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Patrick Henry Tops Cave Spring 55-45 In River Ridge Tournament Final

Cave Spring junior guard Jalen Buster stares down a free throw Friday night during the River Ridge District Tournament final at the Patrick Henry gym. (Andrew Ditmore photo).

What a difference two weeks makes.

Fifteen days removed from being handed a goose egg in the scoring column by the swarming Cave Spring defense on the same PH court during Patriots’ senior night, guard John Stockstill showed the packed house Friday night he turned the page for February.
Hitting a game-high 23 points, including four hits from behind-the-arc and a perfect 5-for-5 from the free throw line, Stockstill was the deciding force as Patrick Henry captured the River Ridge District tournament championship with the 55-45 win.
While Stockstill was on fire all night, and Patrick Henry blazed out to a commanding 18-3 lead after the first quarter, Cave Spring showed it had plenty of game in the tank and their River Ridge regular season championship (going 11-1) was no fluke.
After the shaky start, the Knights started chipping away. They cut their deficit to ten, 24-14, by the halftime break, and outscored PH 20-13 in the third quarter to head to the final eight minutes trailing 37-34.
When Knight junior Adnan Jasarevic hit from long range 45 seconds into the fourth quarter, it tied things at 37, and the momentum had shifted to the raucous Knight fan base seated behind the Cave Spring bench.
Game was on.
Patrick Henry weathered the storm by going on a 7-1 run fueled by baskets from Dre Palmer and Tee Bryan in close, and a 3-pointer from VMI football recruit Leroy Thomas, who finished with 13 points including a trio of treys, that put the Patriots ahead 44-38. The Knights would get no closer than five the rest of the way.
Cave Spring senior Crawford Enyart, who was named River Ridge player of the year, led the Knights with 14 points while junior Parker Huffman canned 11 in crucial situations during the Cave Spring comeback.
Both teams now advance to regional play where PH will be looking at a home game to open 5D South play, and Cave Spring, which closed out a brutal stretch with five straight wins in 10 days to secure the River Ridge regular season title and #2 seed in Region 3D, will open as the home team after a much needed 11 day rest to get the troops fresh.
Cave Spring, which is without its home court after the start of the school renovation that began in late-January, was rumored to be playing its home tournament games at Cave Spring Middle School, the site of its regular season finale against Pulaski County.
But, Friday night, Cave Spring Athletic Director Jon Hartness indicated he is working on finding a larger and more suitable site for the Knights’ regional opener.
“I’m working on a lot of options and will know something by the first of the week,” Hartness said after the PH game. “I just don’t think we can host a regional at the smaller Middle School gym.”
Bill Turner

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