instead of firing from long range, and the strategy paid dividends as the Knights regained the momentum and were up 43-39 heading to the final 8 minutes.

The Knights pushed their lead to nine in the final frame and Salem was able to get no closer than 3 points the rest of the way.

Crawford Enyart led the Cave Spring offense with 28 points. Devin “Mookie” Beckner followed with 10 and sophomore Matt Cagle kicked in 9 points for the Knights.

Salem was led by Alex Blanchard’s 21 points, including three long-range treys, with Isaiah Donaldson adding 16 and Chance Staples chipping in 11 for the Spartans.

Cave Spring looks for its fourth straight River Ridge win Friday night when the Knights travel to Pulaski County to face the Cougars. Salem has a week to regroup before entertaining those same Pulaski Cougars next Tuesday night in the Spartan gym.

Bill Turner