Bombs away! Cave 84, Cougars 54

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AJ McCloud goes up for two of his team-high 15 points Friday night against Cave Spring. (Brian Bishop/PC Patriot)

Cave Spring came to Pulaski County Friday night undefeated and left the same way and everybody in attendance went home with a good  understanding why the Knights haven’t lost, and might not.

     Pulaski Co. suffered an 84-54 shellacking dropping its record to 6-7. Sometimes you’re just overmatched. The Knights brought a dozen players to town and 10 of them scored. And shot the lights out. They  wouldn’t have broken a chandelier. Cave hit 33 of 48 shots, 10 of them from behind the 3-point arc, shooting 69%. The Knights shot 50% the first quarter, not bad, but for the remainder of the game hit 26 of 34, 76.4%!
     Cougar mentor Tyler Cannoy would have liked his team to have played better, but he gave credit where it was due. “Cave is the best team I’ve seen in awhile. If they are going to shoot like that, it’s going to be a huge problem for a lot of people. That team is a real threat to win the Class 3 state title. When you play a team of that caliber and they have a great night, all you can do is the best you can. Our kids played hard. We didn’t have Luke tonight (Russell, injured ankle) and we needed all hands on deck, but Cave played great. They are undefeated for a reason. I do wish we had executed a bit better, but that team has really good size. We had trouble getting a shot, and they played an excellent floor game, lots of weapons. You just have to give them credit, and we just need to keep working and try to get better,” said Cannoy.
     Cave led 18-14 after the first quarter, and that was a close as it got. The Knights hit 11 of 15 shots and scored 27 points in the second quarter for a 45-30 halftime lead. Hayden Gray hit two, 3-pointers and Josh Bourne one late in the half as the Cougars tried to maintain some sort of contact.
    But Cave was relentless again in the third quarter, hitting 10 of 13 shots and scored 28. The Cougars couldn’t keep pace. It was 73-37 going into the fourth quarter. The margin moved to 40 early in the fourth, but the Knights cleared the bench with over five minutes left in the game. The Cougars outscored the Knights 17-11 the final eight minutes. Chris Hay had his biggest game of the year, scoring seven points for PCHS.
     The Cougars were certainly outgunned, but it wasn’t a horrible shooting night. The team hit 21 of 51 shots, 43.4%. Cave was even hotter from the free throw line, hitting eight of nine. Pulaski Co. was five of nine. But the floor game did hurt Pulaski Co. The Knights were guilty of just six turnovers and three of those came late in the game from the end of the

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Hayden Gray shoots two of his nine points. (Brian Bishop/PC Patriot)

bench. The Cougars turned the ball over 18 times.

    Reed Pendleton led the Knights with 19 points, but did not play in the final 10 minutes. Adnan Jasarevic scored 17 and did not play in the fourth quarter. Parker Huffman also hit double figures for the Knights with 10 points. Jalen Buster got nine, Lucas Duncan and Charlie Urgo seven each, and Jacob Tozier six.
     A.J. McCloud led Pulaski Co. with 15 points with 13 coming in the first half, but the second half was slim pickings for the Cougars. Gray finished with nine, Bourne and Hay got seven each, and Peyton Blackburn finished with six.
By DAN CALLAHAN, The Patriot