HOMETOWN HOOPS: Unbeaten Cave Spring embracing 'road warrior' mentality

ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) -- It's hard to deny the Knights of Cave Spring are cooking up something special on the basketball court this year.

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"I think we're at a great point in our season," said 6'8" senior Parker Huffman on Monday. "It's about halfway games-wise and it's, so far, 11-0."

Now 12-0, after the Knights knocked off Salem by just three points on Tuesday night--another in a line of gritty road wins for a team that's all too used to playing in hostile environments.

"Has it been a struggle? Absolutely. One-hundred percent," said head coach Jacob Gruse.

His squad is essentially without a home, with construction at Cave Spring High School rendering its gym unplayable.

For the first six weeks of the season, the Knights bussed up to Spectrum Sports Academy for practice before taking the gym at Cave Spring Middle in the new year.

"That was good, though, for us because we rode a bus together. We were together every day for 30 minutes on the bus going there and back," said senior guard Jalen Buster. "That just created the stronger bonds and the friendships that got so much closer."

With no home court to call their own, the Cave Spring nomads will play a couple games each at the middle school and Hidden Valley High School, with the rest of their home games sprinkled across neutral sites in tournaments throughout the season.

"It's not the ideal situation, but our guys have embraced it," Gruse said. "We can pout about it and feel sorry for ourselves, or we can take it head on and look at it as a challenge and have a little bit of a chip on our shoulder that we don't have a home, and that's okay. Let's just go everywhere and have a chip on our shoulder."

Some of the players even think their unique situation could pay dividends when it matters most.

"I actually think playing away is a good thing, because once you get into districts and regions and state tourneys, it's always away games," Huffman said. "So just becoming battle-tested on the road, I think we're just gonna' be used to the road environment."

And with their unblemished record still intact, the Knights are proving that home is where you make it after all.

"They're just a fun group to be around and we love coming to practice with them," Gruse said. "We love being on the bus rides with them, and we better love them a lot and they better love us, because we're spending a whole lot of time with each other."

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