Sampson Middle won their seventh straight conference championship Wednesday night, defeating Midway Middle for the fourth time this season. Finishing the year at 14-1 behind explosive offense and strong defense, Sampson turned in perhaps its most impressive defensive effort in a 36-19 win.
“We waited until this game to play our best on defense. We worked hard in practice defending the three and it paid off today. Midway did not make any threes. We really played hard today and our defense has carried us all season,” said Sampson head coach Ron Davis.
“This was the fourth time playing Midway and they are well coached so we knew that if we were going to win it would be on defense,” Davis added.
The first quarter was not very eventful for a champion game as neither team could get anything going on offense. Sampson managed to have a slight lead by the end of the period but it was unproductive on both sides. They went for only five points which was enough to stay ahead as the Raiders only mustered two points.
They started to click in the second quarter at both ends of the floor the offense improving the most. From single to double digit scoring they went for 13 before halftime extending the lead. Even more impressive than that was the defense they are know for which held Midway to only one point in the period, the score at the break 18-3.
“We held them to three points in the first half. They made a little run in the third put we stayed the course and came away with the win,” said Davis.
While they did make a run coming out of the half it barely did much to change the tempo they had established. While Midway scored nine in the third Sampson had its best offense show of the night in the same period, going for 14 they completely negated the surge from the Raiders.
Slipping up in the fourth they let Midway get the better of them before the night was over. Finally being outplayed in the final period the scoring was seven to five the Raiders way. Though it was to little to late as Sampson walked away the champions on a 17-point margin. Equally impressive as the win was the fact their defense held Midway to single digit points in every quarter of the game.
“We didn’t execute on offense today. Sampson was the more physical and aggressive team today. Overall I am proud of my boys for the season we had,” said Raiders head coach Joshua Bullard.
“I also want to thank the Midway community for coming out and supporting the boys team this year and also the girls team. We are losing a lot of eight graders this year and we wish them the best. Three of our five starters were seventh graders so we have a good nucleus coming back for next year,” Bullard concluded.
Nick Smith lead all scoring for Sampson once again finishing the game with nine points. Brian Edwards and Blake Smith had his back both ended with six points.
For the Raiders Wyatt Holland and Warren Taylor did what they could for their team, being the scoring leader they each had five on the night.
“This was a fun team to coach. Congrats to Midway on a great season and thanks to RS Middle for hosting the championship games. They did a great job,” concluded Davis.
Reach Michael Hardison at [email protected] Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @SampsonInd.