The Sampson Middle School boys basketball team has been on fire all season. Their shutdown defense has earned them numerous wins and the top spot in the conference. On Monday, they were able to squeak by a game Midway Middle team, 39-36.
“We have not played since Dec. 18 and I could tell it in the first quarter,” said head coach Ron Davis. “We made some adjustments at halftime to help open things up offensively and it paid off for us.”
Sampson barely pulled this one out and were in trouble against the young Raiders in the early parts of this game. Though they played decently on offense going for 13 points in the first quarter that’s not where the problems were. Their usual lockdown defense was struggling allowing Midway to take the lead with 16 in the period.
The second quarter was very sluggish for both teams on the offensive side on the ball. Sampson dropped significantly in their scoring only managing five point for the whole quarter. Luckily for them that well know defensive style they’re use to showed up when they needed it. Completely halting the production of the Raiders offense from the first they held them to the same amount of scoring, five points.
By the break they were hanging around and went into halftime only down three, the score 21-18. As their adjustments after two quarters of play would be the key to claiming this one.
Whatever Sampson did in the second quarter to slow down Midway carried over into the second half. The offense also found its niche in this half as well going for six more in third with 11 points. The defense continued to cause Midway problems as they only added two more point than from the previous quarter with seven.
After trailing the entire first half they found themselves with a small one point lead going in the fourth quarter. The fourth was almost an exact mirror of the third with a point both ways being the only difference. Add 10 more for Sampson and another eight for the Raiders. This makes the third straight time that they’ve beaten Midway this season etching out this one by three.
“It was a great basketball game from both teams. It’s really hard to beat a well-coached team three times in one season, but my team knows how to defend and that’s what they did the second half,” said Davis.
Nick Smith was the leading scorer in this contest carrying his team to a win with 14 points. His back up this go around came from Blake Smith who was right behind him with 12.
As for the young Raiders of Midway, Warren Naylor did most of the damage, finishing with 13 points on the night.
“We are 8-1 on the season and in first place heading into the final week of the regular season,” concluded Davis.
The current Sampson County Middle School conference standings are as follows: For boys, Sampson is on top at 5-1, Roseboro-Salemburg stands at 5-2, Midway at 4-2, Hobbton at 2-4 and Union Middle rounds out the standings at 0-7. For the girls, Midway reigns at 6-0, while Roseboro-Salemburg stands at 4-3, Sampson and Hobbton follow, each at 3-3, and Union is 0-7.
Reach Michael Hardison at [email protected] Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @SampsonInd.