GROVE - The Ridgerunner basketball team defeated Miami 42-30 to win the District title, but would face opposition in the Regional Tournament, which saw Grove play Holland Hall, Vinita and Mannford.
Holland Hall 43, Grove 33
In the first round of the Regional Tournament on February 27, Grove hosted the Holland Hall Dutch. The game would remain close until the fourth quarter when the Dutch would pull away for the win.
Despite Grove's Corbin Beal hitting two threes and Aason Cross adding a layup, the first quarter ended 9-8 in favor of Holland Hall.
The Ridgerunners improved in the second quarter when Beal hit another three and Greg McCurdy hit two twos. Cross added three points and Colin Rowton hit a two to make Grove's total for the quarter 12. the Dutch would score 15, making the halftime score 20-24.
The third saw 13 points scored total, eight from Grove and five from Holland Hall, pulling the Ridgerunners within one point, trailing at 29-28.
In the fourth, the Dutch had a shooter that hit two threes and blew the game open, holding Grove to just five points in the final quarter. The Ridgerunners would fall, 43-33.
Beal led the scoring for the Ridgerunners, followed by Cross with seven, Hank Hacker with six, and Rowton and McCurdy each with four.
The loss put the Ridgerunners into the consolidation bracket, but the team still had a chance to go to the next level.
Grove 50, Vinita 37
The Ridgerunners faced the Vinita Hornets on Friday, February 28, in Mannford for the second round of the tournament. This games close in the first quarter, but Grove would get the upper hand in the second and hang on throughout the game.
The first quarter was a close one that ended in the Hornets' favor, 10-9.
In the second, the Ridgerunners scored 14 points, while holding Vinita to just six. The halftime score was 23-16.
After the half, Grove did not let up and scored another 16 points to expand the lead. The Hornets were able to score eight points, but the quarter ended 39-24.
Vinita would outscore the Ridgerunners 13-11 in the fourth, but it was not enough. Grove took the 50-37 victory and knocked the Hornets out of the tournament.
Braden Pittman led the Ridgerunners with 21, followed by Cross with 13, Beal with nine, McCurdy with four and Rowton with three.
This win put Grove in the final round of Regional play, against host team, the Mannford Pirates.
Mannford 52, Grove 36
The Ridgerunners had the toughest start to a game during the entire season against the Pirates, scoring just two points in eight minutes of play. Mannford scored 12, taking the early lead.
Grove would battle back, outscoring the Pirates 13-12 in the second quarter of play. The halftime score was 24-15, in favor of Mannford.
But the point deficit would not keep the Ridgerunners down for long as the team scored another 14 points in the third quarter. Mannford matched Grove's point total and added two more to make the score 40-29.
The Pirates would score another 12 points to the Ridgerunner's seven, winning the game 52-36 and crushing Grove's hopes of making the Area Tournament.
Cross led the scoring with 24, followed by Pittman with four, Rowton and Hagen Hacker both with three and Beal with two.
The Ridgerunners have battled relentlessly against an uphill season and end the 2019-2020 season 9-17.