RAGLAND -- The Ragland Purple Devils opened up Class 1A, Area 9 action with a 66-50 home win over the Winterboro Bulldogs on Friday night.
“It was a good home area victory for us against a good Winterboro team,” said Ragland head coach Andy Eden. “I thought we played well together both offensively and defensively.”
Ragland (4-1, 1-0) jumped out to a 16-8 lead and carried a 35-26 advantage into the locker room at intermission. At one point in the second period, the Purple Devils stretched the lead to 14 points.
In the third stanza, Winterboro (1-4, 0-1) made a fast and furious run, knotting the score at 39-all with about five minutes remaining in the period. However, the Purple Devils quickly answered, regaining the lead while heading into the final quarter with a 50-41 advantage.
“When Winterboro was able to come back and tie the game in the second half, I thought we showed a lot of poise by not panicking,” Eden said. “We were able to retake the lead and make the plays we had to at the end of the game to get the win.”
Sloan Phillips had a big game for Ragland, netting 23 points.
Nathaniel Kelley followed with 17 points, and C.J. Lawler scored 12. Josh Phillips scored seven, and Elijah Ball added two.
“We must continue to work hard to get better every day,” Eden said.
For Winterboro, Cameron Pointer and Chance Dandridge scored 11 points apiece.
For Painter, it was a breakout moment, his coach said.
“Cameron Pointer had his best game of the year,” said Winterboro Coach Sherodrick Smith. “He’s been in a slump, but I think he has finally worked himself out of it.”
Brandon Dandridge followed with eight points, while Kameron Edwards and Josh Tanner both scored seven.
Brody Hamm finished with four points, while Isaiah Holland added two.
Smith said Ragland was able to capitalize on his team’s errors and hit shots when the Purple Devils needed to.
He said Ragland’s Sloan Phillips had a good game.
“Ragland has a very solid team,” he said. “Ragland is a team that can position themselves to be a contender.”
The Bulldogs will host the Purple Devils when they meet again in January.