BLACKSBURG — Just before halftime on Tuesday night, Patrick Henry was able to gain a bit of separation from Blacksburg. Once the Patriots had that distance, they kept the Bruins an arm’s length away for the rest of the night.
Sophomore Abu Yarmah had 16 points including 10 in a 12-7 run to close the first half that gave PH a lead they would not lose the rest of the way in a 62-54 River Ridge District win over the Bruins at Blacksburg High School.
Neither team had a lead greater than four points over the first quarter and a hal, but midway through the second period with the score tied at 20, Yarmah scored five straight points, including a basket with 2:22 left before halftime, to make it 25-20.
The sophomore, however, wasn’t done as he put together another run of four consecutive points just before the break, giving PH (8-3, 4-1) a 32-27 lead going into the locker room.
“I thought that was real big. It gave us a bit of a cushion going into halftime,” Patrick Henry coach Jack Esworthy said. “We tried to pull away a bunch of times in that first half, but [the Bruins] were resilient.”
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The Patriots carried the momentum into the third quarter with a 7-2 run to start the period. That gave them their largest lead of the night at 39-29 with 5:21 left in the quarter.
“I thought the start of the third quarter was really good,” Esworthy said. “It’s a lot easier when you’re up 8 to 10 points than if you’re down 3 or 4.”
Over the last quarter, Blacksburg (7-3, 2-2) was able to get to within six points on three occasions, but every time the Bruins looked poised to make a run, the PH offense would have a response. The Patriots used a late 11-4 run to close things out.
“We tried to make some runs, but we didn’t get stops at some critical times,” Blacksburg coach Doug Day said. “Give Patrick Henry credit. They are athletic, got some good shooters and are well-coached.”
Sophomore point guard Amauriay Calloway led the Patriots with a game-high 17 points while teammate Brooks Derey also finished in double figures with 14 points.
Tuesday’s game was the first of four in a five-day stretch for the Patriots the rest of this week.
“It’s nice to get off to a good start with a road win in this little gauntlet,” Esworthy said. “It’s going to be a busy week.”
Senior forward Owen Walters led Blacksburg with 12 points.