Midway drives toward perfection

By: By Daron Barefoot - Sports Writer

The Lady Raiders basketball squad continued their drive toward perfection after downing rival Clinton on Wednesday night in East Central 2A Conference action.

The Lady Dark Horses, who in recent years have been a thorn in Midway’s side, simply lacked the offensive firepower they’re used to having and were unable to keep pace, falling 72-45.

Playing in their home gym for the first time since early December, Midway took advantage of being back in front of a friendly crowd early as they used a 16-0 run to take a 20-6 lead at the end of the first quarter. Logan Baggett sunk consecutive three pointers to break a 4-4 tie to push the Lady Raiders lead to 10-4 as Midway began to pull away.

Clinton’s offense began to find their footing in the second as the Lady Dark Horses were able to convert more baskets, but it was their defense that failed to get stops and provide an opportunity to close the gap. The teams were even throughout the second quarter as Midway maintained the lead at the halftime break, 36-21.

Clinton continued to fight at the beginning of the second half but it was Midway that ultimately seized control. With 4:40 showing on the clock, Leah Williams hit a three pointer to propel the Raider lead to over 20 points at 46-25. That lead was extended after a defensive steal lead to an easy basket by Sanaijae Sankey, making it 48-25.

It was all Midway for much of the second half as the Lady Raiders pulled away for the 72-45 win.

Leading the scoring for Midway was Sankey with 20 with Williams right behind with 19. Hannah Lucas also contributed with nine points and Alyssa Wrench had eight. Wrench also had a solid night defensively, coming down with eight boards and tallying four blocks.

For Clinton, Ashlyn Williams led the Lady Horses, and all scorers, with 25 points. Isa Banks had five points and Jaida Faison and Jada Lee each had four.

After the game, Midway head coach Allen McLamb expressed his satisfaction with the win but admitted that his team had some inconsistencies.

“We had moments tonight where we did some great things and we had moments where we weren’t so sharp, but overall I’m pleased with how we played,” McLamb said. “I think on the defensive end we set the tone early and used our defense to get our offense going.”

“I thought that we played some of our best ball in the third quarter, which is one of our goals. We go in at the halftime break, discuss how things are going, make adjustments and win the third quarter. That’s our motto and tonight I thought we executed well,” he concluded.

With the win, Midway improves to 15-0 overall and 5-0 in the East Central Conference. They’re upcoming schedule is a busy one thanks to make up games due to recent inclement weather. They are scheduled for games Thursday night against Goldsboro, Friday against Wallace-Rose Hill and Monday against East Duplin, all are at home.

For Clinton, they fall to 6-12 overall and 2-5 in the conference. Their next game will be Monday as they host James Kenan.

JJ Sankey goes up for a layup during Wednesday’s contest in their third win over the Horses.
https://www.clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/web1_JJ.jpgJJ Sankey goes up for a layup during Wednesday’s contest in their third win over the Horses.

Isa Banks of Clinton drives to the hoop uncontested.
https://www.clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/web1_isa-banks.jpgIsa Banks of Clinton drives to the hoop uncontested.
Lady Raiders fly past Clinton, run record to 15-0

By Daron Barefoot

Sports Writer

Reach Daron Barefoot at dbarefoot@gmail.com. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @SampsonInd.

Reach Daron Barefoot at dbarefoot@gmail.com. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @SampsonInd.