The most disappointing loss came Saturday. Cleburne County led 9-0 in the first 90 seconds and 11-0 before the Bulldogs scored. When the first quarter ended, Ranburne trailed 25-12.
“We were giving up a lot of break points which we had not done all year,” said Ranburne coach Stephen Bailey.
Then Bailey added, “We couldn’t get anything going on the press,” noting the early 11-0 deficit. “We couldn’t get in it because we couldn’t score.”
The Bulldogs matched baskets with the Tigers in the second quarter as each team scored 16 points. The third quarter was a disaster for Ranburne. The Bulldogs could not score for almost five minutes. A free throw ended Cleburne County’s 16-0 run but Ranburne did not record a field goal for more than seven minutes. As the fourth quarter started, the Bulldogs trailed 63-37. The last six minutes were played with a running clock.
“I hope (Saturday) night was just one of those nights where we were tired and we didn’t play well,” Bailey said. “I still think we’ve got a chance to be pretty good by the end of the season.”
Dylan Wiggins had three 3-point baskets and two free throws for 11 points. Wiggins also made three steals. Kyle Lovvorn recorded eight points, five rebounds and three assists. His points included a pair of 3-pointers.
Spence Florczak scored seven points, all in the second quarter. Mark David Smith had six points and added five rebounds. Jay Smith had a team-best seven rebounds and scored four points. Brayden Wilson finished with three points and three steals. Blake Young had two points and Logan Sibley had one point before an injury took him out of the game in the first half.
Friday’s home win over visiting Wadley was all Ranburne from the outset. The home Bulldogs led 18-7 after one quarter and 41-17 at the half. Three Ranburne players scored in double figures. Owen Smith led the way with 13 points. Mark David Smith scored 12 points. Florczak had 10 points and five rebounds.
Wiggins had two treys and eight points, all in the second quarter. He also grabbed six boards. Jay Smith led in rebounds with nine and added seven points and four assists. Lovvorn and Young also scored seven points apiece and Young had five rebounds. Wilson had six points and Sibley scored two points. Jared Brown dished out four assists.
At White Plains on December 18, Ranburne led 29-28 at halftime and 46-44 after three quarters but need a late 3-point basket by Wiggins to knot the score at 67-all and force the overtime. In the extra minutes, the Wildcats milked the clock then scored first. Trailing, Ranburne was forced to foul and White Plains was 7-for-8 at the free throw line in overtime.
Lovvorn led the Bulldogs in points with 19, rebounds with seven and assists with five. Owen Smith had 13 points and four rebounds. Wilson contributed 11 points and five steals. Wiggins netted nine points, Mark David Smith eight points and Sibley six points. Young and Jay Smith had two points each and Florczak scored one point.
Ranburne plays again Friday and Saturday in the Jacksonville Christian Holiday Classic. The Bulldogs meet Donoho Friday at 3:30 p.m. Saturday’s championship game is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. and the consolation game should start at 3:30 p.m. Wellborn is the fourth team in the tournament.