Midway and Trask met in the conference tournament semifinals Thursday night at Clinton High School, with Trask eliminating the Raiders, 70-64.
Trask came out of the gates with the hot hand, making 6 first half three pointers to lead 38-25 at halftime. Midway trailed by 16 after 3 quarters, 40-56.
Then the Raiders heated up. Andre Sankey nailed 4 consecutive 3 pointers, followed by a Jamarrious Baggett 3, which cut the Titan lead to 3. Quincy Baggett got a hoop with the harm, made his foul shot, and the Raiders had somehow tied the game at 62 with 3:56 to play in the game. The Raider defense was stifling, forcing many turnovers in this stretch with full-court pressure. It was a 22-6 run which allowed the Raiders to tie things up.
Trask then calmly broke the Raider press for a lay-up, and when Midway couldn’t score down the stretch, Trask made their free throws.
Midway was led by Andre Sankey with 13 points, Paris Smith had 10, and Quincy Baggett had a team high 16 points.
It was a truly exciting game, yet a heart breaker for Coach Leonard Henry’s Raiders. “We are going to go back to the drawing board, and we still know that we have a lot at stake in the playoffs” said the Raider coach. He also stressed how proud he was of his team’s resiliency to fight back and tie the game. Midway could have easily put down their heads and gave in. But that’s not this Raider team. Last year’s team would have been finished when the scorebored read 56-40, Trask. But not this Raider team. If one thing has stayed consistent all year for Midway, it had been their resiliency.
Midway awaits where they will play and who they will play in the first round of the NCHSAA playoffs. The brackets will be released Saturday afternoon.