It is going down as one of the finest seasons in Ragland basketball history.
Recently, the Purple Devils defeated Ashville to win the county crown, something that had eluded them for some 17 years.
After the county tournament, they defeated Jacksonville Christian 74-49 to finish off a perfect area regular season.
They then picked up their 20th win of the season, beating Jefferson Christian 67-45.
Then Ashville came to town last Friday — six days after losing to the Purple Devils in the title game of the county tournament. And they were looking for revenge.
In front of a standing-room only crowd at George Eden Gymnasium, it was the Bulldogs who controlled the game early, but the Purple Devils fought back in the second half, and defeated Ashville 63-50 in a game that was much closer than the final score indicates.
Ashville led 16-11 after the first quarter, and stretched the lead to double digits at 21-11 with 6:30 remaining in the second quarter.
Something then clicked for Ragland at that moment, and they went on to outscore Ashville the rest of the game 52-29 to win.
At halftime, Ashville was still in front 31-24, but Ragland scored the first six points of the second half to close the gap to 31-30. The Purple Devils led for the first time with 3:12 remaining in the third quarter as Cody Jones put back a missed shot to make it 40-39. Ashville hit a bucket in the closing seconds to make it 41-40 headed into the fourth quarter.
Ragland outscored Ashville 23-9 in the fourth period, and went on to win 63-50.
Three Purple Devil players scored in double figures, and leading the way was KiJana Lindsay with 22 points. Jimmy Brock added 18 points and 13 rebounds while Jones finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Devane Brewster scored four points while Dakota Gardner and Jacob Brewster had two points each.
“It was a good win for us on senior night,” Ragland coach Andy Eden said. “A county tournament finals rematch. It was exciting. I was proud of the way we fought back from the early deficit.”
With the win, Ragland improved to 21-6.
Ashville also had three players to score in double figures. Alex Looney pumped in 14 points, while Damien Bothwell added 11 points. Close behind was Marcellus Brown with 10 points. E.J. Moss chipped in seven points while William Johnson and Ray Harris added three points each. Dee Weeks had two points.