Midway traveled to Farmville Central High School Monday night to face the Jaguars in round one of the NCHSAA State Playoffs. The Raiders were right there the entire game, but could never get over the hump, and ended up falling by 10, 68-58.
Andre Sankey and Paris Smith had 10 points to lead the Raiders, Quincy Baggett added 8 points in his final high-school basketball game.
Midway trailed by 3 after the first quarter, and a late run fueled by a couple of Taylor Calcutt buckets allowed the Raiders to cut the halftime lead to 2, 34-32.
Midway cut the lead to one a couple of times in the second half, but Farmville Central responded with huge baskets on the other end. It was a sad scene after the game in the Midway locker room. The Raiders have had their best season in years with 15 wins, but that made the loss no easier for the fans or players.
“We just couldn’t seem to get over the hump. I can’t be mad at these guys though. They played so hard, and I am so proud of them. This group of seniors have set the bar for what Midway athletics need to become. Hard work on and off the court, caring for your teamates on and off the court” said Midway’s coach Leonard Henry after his team’s season-ending loss.
When this team looks back on this year in a week, they will still only think about the loss at Farmville Central. When they give it a little more time though, they will realize just how much they accomplished. The Raiders had wins in front of their home-crowd that they can’t forget. They defeated 3A Triton by 30 points early in the season. They topped previously undefeated Trask at home, and beat cross-county rival Clinton in their first meeting.
This group of Raider seniors did do more than just win 15 ball games. They really have set a new premium for what it means to wear the Midway jersey. Whether it’s the emotion that Quincy Baggett shows, or the way Jordan Thompson made players he was defending despise him because of his ability to smother them defensively. Whether it’s Justin Thompson’s toughness around the rim, finishing despite the contact, or the growth that Josh Minnick showed throughout his career as a Raider. It could mean providing anything you can for the team once you enter the game like Taylor Calcutt and Mike Hall, or simply making your team better in practice like Thomas and Samuel Fields, and Jordan Killett.
More than anything, this Midway team never stopped competing. That’s what people will remember when they look back on this season. Midway returns 5 players on varsity next season. The program definitely seems to be headed in the right direction.