Ranburne coach Stephen Bailey said LaFayette scored 12 points in a span of about 45 seconds early in the fourth quarter to extend its lead to 19 points. Ranburne battled back to within four points with just less than a minute to play but was never able to get closer.
“I thought our kids held their own. I really did,” Bailey said. “They were faster than us. We turned the ball over too much.”
Brayden Wilson had 15 points, four rebounds and two steals for Ranburne. Kyle Lovvorn tallied 14 points. Dylan Wiggins had 13 points and four rebounds. Blake Young grabbed a team-high six rebounds and scored three points. Mark David Smith ended with six points and five rebounds. Jay Smith scored six points and dished out four assists. Owen Smith had four points and two steals.
Ranburne finished 16-9 after going 9-18 last season.
“I was disappointed with the loss but very pleased with how we competed,” Bailey said.
Ranburne advanced to host in the sub-regional round by defeating Wellborn in the 2A, Area 10 tournament championship game at Ranburne. Wellborn led 29-26 at halftime and extended that lead to 10 points in the third quarter before the Bulldogs switched to man-to-man defense. The defensive change led to fast-break points on offense and Ranburne led 44-43 when the third quarter ended. Wiggins had seven points in the third quarter run and Young netted a pair of 3-point shots.
The Panthers got the first two buckets of the final quarter but Ranburne began to pull away as Jay Smith scored 14 of his 18 points in the fourth, when he was 6-for-8 at the line. He also had five rebounds. Wiggins had 11 points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals. Wilson netted 10 points and grabbed seven rebounds.
Lovvorn contributed eight points and five rebounds. Young and Mark David Smith each scored six points. Owen Smith had three points and five steals and Spence Florczak scored two points. After a 1-for-5 effort at the charity stripe in the first 16 minutes, the Bulldogs were 15-for-25 in the second half.
In the Area 10 semifinals, Ranburne defeated Ohatchee 61-44. A 16-2 second-quarter advantage carried the Bulldogs to a 31-16 halftime lead and the Indians never challenged seriously in the second half. Eight of Florczak’s 10 points for the game came in the second quarter. He connected on a pair of treys and a long 2-point basket during the run.
Mark David Smith recorded a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Wilson had 14 points and four steals. Lovvorn scored 10 points. Jay Smith pulled down 10 rebounds and added four points and three assists. Wiggins had nine points and three steals.