Midway hosted Rosewood Monday night in a game in which the Raiders showed a lot of fight, but just couldn’t finish off the Eagles. The visitors prevailed 60-53.
“Fight and finish is what I preach to those guys,” asserted Midway head coach Leonard Henry. “We did put up a fight, we just couldn’t finish, whether it be a rebound or making a free throw. But we’ll get it. The effort was there; we just didn’t execute a few times.Overall, though, we were pleased as a coaching staff with the effort. It was truly there. Everything else will fall into place.”
The Raiders trailed 10-9 after one quarter. Heath Smith inspired the crowd with a game-opening 3-pointer, but scoring was otherwise sporadic early on.
In the second period, both offenses pick up in intensity. Raheem Thomas dropped in 7 points, but Midway trailed 30-23 at intermission.
After trailing 40-27 midway through the third quarter, the Raiders went on a 9-0 run to cut the deficit to 4, at 40-36, after three periods. The run was highlighted by back to back Quincy Baggett baskets and capped off by two Justin Thompson free throws.
In the final frame, the Raiders cut the lead to 48-47 on a Thomas basket with 3:23 left in the game. After a Rosewood basket, Thompson nailed 2 more free throws to make it a 1-point deficit again. The Raiders remained close but missed on key opportunities late and Rosewood held on for the victory.
In the third period, Henry explained “we just needed a spark, whether it be a blocked shot or a dunk.” The spark was provided by Andre Sankey, who hit a big 3-pointer, and the hot hand of Raheem Thomas, who ended up with 22 points.
“We need Raheem as well as all the guys to step up,” added Henry. “Raheem was in his groove. That little 8 to 10 foot jump shot he was hitting was a lot of hustle and effort.”
In addition to Thomas’ 22 points, Justin Thompson scored 12, Baggett had 8, and Smith and Sankey connected on 5 each. Jordan Thompson hit a free throw to complete the scoring.
Dee Malory led Rosewood with 21 points. Tyonte Raynor added 15.
The Raiders, 3-4, will open conference play next Tuesday at Heide Trask.