At home Monday, in their first game of the season, the Bulldogs defeated traditional basketball powerhouse White Plains 57-56. Tuesday evening at Wedowee, Randolph County mashed Stephen Bailey’s second Ranburne team 67-36.
Bailey liked the Bulldogs much more as good Dr. Jekyll rather than bad Mr. Hyde.
“We played so aggressive and so fast against White Plains on our half-court defense, on our full-court. On offense, we moved really, really well. Coming out of that game, I thought we needed to shoot the ball more, get our shots under us, and focus on that because everything execution-wise was really good,” Bailey said Wednesday. “After last night, it seems like we need to start over, go completely back to the drawing board, because we didn’t play half-court defense well at all. We didn’t play transition defense very well. Offensive movement was just stagnant.”
The Bulldogs don’t play again until Monday of next week so they have three consecutive days of practice time available to figure things out.
Against White Plains, Ranburne led 21-9 after one quarter then trailed 31-29 at halftime. A 17-8 advantage in the third quarter carried the Bulldogs to victory. Brayden Wilson led Ranburne in scoring with 18 points, eight in the third quarter.
Dylan Wiggins had 10 points and added four steals. Jay Smith recorded nine points and five rebounds. Kyle Lovvorn had eight points, including a pair of 3-point baskets, and added added five rebounds.
Mark David Smith had six points, Wade Richardson four and Spence Florczak two. Florczak sat out the second half with an injury.
In the loss to Randolph County, Ranburne led 16-10 after one quarter. Randolph County outscored its guests 24-6 in the second quarter and 21-8 in the third.
Wiggins and Mark David Smith led the Bulldogs with eight points apiece. Owen Smith had six points. Jay Smith and Richardson had four points each. Wilson, Lovvorn and Jared Brown each had two points. Sophomore Blake Young led on the boards with four rebounds. Jay Smith, Lovvorn and Wiggins had three rebounds each and Wiggins had three steals.
Bailey said his players did a good job of attacking the Tigers’ zone defense in the first quarter but settled for outside shots thereafter with disastrous results.
“That’s going to be my focus the next three day, keeping our edge when people are sitting in a zone,” Bailey said.
Whatever other problems there may be, conditioning isn’t one of them.
“I know the football guys are in shape. They’re in the best basketball shape I’ve ever had a football team come out of football season in. Usually it’s different but we practiced so fast the last five or six weeks in football, they’re in great shape,” said Bailey. “The other guys surprised me … the first week. We’re not there yet. Obviously, it takes a little while but we’re in a lot better shape than I thought we were going to be.”