Coach Leonard Henry’s Midway Raiders hosted Princeton Tuesday night looking for a home victory. The Bulldogs, however, had other plans and avenged last week’s loss with a 50-44 hard fought win.
The first quarter of the game was highlighted by the hot hand of Justin Thompson who blistered the nets with four 3-pointers. Midway led 14-11 after the opening frame. The Bulldogs pulled ahead by 5 at intermission, 28-23.
One of the highlights of the evening had nothing to do with basketball. Lora’s Dance Unlimited has sponsored a fundraiser and toy drive in recent weeks to benefit the UNC Children’s Cancer Clinic.
Tuesday night celebrated the end of the drive with performances by Lora Black’s students at halftime of each of the three basketball games. The star of show was 3-year-old leukemia patient Alissa Byrd, the daughter of Johnson and Amy Byrd of Spivey’s Corner. Alyssa performed with older students Jenna Warren, Hannah Wilson, and Maegan Wilkes and stole the show. They performed a routine to the heart wrenching song “Skin” by Rascal Flatts at intermission of the boys’ varsity game.
In the third period, the visitors added a point to the lead and the Raiders trailed 37-31 headed to the final eight minutes.
The fourth quarter saw Midway reduce the deficit to a single point on a couple of occasions. A basket by Raheem Thomas cut it to 41-40 with 1:47 left. Moments later, following two Bulldog free throws, Justin Thompson sank 2 to make it 43-42. A travel call after a Midway rebound kept the Raiders from an opportunity to take the lead and Princeton held on for a 50-44 win.
For the Raiders, Thompson led the way with 15 points. Thomas added 8. Sophomore Andre Sankey, just up from the junior varsity team, scored 7. Quincy Baggett and Michael Hall posted 4 each. Jordan Killet and Tyler Pope contributed 3 a piece.
“Hats off to Princeton tonight,” asserted Midway head coach Henry. “We knew they would come out a little more aggressive than they were last Tuesday. We were not fooled by any means. They had a little time to get some stuff together and they just executed a little bit better than we did. With all the mistakes we made, we still had a chance to win that ball game. Everything that happened tonight is coachable.”
Midway, 2-3, will host South Johnston tonight.