Thanks to construction and COVID, the boys of Cave Spring finally have their home court edge

ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) – They can splash. They can crush. And, they can snap.

But with a 17-1 record, what the Cave Spring Knights have proven they can do best is win.

“Anyone can score the ball,” junior Stark Jones said. “Anyone can shoot, dribble, pass. We have no faults. »

Few area teams have felt the sting of COVID-19 quite like Cave Spring – first having a state championship game taken away in 2020, then debuting a brand new gymnasium in 21 without being able to fill it.

“It was like we had this sports car, but we really couldn’t drive it,” said head coach Jacob Gruse. “Now we have this brand new gymnasium. Our whole community is thrilled. The guys are playing really well. They’re great kids on and off the pitch, so they’re very easy to cheer on.

Senior Bryce Cooper was part of that co-champion Knights team a few years ago, but now his role is much bigger. He says it’s this group’s turn to prove what they are capable of.

“Me being a sophomore on that team, I was the youngest and I had a lot of great guys to look up to,” Cooper said. “The hunger is there because we couldn’t play this game, and I’m ready to win one for myself.

“The identity of this team is defense. We practice defense 75% of the day, and that is what we are proud of and what we do in attack. Defense turns into attack.

One of the beneficiaries of this style is Jones, a junior guard who joined Cave last season from Roanoke Catholic, and who can electrify a crowd with his transition jams.

“It really gets everyone moving and then when I get dunked I start playing better and all of my teammates start playing better,” he said.

And this brand new gymnasium is definitely no longer empty.

“Our student section is unreal,” Gruse said. “I know all the coaches say they have the best student section in the state, but man, I’ll tell you what. You are hard pressed to find a better student section than the one we have. They are legitimate our real sixth man. Our guys feed off it so well.

The Knights have minded their business so far, but they know their season will be judged in the playoffs.

And with a target on their backs, they’ll have to be ready for every opponent to do their best.

“I tell our guys all the time, don’t get comfortable,” Gruse said. “The moment you feel comfortable is when someone is going to surprise you, so stay uncomfortable, seek to improve, improve one percent and stay uncomfortable .”

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