The GHS boys basketball team lost a close 72-64 contest to Verdigris Valley Conference rivals the Miami Wardogs (5-1) in the Ridgrunner (1-4) home opener Tuesday night.
Grove held a 14-9 lead at the end of the first quarter but the Wardogs countered that with a 23 point second to hold a 32-26 edge at the break.
Undaunted, the Ridgerunners began to chip away at the Miami lead in the second half. Grove outscored Miami 19-15 in the third to close to within two, 47-45, going into the final eight minutes.
The teams went back and forth early in the fourth before Miami put together a seven point unanswered streak midway though to break a 49-49 knot and gain some breathing room. As time wound down the Wardogs took advantage of the charity stripe and played keep away with the ball to hold on for the win.
The Ridgerunners had two scorers break the 20-point mark. Senior Tyler Spychalski ended the game with 24 points, including a trio of three-point shots in the final four minutes. Jack Johnson put up 21 points and paced the Grove third quarter comeback with eight. Senior Reid Harding scored nine.
Having played one 4A top-20 foe this week in the Wardogs the Ridgerunners will face another this Friday as they travel to Vinita.