Ranburne led 17-14 after one quarter and extended that lead to 35-24 at halftime. Pleasant Valley then won the third quarter 19-14, leaving the Bulldogs ahead 49-43. A 3-point basket and two field goals from inside arc by Indiana Morgan accounted for half of Ranburne’s points in the third.
Ranburne coach Tim Smith said Wednesday afternoon that Pleasant Valley got as close as three points twice in the fourth quarter, the last time at 58-55. Two free throws by Lacey Smith with about 30 seconds to play made it a two-possession game and ended the scoring.
“I was proud of the girls. They responded to the challenge,” Smith said.
Hali Wilson led Ranburne’s scorers with 15 points and also had seven rebounds. Morgan and Jessie Ralston each finished with 12 points. Morgan had two treys and Ralston one. Morgan also had three rebounds. Alyssa Smith had 12 rebounds, seven points, two blocks and two assists. Hannah Phillips netted eight points and pulled in five rebounds. Kat Runels contributed eight rebounds and two points. Lacey Smith ended with four points and four steals.
Now 3-1 in Area 10, the win over Pleasant Valley improved Ranburne’s chances of finishing either first or second in the area and advancing past the area tournament in postseason play.
The Bulldogs look to improve on their 9-5 overall record tonight when they host Spring Garden. Spring Garden is 14-2 and ranked No. 5 in Class 1A in the latest Alabama Sports Writers Association poll. The Panthers are known for sticky defense and pressuring opponents into submission.
Smith said his team didn’t contest shots effectively and didn’t box out in the most recent win over Pleasant Valley.
“We’ve gotten better. We’ve had a couple of good practices the last couple of days. We had a pretty spirited practice (Tuesday),” Smith noted.
The Spring Garden game is the first of a stretch of five games in six days for the Bulldogs. Ranburne plays at Wellborn Friday, at Cleburne County Saturday, at Ohatchee Monday then entertains Randolph County Tuesday.