BURGAW — The Midway High School boys basketball team improved to 8-0 on the year and 2-0 in conference play with their win over Pender High School, at Pender on Thursday.
The Raider win didn’t come easy, as the Patriots hung around for a good while, including taking a 17-14 lead into the second quarter. Midway was then able to settle down, and outscored Pender 54-37 over the final 3 quarters to take the 71-51 win back to Spivey’s Corner.
Thanks to the big second half run, every Midway player saw playing time during the game, something that head coach Matthew Creech always likes to see happen.
Midway was led by Paris Smith, who scored 22 points in the win. Shyheim Small scored 14, Ayden Canady had 11, and Dariuss Perez had 9 to add to the Raider box score. Canady also added 6 assists and 6 steals.
Rodney Hansley led the Patriots with 16 points, and Cameron Kea had 11.
Coach Matthew Creech of Midway liked the way his team responded, and his bench kept the team going with it being a conference road game, which can always be difficult.
“We talked before this game about going on the road to a difficult place to play and creating positive energy for ourselves,” said the second year coach of the Raiders. “I thought our bench did a good job of providing that energy for the team early. Our defense once again made plays that helped us earn the win. We know we have to get stronger scoring the basketball, particularly at the free throw line, if we want to contend for a championship.”
Creech’s free throw comment spurred from his team shooting just 41 percent from the line during the win. They could have put the game away a lot earlier, had they just converted from the line.
Nevertheless, the Raiders are off to an 8-0 start once again. They are playing in a holiday tournament at West Bladen this week, which features some really good teams from all around the state. They will be tested there, and have an opportunity to really prove themselves.
They played South Brunswick on Monday in Bladenboro. Information for that game was not available at press time, but for up to date sports scores and stories, visit www.clintonnc.com.
Reach Sports Writer Adam Capps at 910-214-9585. Follow him on Twitter @ac4birdie