Virginia High School Basketball: Lady Cougars Win Tourney Opener, Face Salem
Win over Knights gives Pulaski a Region IV berth
By CODY DALTON
DUBLIN – The Lady Cougar basketball team opened defense of their River Ridge District Tournament Championship on Monday with a convincing 45-28 victory over Cave Spring. The win clinches a berth in the Region IV playoffs for Pulaski.
“Our kids were a little more relaxed than they should have been,” said Cougars coach Jason Grubb. “Cave Spring played some inspired basketball. Our kids stepped up to the challenge and were aggressive. They were aggressive offensively and defensively. We pulled out the victory.”
Pulaski (10-13, 4-6) jumped out quickly to a 13-1 lead in the first quarter. Kasey Holcomb scored five points and Raiven Patterson added four points in the run. That allowed the Cougars to garner a 16-4 lead after the first.
Cave Spring (2-20, 0-10) would climb back in the second quarter and pulled to within nine points of the Cougar lead, but Pulaski would keep their 12 point lead in tact. It was 25-13 in favor of the Cougars at halftime.
Once again, the Cougars maintained momentum in the third quarter and stretched their lead all the way to 18 points at the early part of the quarter thanks to three combined baskets by Patterson and Sydney Anderson combined. Once again, Pulaski would hold on to a 12-point lead for the third consecutive quarter.
Cave Spring would attempt to pull back in the game, but shot just 23 percent from the field in the game. That cold shooting combined with 36 points in the paint by Pulaski doomed them in the game.
Raiven Patterson led the Cougars with 10 points. Kasey Holcomb added nine points and five assists. The Cougars also had key post play from Brittany Lawson and Daisy Ball. Lawson scored seven points and grabbed five rebounds, while Ball scored seven points and grabbed five rebounds.
The Cougars now travel tonight to take on River Ridge top seed Salem at 6 p.m. with a trip to the tournament championship game at Roanoke College on Wednesday on the line. The Spartans were off last night and had a first round bye. Grubb sees their break from action as a potential disadvantage for them and a positive for his team.
“Hopefully, this is one of those games that will get the rust out,” Grubb said. “I think it did. As crazy as the weather has been, we’ve had some many games rescheduled, and postponed and some many practices cancelled, it is easy for kids to lose their sharpness.
“I would like to think this was kind of a warm up game for the game tomorrow night. Salem didn’t play tonight. Hopefully we’ll come out crisp against them and be able to get a big victory on our way to the district championship game.”
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