RAVENNA — Mason County Central’s boys basketball team had the lead at the first three quarter stops, but the margin was too slim to leave any room for error and that spelled doom for the Spartans in Thursday night’s West Michigan Conference game at Ravenna.

The Spartans just couldn’t gain enough separation from the Bulldogs in the first three quarters, and the Bulldogs were able to pull out a tight 56-54 victory.

Mason County grabbed an 11-7 lead at the end of the first quarter, and still led by three, 25-22 at the half despite being outscored, 16-14 in the second quarter.

A 13-12 edge for the Spartans in the third quarter gave them a 38-34 lead going into the fourth period. The Bulldogs rallied for a 21-16 advantage in the final stanza.

Grant Neckline pumped in 20 points to lead the Bulldogs, and all scorers in the game. Kyle Beebe followed with 12 and Clay Schullo added 10.

“We put ourselves in the position we wanted, an opportunity to win in the fourth quarter,” said MCC head coach Tim Genson. “We really played hard and scraped all night. Ravenna is a very good team and we played with them all night. Really proud of our effort.”

Kolden Myer led the Spartans with 12 points, while Zach Draper and Will Chye scored 11 apiece. Jack VanderHaag added nine and Jayden Perrone eight.

The Spartans dropped to 2-5 overall and 0-4 in the conference. Next on the schedule for Mason County Central is a road trip to Hesperia on Tuesday, Jan. 18.

Ravenna kept its hold on first place in the conference with a 4-1 record while the Bulldogs moved to 5-3 overall. The Bulldogs are next scheduled to make a trip to Shelby on Tuesday Jan. 18.