The Lady Raiders came up short Tuesday night against the Panthers of East Duplin 57-33. Midway knew they had a tall task in trying to defeat East Duplin, who came into the contest with an unblemished record of 19-0 overall and 8-0 in East Central Conference play.
This conference matchup started off as expected, close and competitive with Midway jumping out to a 10-9 lead over East Duplin at the end of the first quarter. That lead slipped away in the second quarter after senior forward Alyssa Wrench went to the bench with three fouls in the first half. Wrench finished the game with just four points, two assists and three rebounds but played tough defense. East Duplin led 22-18 at the half.
Midway head coach Allen McLamb said one of his keys to success is coming out in the third quarter with high intensity, trying to establish and set the tone for how the rest of the game is going to play out. That didn’t happen for the Raiders, as they were outscored in the third quarter 15-8.
The fourth quarter was much of the same. Missed free throws by the Raiders and too many easy baskets in the paint for the Panthers blew the game open. McLamb said free throws have been anything but free the last couple of games for his team. He said they shot under 50 percent against Clinton, in their last game, and only made 4-of-18 opportunities from the free throw line Tuesday night. Midway was outscored in the fourth quarter 20-7, coming away with its fourth loss of the season.
Senior J.J. Sankey led the way for Midway (17-4, 5-4) with 10 points. Freshmen Kris McKoy and Riley Williams added eight and five points respectively. Sydney Williams tallied four points and Alexis Jackson had two points.
Midway will try to fix its free throw woes Wednesday night as they travel to Wallace-Rose Hill. Midway previously beat the bulldogs 55-47 earlier in the season.