JAY, Okla. - The Grove High School boys basketball team finished in second place in the 22nd Annual Tri State Classic Tournament in Jay over the weekend.
The Ridgerunners beat the Seneca Indians 44-32 in the first round, continued on to defeat host team Jay on Friday night 52-48 in a tough semi-final game and finally fell to the East Newton Patriots 39-26 in the championship game on Saturday night. The Ridgerunners are now 5-9 on the season.
Grove 44, Seneca 32
In the first game against Seneca, Grove was able to take the lead starting the second quarter and never relinquished it. The team shot 32.6 percent as a team and bested the Indians from the line, making twelve as opposed to Seneca's eight. The Ridgerunners also had twelve more rebounds than their opponents.
Corbin Beal lead the team in both points and rebounds scoring 12 and grabbing 9 rebounds. Beal also had 2 assists. Greg McCurdy was second on the team in points with 10 and collected 3 rebounds, 2 steals, and 1 blocked shot. Aason Cross had 8 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 steal. Braden Pittman had 4 points and 1 rebound. Emmanuel Crawford had 4 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 steals. Colin Rowton had 3 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1 steal. Hank Hacker had 3 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1 steal.
Grove 52, Jay 48
The win Friday night gave the Ridgerunners their second win over the Bulldogs this season, making the rivalry 2-1 in favor of Grove.
Jay started the game hot and pushed their lead up to 10 points before leading 27-20 at halftime. The Ridgerunners spent the entire third quarter whittling down the lead. Just before the end of the third quarter, Rowton drove to the rim and dropped a pass down to Pittman on the opposite block for a layup, putting the Ridgerunners down by one. One the other end, McCurdy took a charge igniting the Ridgerunner bench. Beal grabbed an offensive rebound and was fouled going back up. Beal then hit one free throw tying the game 33-33. Beal then gave the Ridgerunners the lead when he drove to the rim one possession later and was fouled sending him back to the free throw line. Beal made both and gave the Ridgerunners a 35-33 lead at the end of the third quarter.
The Ridgerunners lost the lead briefly to start the fourth quarter but quickly regained it on a pair of Cross free throws. Cross then extended the lead when he drove baseline for two more points putting the Ridgerunners up 39-36 with 5:58 to go. The Ridgerunners continued to play with the lead for the remainder of the game winning 52-46.
Grove shot 42.1 percent in the game and made 18 free throws, while to Jay made five.
Beal again lead the team in both points with 13, 7 rebounds and 1 assist. McCurdy was again second on the team with 12 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist and 2 steals. Cross had 10 points and 2 rebounds. Rowton had 6 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals. Hacker had 5 points and 1 assist. Pittman had 4 points, 3 rebounds, 1 steal, and 1 blocked shot. Crawford had 2 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 steal.
East Newton 39, Grove 26
In the championship game, both teams had a really hard time getting anything going offensively. The score at the end of the first quarter favored East Newton 4-0. The Patriots put together a strong second quarter and lead 20-6 at halftime. East Newton against played a strong third quarter finishing with a 36-13 lead. The Ridgerunners began fighting back but had too big of a hole to dig out from before time expired losing 39-26.
The Ridgerunners only shot 26.5 percent in the game. Grove shot 23.8 percent from the three-point line and only 50.0 percent from the free throw line.
Beal lead the team for the third straight game with 15 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist, and 3 steals. Cross had 6 points, 1 assist, and 1 steal. McCurdy had 2 points, a team-leading 7 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 steal. Rowton had 2 points, 1 assist, and 1 steal. Hacker had 1 point, 1 rebound, and 2 assists. Pittman had 1 rebound and 1 steal. Crawford had 2 rebounds.
“I’m proud of our effort,” Grove Head Coach Zach Trimble said. “We played extremely well defensively. We had a couple guys step up this weekend. Both Greg McCurdy and Corbin Beal made the all-tournament team. Again, I’m extremely proud of how hard our guys played this weekend, especially on defense.”
The Ridgerunners have played a solid last four games and have taken care of the ball creating a positive assist-to-turnover ratio. The team will look to follow up their strong showing in the tournament when they travel to Coweta on Tuesday, January 28.