With the basketball regular season nearing its end, the teams of Sampson County are playing the last of their games this week. Three schools, Midway, Lakewood and Union, did so on the road Wednesday night.
The Union women had big success on Wednesday night, beating the number two team in the conference Rosewood on the road, 54-34.
“I am extremely proud of our girls basketball team; this was a huge win for us,” said head coach Bryant Register. “To come on the road and beat the second place team in our conference says a lot about our team. Our effort was tremendous from start to finish.”
“We moved the ball very well and got shots that we wanted on offense. Our defense was outstanding tonight. We don’t have time to celebrate, because we are back at it (Thursday) night at Neuse Charter,” he concluded.
After going down 9-6 at the end of the first, the Spartans turned it on, running into halftime on a 13-5 run for the 19-14 edge. Union did even better in the second half, controlling the third with a 17-11 difference. They wrapped it up with a dominant fourth quarter, going for 18 to the home team’s nine for the 20-point win.
Kaia Johnson and LaTyra English carried their team with 22 and 16 points, respectively.
The men didn’t share in the glory, losing 54-38 to Rosewood.
The Spartans could never catch up to Rosewood, trailing 13-9 at the end of the period. With the second quarter being a near mirror image of the first, Rosewood went for 12 while Union added on another nine, the halftime score standing at 25-18. The second half didn’t improve for the visiting Spartans, outscored 20-9 in the third, before battling to an 11-9 advantage in the fourth, ultimately falling to the Eagles by 16.
Derrick Smith led his team in scoring again with 11 points, his help coming from Cole Bass with 10.
The win for the Lady Spartans takes them to 7-12 and 5-6 in conference, while the loss for the men drops them to 9-12 overall and 6-5 in conference. They each were set to tangle with Neuse Charter for their last regular season game on the road Thursday.
The Lady Raiders have been on a tear all season, dropping just one game on a near-perfect campaign. They traveled to Wallace-Rose Hill and took down the Bulldogs in their latest outing, 43-39.
Though this wasn’t their cleanest game, they were able to come away with a victory. The first quarter saw a dead even tie with seven points going on the board for each team. Then in the second Midway outscored Wallace-Rose Hill 11-5 for the halftime advantage, 18-12.
Then in the second half control flip flopped between quarters, the Raiders being the better team in the third with a 16-8 scoring difference. The Bulldogs took the fourth 19-9, but the burst wasn’t enough and Midway claimed another win.
Leah Williams was the leading scorer with 12 points and JJ Sankey was behind her with nine.
For Midway’s men, their first conference win evaded them yet again, this time in a 64-51 loss.
The Raiders were outscored by the home team, 19-8, putting themselves in a hole early. They turned it around in the second period, in which they had a 13-11 advantage making the score at halftime 30-21.
The second half was a repeated performance, the Bulldogs taking the third 20-14 and Midway outscoring them 16-14 in the fourth frame, not enough to make up the difference.
With their win the women improve to 20-1 overall and 10-1 in the conference. For the men, they fall to 5-15 overall and 0-11 in conference. Both teams were to face Goldsboro again Thursday, this time on the road, for the final regular season game.
The Lady Leopards have found their groove lately and took down North Duplin, 54-33, on Wednesday.
It started out rocky in the first with the Rebels taking a 9-4 lead at the end of the first quarter. From the second onward it was all Lakewood. An 18-8 run in the second quarter was good for a 22-17 halftime advantage, a lead the Leopards wouldn’t relinquish.
A 17-6 run in the third only widened the margin. Lakewood took the final frame as well, 15-10, for the win.
Kiarye Bailey did the most the damage for the Lady Leopards, with a game-high 26 points.
The Leopard men had similar success, beating North Duplin, 68-59.
Offense was high in the first quarter, but Lakewood pulled ahead going for 22 to North Duplin’s 16. Both teams fell off before halftime, offensively, but the Leopards kept the advantage and widened the lead for a halftime score of 31-23.
After the intermission, the Rebels woke up going for three more than their visitors, 17-14, to cut the lead to five, but Lakewood ripped off another 23 in the fourth to the home team’s nine to take the nine-point win.
Lakewood’s Javon Owens had the hot hand again, leading all scoring with 21. Jacob Perez was on his heels with 19.
The Lady Leopards claw their way up to 7-12 overall and 7-4 in conference. The men reach 4-15 and 4-7 in conference. The teams were to play Hobbton at home Thursday in their final games of the season.
Reach Michael Hardison at [email protected] Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @SamsponInd.