COVID-19 continues to leave it’s mark across all of Sampson County. Closing in on one year into the pandemic, local businesses and restaurants still don’t look the same, school schedules are discombobulated, and local sports are still greatly impacted. Despite numbers rampaging in the red zone all across the state, the North Carolina High School Athletic Association has attempted not to pull the plug on athletics, but that doesn’t mean impacts aren’t being felt.
The Midway Lady Raiders had the daunting task of taking on undefeated Goldsboro this past week. Making matters worse, Midway had to at least split with Goldsboro to keep their season going into the playoffs. After splitting with East Duplin earlier in the season, the Lady Raiders had a two-game advantage for second place over ED, who had already been swept by Goldsboro. They needed to win at least one game to maintain the advantage, otherwise the two losses would pit the two teams into a tiebreaker situation.
Lakewood and Hobbton squared off on the basketball court on Wednesday evening, kicking off Lakewood’s season while also getting Hobbton’s home schedule underway. The story of this game could be described as a tale of two halves. The Wildcats upheld a small lead throughout the first and second quarters and claimed a 19-17 lead at the half. The second half, however, was all Lakewood, the Leopards exploding in the second half and storming away for a decisive 60-31 victory.
The Clinton Lady Dark Horses were on the court for a pair of games this week, taking on conference foe Wallace-Rose Hill and non-conference opponent Cape Fear Christian Academy in some early season action. Clinton is off to a promising start as they brought home wins in both games, winning 42-30 against the Lady Bulldogs and 58-24 over the Lady Eagles.
The Midway Basketball teams kicked off their seasons on Wednesday night, diving straight into conference play when they welcomed in James Kenan for an East Central Conference showdown. In the first game of the evening, the Lady Raiders earned a 63-47 win in the opener while the ice-cold Raider boys fell 55-30.
The Midway Lady Raiders hopes for a perfect volleyball season were dashed this past week when they took on East Duplin in a pair of back-to-back matches. Both contests went the full distance, yielding a pair of 3-2 victories, the results were split with each team winning on their respective home courts.
The Lakewood Leopards traveled to Hobbton Monday afternoon for a volleyball match that was postponed from earlier in the year. The visitors got the win on Monday, winning in straight sets, 25-11, 25-9 and 25-11. The win maintains the Lady Leopards position as number two in the Carolina 1A Conference.
Taking to the court for the second day in a row, Midway and Clinton squared off in East Central Conference volleyball action on Tuesday. The contest on Monday saw a gritty performance from the upset-minded Lady Dark Horses, who stepped up their game on Tuesday and narrowly missed pulling it off.
Cross-county rivals Hobbton and Union met on the volleyball court Thursday for a return match in Carolina 1A Conference action. The Wildcats took home a win in their first meeting earlier in the season but this time around, it was the Lady Spartans who took home the win with a 3-1 score.
For the first time this season, Midway and Clinton tangled on the volleyball court, renewing a flourishing rivalry between the two schools. As with most rivalries, records and stat sheets matter not as the two teams locked horns in an intense grudge match. At the end of the night, after a few swings of momentum, it was Midway taking home the win, 3-1.
High school volleyball action continues around the county with all of Sampson’s public schools getting in games this past week. For Midway, the Lady Raiders hosted conference for James Kenan on Thursday night, concluding their home-and-home schedule with the Lady Tigers. Remaining undefeated, Midway secured the consecutive wins to improve to 6-0 on the season.