“I thought we played pretty good actually. (Wadley) shot the ball extremely well. They handled our press very well the first half, so much so that we didn’t do it any in the second half,” Bailey noted.
Wadley led 16-12 after one quarter then Ranburne (12-8) moved ahead 30-27 at halftime. Ranburne still led 45-43 after three quarters. Four Ranburne players scored in double figures. Dylan Wiggins paced the offense with 16 points and added seven steals and six rebounds. Brayden Wilson scored 15 points. Mark David Smith had 12 points and seven boards. Kyle Lovvorn finished with 11 points, seven steals and six boards. Blake Young scored five points and Jay Smith ended with four points and six rebounds.
Horseshoe Bend was Ranburne’s opponent last Thursday as the Tri-County Shootout opened. The Bulldogs defeated the Generals 55-23. Ranburne led just 28-17 at halftime then outscored Horseshoe Bend 23-3 in the third quarter. Baily said his team’s press was ineffective in the first half and at halftime his focus was getting the Bulldogs to play with more intensity.
“We did that in the third quarter,” he said. “We turned them over instead of letting them go through without getting a turnover. That’s were all the points came from.”
Lovvorn scored eight of his team-best 17 points in the big third quarter and seven other Bulldogs had one bucket apiece. Lovvorn also had six rebounds and three steals on the night. Wilson’s nine points included two 3-point baskets. Young had seven points and six boards. Mark David Smith scored six points and made three steals.
Wiggins, Jay Smith and Spence Florczak each scored four points. Smith had three assists and Wiggins made three steals. Logan Otwell and Owen Smith had two points apiece and Smith dished out three assists.
In the championship game Friday, Clay Central rallied in the second half and defeated Ranburne 65-60. Ranburne led 11-6 at the close of the first quarter and 32-22 at halftime. By the end of the third quarter, the Bulldogs advantage was just 42-41. Bailey said the Volunteers took the lead midway through the fourth.
“We played very good defense the first half, probably as good a half of defense as we’ve played,” Bailey said.
In the second half, Ranburne’s perimeter defense extended too far. Clay Central got the ball inside and got to the free throw line as well. Wiggins, Owen Smith and Mark David Smith were Ranburne’s double-digit scorers. Wiggins had 15 points while the two Smiths each scored 11 points.
The Bulldogs (6-0 Area) look to complete Class 2A, Area 10 action undefeated when they finish area play with home games against Woodland Friday and Ohatchee Monday.