Ranburne fought back as Jay Smith scored an inside basket, was fouled and converted the three-point play to make the score 49-all. The Bulldogs created two Falcons turnovers but could add just one point off the pair of steals. Donoho answered with a free throw, tying the game at 50.
With 1:49 to play, Kyle Lovvorn netted two shots from the line to earn Ranburne a short-lived 52-50 advantage. Just 15 seconds later, it was 52-all. On the ensuing possession, the Bulldogs ran 45 seconds off the clock before Lovvorn drove for a basket and a 54-52 lead.
A Donoho reserve netted a 3-point basket with 30 seconds left, his only points of the game and just the second trey overall for the Falcons, to complete the scoring but not the suspense. Ranburne turned the ball over without a shot but got some help when Donoho missed both ends of a two-shot trip to the free throw line. After a timeout with 10 seconds left, the Bulldogs’ final shot wouldn’t fall.
Lovvorn finished with 18 points. He was 8-for-10 at the free throw line. Jay Smith scored 13 points. Eight came in the first quarter to help keep his team in the game early. Brayden Wilson had eight points including one of Ranburne’s two 3-point baskets. Dylan Wiggins also had a trey and scored six points. Mark David Smith tallied four points for the Bulldogs. Spence Florczak and Logan Sibley each scored two points and Owen Smith had one point.
In Saturday’s consolation game, Ranburne withstood a second-half challenge by host Jacksonville Christian and defeated the Thunder 84-75. The Bulldogs led 12-9 after one quarter. In the second quarter, Owen Smith scored 15 points and his teammates added another 18 points to earn Ranburne a 45-30 halftime lead.
JCA had the hot hand in the third quarter with a 27-18 advantage and Ranburne’s 15-point halftime lead was just six points when the fourth quarter started. The Bulldogs also were whistled for 10 fouls in the third, putting the Thunder in the double bonus the whole fourth quarter.
First Wilson and then Lovvorn drilled 3-pointers early in the fourth to give the Bulldogs a little breathing room but JCA wouldn’t go away. With just over a minute to play, Alex Jones hit a trey for the Thunder and Ranburne led just 77-75.
Ranburne’s final seven points came on free throws. With exactly a minute to play, Florczak netted two and 20 seconds later he made one of two. Lovvorn made a pair with 13.5 seconds on the clock and Wiggins closed the scoring with another pair with six seconds remaining.
Mark David Smith had 11 points and an equal number of rebounds for a double-double. Lovvorn ended with 21 points, five assists and three steals. Wiggins and Owen Smith each scored 17 points. Wiggins added nine assists and six rebounds. Florczak ended with nine points. Wilson contributed seven points and four boards. Jay Smith scored two points.
Now 7-4, the Bulldogs entertain Pleasant Valley in a Class 2A, Area 10 game Friday.