With both teams needing another conference win Thursday night, the Midway Raiders headed down to Spartan country to take on Union. After the first quarter, the game was never in doubt, as the Spartans handled the Raiders 55-40.
Heath Smith got the Raiders started early with 2 quick baskets in the paint, but then the Spartans’ defensive pressure really picked up. Midway would only score 2 more baskets in the quarter and led 12-8.
The second quarter was even better defensively for Union, as they held Midway to just 5 second quarter points. Brandon Lovette and Natrone Banks bolstered the Spartan offense in the second, and Union led 26-13 at intermission.
The third brought more problems for the Raiders as Bakeem Murphey had the hot-hand from behind the arc, knocking down consecutive 3-pointers to open the quarter, following them with steals and easy lay-ups. However, Midway used an 8-0 run to end the quarter to draw within 13, 41-28.
Banks’ quickness off the dribble and Bakeem Murphey’s ability to score the ball was too much for the Raiders to overcome, and Union held on for the 1- point win, improving them to 8-6 on the season.
While talking to Union Head Coach Tim Pope before the game, he said the key for them was to make shots. He stated that they have been having trouble scoring and they needed to do a better job shooting the ball. They were definitely successful in that category Thursday.
When asked about the defensive pressure that gave the Raiders so much trouble, Pope stated that they had been working on a knew type of defense all week, and he was pleased with the way that his team played and with their effort.
“Bakeem played a huge game for us. We shot the ball well from the floor and from the free throw line as well. It’s a good win for us; anytime you beat Midway, it’ s a good win.”
Justin Thompson led the Raiders in scoring with 13 points to go with 5 assists. Smith was the only other Raider in double figures with 12 points and 6 rebounds, including 4 on the offensive end of the floor.
Murphey led the way for Union with a game-high 16 points to go along with 5 steals. Banks had 13 points and 4 assists, and Brandon Lovette had 11 points and 4 rebounds.
Union is back in action on Monday against Goldsboro.