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Cave Spring Trio Leads Knights To 79-56 Win Over Salem

You might call it safety in numbers in Cave Spring’s 23-point win over Salem Tuesday night in the Spartan gym.
Yes, Salem standout Tanner Dallas had a game-high 23 points for the Spartans. Unfortunately for Salem, Cave Spring had three starters combine for 56.
Riding a highlight reel of drives, jumpers and bombs by the Knights, Cave Spring rolled to the 79-56 win to improve to 17-1 (9-0 River Ridge District). The Knights have a commanding 2-game lead, plus the tiebreaker over Patrick Henry, in the River Ridge race with three district games left.
Knight senior guard Owyn Dawyot completes a twisting drive for two of his team-high 20 points Tuesday night as Cave Spring improved to 17-1.

Knight senior starter Owyn Dawyot led the way for Cave Spring with a team-high 20 points, while juniors Stark Jones and Dylan Saunders were right on his heels with 18 points apiece, as Cave Spring took control early with leads of 23-10 after the first quarter and 48-23 heading to the halftime break.

“I thought we came out a little slow in the first three minutes and then went on a nice run,” Cave Spring head coach Jacob Gruse noted after the win. “Owyn, Stark and Dylan were huge tonight. Couldn’t be prouder of them tonight; that trio were clicking.”
“Our game plan was pretty basic,” Jones said on the court afterward. “Grab a lot of rebounds, push the fast break and take smart shots.”
It was a homecoming of sort for Dawyot, who transferred from Salem to Cave Spring over the summer. And, the ultra-talented guard who can break an opponent with his spinning drives, short jumpers and bombs from behind-the-arc was showing no signs of being nervous in returning to the Spartan hardwood.
“Owyn seemed to be fine,” Gruse added. “No issues at all.”
Cave Spring junior Stark Jones finishes a breakaway layup on his way to an 18-point night against the Salem Spartans.

Saunders and fellow big-man Bryce Cooper (7 points) picked up two fouls each early in the second quarter, but Salem couldn’t capitalize after the Knight reserves kept the pedal down until the break.

“I know it’s sliding like a broken record, but it takes the entire team to get the win,” Gruse pointed out. “Next man up mentality. Kam Tinsley stepped up huge again as did Skylor Griffiths, Bays Bryant and Joe Ihlenburg all coming off the bench. We always have to be ready.”
Cave Spring led 66-38 after the third quarter, but with reserves from both teams holding down the fort, the Spartans brought some starters back and cut the Knight’s advantage to 13. Cave Spring answered with their starting five, and any designs of a further Spartan rally were dashed as the Cave Spring lead quickly mushroomed to the final margin.
After Dallas’ 23 points, Salem followed with 8 points from sophomore Josiah Moyer, while sophs Bryson Hill and Lucas Yerton netted 6 each.
Bill Turner

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