Guy Ellis

The GHS varsity basketball teams dropped two Verdigris Valley Conference games to Locust Grove at the dazzling new Pirate Arena Friday night. The Lady Red (2-2) fell 50-42 to the 4A #20 Lady Pirates (5-0) while the Ridgerunners (1-3) lost a 75-59 contest to the LGHS boys (4-1).

A Lady Red 6-5 lead at the end of the first quarter was erased under an avalanche of three point shots from Lady Pirate senior Brittani Stone in the second. Stone ended the night as the game’s high scorer with 23 points.

Trailing 19-16 at the start of the second half the Lady Ridgerunners found themselves down by 10 at one point in the third. But a late frame rally capped by junior Logan Cook, including a lay up at the buzzer off a mid-court steal, put Grove to within a point, 31-30, at the start at the fourth quarter.

Lady Red high scorer Margaret Pogue, with 12 points on the evening, opened the fourth with a bucket to give Grove a one-point lead. Cook, who scored nine in the game, followed that with a field goal to stretch the Lady Ridgerunner advantage.

The Lady Pirates answered with some points from the charity stripe and another trey from Stone to reclaim the lead. With 5:31 left in the game Locust Grove was up 40-34.

From the 3:26 mark to 1:05 the Lady Red outscored Locust Grove 6-3, including four points from GHS junior Kelsey Kerr. But as time wound down LGHS played keep away with the ball and Grove was forced to foul, resulting in the final.

The boys’ contest that followed saw Locust Grove turn a 21-17 end-of-first quarter lead into a 38-29 advantage at the break.

The fourth quarter began with the Ridgerunners trailing 53-42. The Pirates placed 22 points in the final eight minutes, their highest total of all the frames, to stymie any Grove rally and seal the win.

The Ridgerunners had three players in double digit scoring. Sophomore Trent Phillips placed 15 to lead the team while seniors Trent Winters, with 12, and Tyler Spychalski, with 11, backed him up.

From here both GHS teams enter into Christmas break. The teams will return to the court for their home openers on January 6th as the Miami Wardogs come calling in another Verdigris Valley Conference showdown.