Cahlib Edwards joined elite company Friday night. The junior basketball standout at Arts & Sciences became just the third player in program history to join the 1,000-point club.
The host Patriots needed a huge night from Edwards — who had a team-high 28 points for the game — to defeat District 4-A rival Lookout Valley 72-68. Teammate Troy Pride chipped in 17 points to help keep CSAS (10-10, 5-0) at the top of the district standings.
"Lookout Valley is a really good team, but Coach (Mark Dragoo) just told us to keep fighting," said Edwards, whose focus after the game was more on the victory than his personal achievement. "We had that spirit throughout the game, and we were able to come up with a win. The ball seemed to just keep going in the hole, and I thank God for it.
After Lookout Valley (11-9, 3-3) scored the first six points of the game, the Patriots responded with a 20-5 run to take control. After a back-and-forth second quarter, CSAS led 39-31 at halftime.
"You could tell at the start that we were tired physically and mentally," said Dragoo, whose squad faced Tyner and Red Bank in the past week. "Those types of games help us in games like this and during the postseason."
After the Patriots extended the lead to 10 early in the third quarter, the Yellow Jackets got back into the game late in the period with a 10-2 run that left them trailing by one heading into the final quarter.
Lookout Valley rode the hot hand of Jalen Moore throughout the second half. Moore scored 23 of his game-high 30 points after halftime. The Yellow Jackets scored to pull within two points or less 10 times in the half but were never able to wrest the lead from the Patriots, as Edwards and Pride combined to score 17 in the final quarter.
Making matters worse, Moore was sent to the locker room by Lookout Valley coach Eric Ford with just under two minutes left because of a verbal altercation between the player and coach.
Said Ford about the incident: "I've always said my priority as a coach is to create young men of high character that will become good husbands and good fathers. Hopefully we can win some games in the process."
With the Patriots clinging to a two-point lead in the final seconds, Pride made arguably the biggest play of the night when he grabbed the offensive rebound after a missed free throw. Pride was fouled and made both of his free throws, and the Patriots held on for the victory.
Contact Kevin Llewallyn at email@example.com.