Just call it a repeat performance with a little extra sizzle.
Sixteen days since their first meeting with the Cave Spring Knights, the Glenvar Highlanders once again found themselves in pretty good shape heading to the second half of play.
On December 14 on the Highlander court, Glenvar actually led by 5 after the opening half. Thursday night in the K-Guard Classic at Cave Spring they trailed by a manageable 8 points as the teams headed to the locker room.
On both occasions the Knights simply turned up the heat.
The first matchup saw Cave Spring outscore the Highlanders 28-10 in the third quarter to take command on their way to the 63-53 win. Thursday night the Knights dominated the second half by a whopping 50-26 advantage over a talented 8-2 Glenvar team that has only lost twice all season-both times to the Knights.
So, what’s the catalyst for the Cave Spring runs? Swarming defense at one end of the court and a murderer’s row of scoring power on the other. Plus, a starting lineup that can give you a knockout punch from anyone on a given night. Thursday night it was junior point guard Graham Lilley that lowered the boom with a personal career-high,and game-high, 21 points, including sixteen in the second half, four bombs from behind-the-arc and a perfect 3-for-3 from the free-throw line.
“Graham has worked so hard,” Cave Spring head coach Jacob Gruse noted after the game. “He’s very unselfish. It was his time. I think Glenvar wanted to take away others so he stepped up.”
Glenvar came to play and rallied from an early deficit in the opening quarter to take the lead before things were knotted at 17 after the first 8 minutes.
“They came out strong which we expected, and we weathered the storm well,” Gruse added. “Glenvar will cause a lot of teams issues. They are a very solid team.”
The Knights had a full complement of scorers throughout the night to back up Lilley’s performance. Senior Owyn Dawyot scored 16 points including two from long-range, junior sensation Stark Jones canned 15 including three from downtown, and 6ft-7 big-man Dylan Saunders added 12 points. Nine different Cave Spring players inked the scoring column. Cave Spring was a perfect 7-of-7 from the charity stripe.
“We have to have balance,” Gruse pointed out. “We have to be unselfish and put the team first. It doesn’t matter who scores as long as we get the W.”
Glenvar was led by Christian Housh’s 12 points, all coming from a quartet of bombs from behind-the-arc. Fellow seniors Stephen Barber and Tyler Johnson each scored 10 for the Highlanders.
First-year Glenvar head coach Cliff Bordewisch will look for the Cave Spring matchups to gain experience and toughness heading into the Highlanders’ Three Rivers schedule.
“We have some very good teams to face every game,” Bordewisch noted on the court afterward. “The Three Rivers is loaded.” That road begins next week with a matchup against tough James River.
Cave Spring (8-1) will return to action Tuesday night when they travel to Patrick Henry, before hosting Salem next Friday night in the Knight gym.
In other K-Guard action Thursday afternoon, Jefferson Forest outlasted the Broadway Gobblers 52-45. The much-anticipated matchup between William Fleming and 7-1 Independence was cancelled.
On a lighter note, from the K-Guard, the Cave Spring student section’s hilarious theme of “Senior Citizen Night” during halftime of their game with Glenvar drew standing applause when the traditional candy bar toss was turned over to the incomparable Hall of Fame broadcaster, Dave Ross. Ross, introduced as the perfect fit for Senior Citizen Night, was very popular when the candy was Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, as he entertained the crowd during the special segment of every Knight home game.