Midway hosted the Lakewood Leopards Friday night and one of their largest crowds of the year. Most spectators expected a close game. After all, the Raiders had won the first meeting 65-59. The game at Midway was anything but close. The Leopards jumped out to an early big lead and coasted to a 76-46 win.
The Leopards were hot, it seemed to the Midway fans, from the time they got off the bus. Their first four baskets were 3-pointers, including 3 by Ryan Emfinger, and they had a quick 12-0 lead. But it got much worse for the Raiders, who didn’t score until there were less than 10 seconds remaining in the first quarter. By then, Lakewood had scored 28 points. Midway’s first basket was a tre by Justin Thompson.
The second quarter was a tie, 14-14, but Midway was still down by 25. Thompson scored 11 of the Raiders first half points as they trailed 42-17 at intermission.
In the third period, the Raiders were only able to knock 2 points off the deficit and it was 63-40 with eight minutes left to play. Lakewood had increased their lead to 30 by the end of the final frame.
For the visitors, Emfinger scored 21 points. Michael Smith turned in a 17 point performance. Patrick Rich dropped in 14. Nick Butler posted 12 points. Kevin Murphy added 6. Diante Newkirk scored 4. Jabrell Cooper had 2.
Midway was led by Justin Thompson with 23 points. Quincy Baggett finished with 10 points. Jordan Thompson and Andre Sankey scored 5 each. Michael Hall added 3.
“Overall, a great ballgame,” assessed Lakewood head coach Sylvester Pittman. “The kids came out with a lot of intensity and they didn’t let up. I’m really proud of my kids for the effort they brought tonight. They brought a really good game. It’s the best start we’ve had all year long. I think we need it going down the stretch.”
The Leopards, 5-5 in the Tri-County Conference, will host James Kenan Tuesday. The Raiders fall to 4-6 in conference play and 9-10 overall. They will entertain Pender Tuesday night.