“I like the personality of our team this year, I really do. … Our defense and our effort and our unselfish play, it just seems like we’re coming together,” said Bulldogs coach Tim Smith.
Ranburne returns to the Jacksonville Christian Holiday Classic tournament Friday and Saturday. The Bulldogs play Donoho in the semifinals at 2 p.m. Friday. Jacksonville Christian and Wellborn play at 5 p.m. Saturday’s championship game for the girls’ bracket is set to start at 5 p.m. The girls’ consolation game will tip at 2 p.m.
In defeating Cleburne County 65-51 Ranburne led in every quarter. The Bulldogs took the first quarter 18-14, the second 16-12, the third 11-10 and the fourth 20-15. With 4:50 left in the game, Ranburne’s Hannah Phillips grabbed an offensive rebound and her put-back basket earned the Bulldogs a 53-43 lead. Indiana Morgan followed with two break-away buckets to extend the advantage to 57-43. The Bulldogs maintained a lead of at least 10 points the remainder of the game.
Jessie Ralston was 9-for-12 at the free throw line and ended with 23 points. She added four steals and two rebounds. Morgan recorded 12 points, five assists, four rebounds and two steals. Alyssa Smith finished with nine points, seven rebounds, five blocks and three assists. Hali Wilson had 10 rebounds, eight points and four assists. Kat Runels, Lacey Smith and Phillips each scored four points. Smith added six steals and two rebounds. Phillips grabbed three boards and Runels two. Emily Hall had three rebounds and one point.
After the win over Cleburne County, the fourth game in five days for the Bulldogs, “I told them I was proud of the effort that they put forth,” Smith said.
Ranburne’s 53-17 win over Wadley got ugly quickly as the home Bulldogs bolted to a 25-3 lead after one quarter. Wadley never reached double-figure points in any quarter. Alyssa Smith and Ralston each scored 14 points in the Wadley game. Ten of Ralston’s points came in the first-quarter explosion. Smith blocked two shots and pulled down five rebounds.
Morgan scored seven points. Wilson and Phillips had five points apiece. Phillips had a team-high 10 rebounds. Wilson added four assists, four rebounds and three steals.
Abbey Farmer, Lacey Smith, Runels and Hall had two points apiece. Runels had nine rebounds and two steals. Smith added four assists, four steals and two rebounds. Hall had four rebounds and two steals.
At White Plains on December 18, the Bulldogs turned the ball over 23 times and lost 65-56.
Alyssa Smith’s double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds paced the Bulldogs. Ranburne also got double-digit points from Ralston with 18 and Morgan with 11. Morgan had five rebounds and three assists. Ralston made five steals and two assists. Wilson scored eight points and added four rebounds and three assists. Lacey Smith had five rebounds, four steals and one point.
“I thought we played hard,” Smith said. “The turnovers hurt us against White Plains.”