It’s a four hour trip from Chaparral Drive to the College of William and Mary. The Cave Spring Scholastic Bowl team might be able to make the journey blindfolded.
The Knights won four straight matches, the final two against River Ridge District foe Christiansburg, to take the Region IV title February 9 at Bassett High School, and earn the region’s top seed in the VHSL AA State Championship to be held Saturday in Williamsburg. The defending state champions have now qualified for the state tournament six times in seven seasons.
After topping Magna Vista 280-160 in the opening match, Cave Spring took on their archrival Hidden Valley, who had defeated Tazewell 230-145 in the first round. Knight captain, James Cole, answered six of the first eight questions on the way to scoring 110 points in the match as Cave Spring held off a spirited mid-match Hidden Valley rally to claim a 265-150 win.
In the winner’s bracked semifinals against Christiansburg. Cave Spring jumped to a fifty point lead after the first round, and maintained that lead through the second, directed round. They opened up an 80 point lead early in the third round until the Blue Demons cut the lead to 25 points. At that point, Cole took over, scoring sixty of the final seventy points in a 270-195 victory which ensured the Knights a spot at the state tournament.
Christiansburg returned through the loser’s bracket of the double elimination tourney to challenge for the Regional title. Again, Cave Spring jumped to an early lead, and again Christiansburg rallied, this time taking the a 130-115 lead near the end of the second round before the Knights regained a 15 point lead going into the final round. There, Cole, Collin Rooney and Maddie Burton took turns scoring to squeeze out a 235-210 victory.
Hidden Valley, in its first regional tournament, nearly made it an all-Southwest County final, as they pushed 2011 state champion Christiansburg to the limit in the consolation finals. The Sachith Gullipali-led Titans trailed only 190-170 partway through the final period, before falling 240-205 to finish third. They had worked back to the consolation finals by bouncing back from the Cave Spring loss to eliminate Richlands 270-100 and Tunstall 340-85, the latter a match in which Gullapali rang up 195 points..
Cole, Burton, Bret Smith and Colleen Truskey are returnees from coach Bob Powers’ 2012 state championship squad. They will be joined in Williamsburg by first-timers Rooney and Eric Culbertson. In addition to Region IV qualifiers Cave Spring and Christiansburg, Western Albemarle and New Kent are considered strong contenders for the state title.
Captions for photos:
CSHS 2 CSHS Scholastic Bowl team prepares for final regional match: (l-r) Bret Smith, Colin Rooney, captain James Cole, Maddie Burton.
CSHS 3 2013 Region IV Scholastic Bowl Champions Cave Spring High School: (l-r) Tom Conroy, Jordan Clingenpeel, Colleen Truskey, Bret Smith, captain James Cole, Maddie Burton, Colin Rooney, Eric Culbertson.
HVHS 3 Third place finish for Hidden Valley squad in its first Regional tournament: (l-r) , captain Sachith Gullapali, ,Rachel Rosenfeld
Submitted by Ken Flint