Wednesday morning, Ranburne coach Kayla Shelton was less concerned about the loss than what she perceived as a lack of maximum effort by her players Saturday.
“Maybe it did open their eyes and will help them see they’re going to have to give it all they’ve got and not quit,” said Shelton of the loss. “Just because you beat one team one time doesn’t mean you can beat them every time. You have to play your hardest every time.”
The Bulldogs opened the tournament with three relatively easy victories. In their 9 a.m. game, they defeated Clay Central 25-11, 25-14. A match with Beulah followed immediately and Ranburne won 25-15, 25-10. Against Lanett, the Bulldogs won 25-7, 25-10.
Breezing through three matches probably didn’t help the Bulldogs’ outlook entering the Woodland game and the Bobcats won 25-20, 25-11.
“We were still playing in that other game (Lanett), I think. … After we lost the first one, we kind of got discouraged and then we couldn’t do anything right,” Shelton said.
Practice picked up Tuesday. Shelton said mental toughness would be a key against the Bobcats.
“Yesterday was better than Monday,” Shelton said Wednesday. “Yesterday was pretty good. I think they realized that in order to be the team to beat (in the area) they’re going to have to play well every game. In that Woodland game in the tournament, we quit talking. We weren’t communicating well and we were getting aggravated at ourselves because we were messing up and couldn’t pull it back together.”