The Midway Raiders hosted East Bladen Tuesday night with hopes of maintaining their perfect record. That record was in doubt most of the evening as the Raiders battled poor shooting and amassed an unusual number of turnovers. However, in the end, Midway prevailed 71-62.
The Raiders scored the first 8 points of the game, but East Bladen came back to trail by 2, 11-9, after a quarter.
In the 2nd period, the Eagles shot better while the Raiders struggled offensively. East Bladen tied it up for the first time at 28 and then led 33-30 at intermission.
Things didn’t improve for Midway in the 3rd quarter. East Bladen led by as many as 7 at 46-39. The Raiders cut it to 49-45 by the end of the period.
In the final frame, the Raiders finally knotted the score on back to back baskets by Paris Smith. It was 51 all. After the Eagles led 56-54, Jackson Carr scored inside following a missed Midway free throw with 4:44 left in the game.
Michael Kramer put the Raiders on his back from that moment. His basket with 4:11 left gave Midway a 2 point lead. At the 3:22 mark, he nailed 2 free throws and the home team led 60-56. A Raider turnover gave the Eagles an easy basket and moments later a Carr free throw made it 61-58.
With 2:08 remaining, East Bladen scored off another Raider turnover and it was 61-60. A Smith basket put Midway up by 3 and then Kramer scored again with 1:23 left. Kramer then hit 4 straight free throws and Smith added a pair as the Raiders finish with a 71-62 win.
Smith led the way with 17 points. Dariuss Perez added 16, while Kramer scored 12. Shyheim Small tossed in 8 and Marelle Bullock
connected on 7. Ayden Canady and Austin Raynor scored 4 each. Carr had 3 points.
“Michael (Kramer) was a force inside,” declared Midway head coach Matthew Creech. “I think where we struggled was being strong enough with our guard play to get Michael the ball. Jackson Carr came in in the 4th quarter and he’s that glue guy that held everything together. A big layup, a big offensive rebound, just knowing where to be at the right times. We’re so proud of him.”
Regarding the game played by Smith, Creech added, “Paris is that guy this team looks to in big moments and 7 games in he’s been able to respond to that.”
The Raiders improve to 7-0 and will visit Pender Thursday. The Eagles fall to 1-4.
Reach Danny McDowell at firstname.lastname@example.org