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Cave Spring Holds On For 57-44 Win Over Lady Patriots

Cave Spring senior Hailey Sitze (#10) drives to the basket over a quartet of Patrick Henry defenders Tuesday night as the Knights topped the Patriots 57-44 in River Ridge basketball.
Cave Spring senior Hailey Sitze (#10) drives to the basket over a quartet of Patrick Henry defenders Tuesday night as the Knights topped the Patriots 57-44 in River Ridge basketball.

The Cave Spring girls basketball team looked like they were setting the stage for a blowout.

Instead, the Lady Knights had to hold on for dear life.

Jumping out to a commanding 17-3 lead after one quarter, Cave Spring did just enough over the final three frames to defeat River Ridge foe Patrick Henry 57-44 on the Knights’ home court.

Although the win improved Cave Spring’s record to 6-4, Knights’ head coach Jessica Ficarro was far from satisfied.

“If we had played the first quarter anything like the last three, we’d have lost the game,” Ficarro noted after a lengthy post-game talk to her squad.

“We need to play transition better and we need to know how to keep a lead,” the coach said emphatically. “We got too complacent and too comfortable after the first quarter. Sooner or later that will bite us.”

The Cave Spring full court press played havoc with the PH offense in the opening frame, with Patriot turnovers leading to numerous Knights scores.

But, Patrick Henry regrouped in the second quarter to match the Knights with 13 points, sending the teams to the locker room with Cave Spring up 30-16.

The Knights led by as many as 19 in the third quarter, but Patrick Henry starting climbing back into the game with a full court press of their own along with missed free throws by the Knights. Cave Spring hit only 12-of-25 from the charity stripe for the contest.

PH cut the deficit to 10 points at the 6:48 mark of the fourth quarter on a pair of Taylor Eichelberger free throws, and the talented sophomore who scored a game-high 21 points, got it to 52-43 with both ends of a one-plus-one with :57 left. But, the comeback fell short as Cave Spring finished with a 5-1 run in the clutch to seal the victory.

“We just got off to a slow start and that was the difference,” Patrick Henry head coach Amy Murray noted afterward. “We played Cave Spring in the Christmas tournament here and they handled our press well, so we thought tonight we’d start off with something different. It just didn’t work out. But, I’m proud of my girls and their fight. They don’t give up.”

Senior Cassi Parulis led the Cave Spring scoring with 17 points, while junior Cait Flippin netted 11. Freshman Reagan Delp added 10 points and senior Hailey Sitze notched 9 points for the Knights. Parulis pulled down 10 boards for Cave Spring.

– Bill Turner

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