The Midway Lady Raiders beat Clinton for the Kenny Bass Holiday Classic title on Friday night, wrapping up the championship with an overall dominating performance and remaining undefeated in the process.
Midway cruised to a 69-42 win over the Lady Horses, hopping out to an early lead and never looking back.
“We played an excellent game on defense, which was able to give us the win like it has been doing all year,” said Raiders head coach Allen McLamb. “Our defense helped us build that big lead in the first, which I think really set us up for the rest of the game.”
The big lead early definitely set the tone in this matchup, with the Raiders pulling ahead by 12 at the end the period. Their defense prevented the Horses from reaching double digits in the first, the Raider offense capitalizing by taking a 21-9 lead.
Midway continued to apply that pressure into the second quarter, maintaining their big lead. The Horses found a few more baskets, going for 12 before the half, but Midway didn’t relax with the lead, adding another 17 before the break for a halftime lead of 38-21.
The Dark Horses found a little rhythm in the third playing the Raiders on the same level. Both teams went for 15 points in the period but that did little to help Clinton mount a comeback. After leading 53-36 at the end of three quarters, the Lady Raiders took another 16-6 advantage in the fourth on the way to the 27-point victory.
“This is what I call a great loss,” said Clinton head coach Chris Owens. “We lost to a good, experienced ball team and our girls learned from this, which is why I called it a great loss. We had some fight in us, but in the end we had too many turnovers, but I’m proud of them and it’s back to the drawing board.”
For the Raiders, their tournament MVP Leah Williams led all scoring with 30 points, while JJ Sankey was next up with 14.
Ashlyn Williams led the offense once again for Clinton, ending this contest with 25. Montavia Monroe stepped up big for them in this game, finishing with five points.
The champs remain undefeated at 10-0 and are 1-0 in conference play. They’ll face the Horses again in rematch the next time they hit the hardwood Jan. 2 on the road.
As for the Dark Horses they drop below .500 again and are now 4-5 overall and 0-1 in conference. They will try and bounce back on Thursday when they make their appearance in the Wilmington tournament, their opponent being 4A Laney.
Reach Michael Hardison at email@example.com. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @SampsonInd.