Richard Stroud

Grove Sun

GROVE - The Grove Ridgerunners used the Jay Bulldogs’ early offensive struggles against them, building an early lead that proved insurmountable in a 50-38 win Tuesday night.

The Bulldogs got just two points in the first 13 minutes of the game as the Ridgerunners built a 15-2 lead with three minutes left in the half and led 17-8 at halftime.

Grove used a huge rebounding advantage to build their lead, outrebounding the Bulldogs 20-5 in the first half and limiting Jay to one offensive rebound. The Ridgerunners outrebounded Jay 39-19 for the game.

“[Rebounding] was a huge key for this game,” Grove head coach Will Jones said. “They [the Bulldogs] do a good job crashing the offensive glass and we wanted to limit them in that area. Our boys did a great job of blocking out.”

Chase Hilton led the way as usual for the Ridgerunners, getting 10 points and eight rebounds in the first half.

The Ridgerunners would continue to build their lead during the third quarter, using a 9-2 run to lead 26-10 with just over five minutes to play in the period.

But the Bulldogs (6-4) would not go quietly, outscoring Grove 14-6 to close out the third trailing 32-24. Jay got seven points from Kyle Shambaugh in the quarter.

Jay would get as close as seven on two separate occassions in the final period, but could get no further.

“Overall I thought we played really well,” Jones said. “Jay is a really good basketball team. I thought we had a good game plan and our kids did a really good job of executing it.”

The Ridgerunners got yet another good game from Hilton, who finished with 22 points and 16 rebounds, but it was the added scoring punch from Fairchild and Trent Phillips that made the difference. Fairchild finished in double digits for the second straight game, getting 12 points after scoring 18 against Hilldale in Grove’s last game before the Christmas break.

Phillips finished with a double double of 11 points and 10 rebounds, getting seven points in the final period and benefitting from a small change in position on offense.

“Trae did a good job hitting some timely shots,” Jones said. “Trent did a good job picking his spots. We moved him down to a lower position on the floor, more of an attacking position.”

The Ridgerunners (4-4) will be in action again on Tuesday when they travel to Wagoner to take on the Bulldogs for the second time this season. Grove defeated Wagoner 66-54 on December 3 in their season opener.

Jay will host Kansas tonight, a team they defeated 65-44 in their season opener on November 22. The Bulldogs have lost back-to-back games for the first time this season.

Grove 50, Jay 38

            1st    2nd    3rd    4th    Final

GHS    10      7       15    18       50

JHS     2        6       16    14       38

GHS: Hilton 22, Fairchild 12, Phillips 11, Knox 3, Bush 2.

JHS: Edge 12, Shambaugh 9, J. Ramsey 7, B. Smoke 4, C. Smoke 2, Larrabee 2,

Benge 2.