HENDERSON — Potential COVID-19 exposures forced the Kerr-Vance Academy girls basketball team to play a game Tuesday evening despite having only three members of its varsity squad available.

The absences forced head coach Marcus Foster to rely heavily on junior varsity players to take the court against St. Thomas More Academy.

Foster believed that the roster assembled for Tuesday did an admirable job given the circumstances, but their effort was not enough to contain St. Thomas More, which cruised to an easy 62-32 win.

“We lost by over 20, but I’m very thankful for the JV team and their ability to step up,” Foster said. “The JV girls played hard and my normal varsity girls also played good for what they were put into.”

The lack of varsity experience on KVA’s roster was on display in the opening minutes of the first quarter, as Foster had to spend an early timeout after St. Thomas More rapidly built a 10-1 lead.

Things didn’t get much better for the Spartans through the rest of the first half, as St. Thomas More easily took advantage of their opponent’s weaknesses to put the game out of reach at halftime by leading 37-9.

One of the main bright spots for KVA during the evening was the performance of Katelyn Holtzman, a JV player who frequently drove to the basket and maintained a constant presence underneath the rim.

She finished the evening with 12 points.

With the COVID-19 pandemic still a major concern for KVA and the rest of the teams in the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association, Foster is unsure of how the rest of the 2020-21 season will play out, but he expects his team to make the most out of the current situation as they try to build consistency.

“The second half was much better than the first half,” Foster said. “There was a lot for the girls to get used to since they have to play with their masks on now. Hopefully we will be back to full-strength by the time we reach 2021.”

KVA will get a lengthy break before they embark on their next matchup, which will take place on the road against Ridgecroft on Tuesday at 6:15 p.m.