The Midway girls basketball team was on the court Tuesday night, hosting North Johnston in round one action of the NCHSAA 2A Basketball Playoffs. Although the Lady Raiders endured a rough battle from the Lady Panthers, Midway took the contest 59-37.
The Raiders came out hot in the first quarter, overcoming a scrappy North Johnston defense and early turnover struggles to ignite their offense.
Midway started out with a 4-0 lead after a basket and pair of free throws by Madeline Royal and JJ Sankey, but the Lady Panthers quickly cut the margin to 4-3. The Lady Raiders then mounted a 7-0 run to push their advantage to 11-3.
Midway continued to do work and took a 25-11 lead into the second quarter.
Midway maintained the lead throughout the second quarter, but North Johnston found their footing and began to chip away. A 6-0 Lady Panthers run at the start of the quarter saw the lead fall below double digits at 25-17, but a Midway surge pushed the advantage back to 17 points.
Right back came North Johnston as a turnover-prone Midway struggled to continue to force the issue. A once 17 point advantage has dwindled to just seven points at 34-27 before Midway took a 37-28 lead into the half.
Lady Raiders head coach Allen McLamb has stressed all season about his team winning the third quarter and on Tuesday Midway did just that. The Lady Raiders held the Lady Panthers to just one point, a free throw with 1.5 seconds remaining, the entire quarter. With such a dominant display, Midway’s lead was a commanding 49-29 headed to the final frame.
The Raiders defense continued to be big in the fourth quarter, once again limiting the Lady Panthers, and holding them to just eight fourth quarter points as Midway cruised on to the 59-37 victory.
After the game, McLamb praised his defense, especially in the second half, commenting on how his team made a complete adjustment at the half to slow the Panthers offense.
Leading the way for Midway, in typical fashion, was Leah Williams with 25 points. Alyssa Wrench also had a big night with 15 points and seven rebounds.
With the win, Midway improves to 23-2 overall and advances to the second round of the playoffs, which will be at East Bladen on Thursday. Game time is set for 6 p.m.
Reach Daron Barefoot at email@example.com. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @SampsonInd.