The Midway Lady Raiders dropped a home basketball game in round 1 of the Four County Conference tournament on Tuesday, as visiting West Bladen stunned them, 43-39.
A runner in the lane gave West Bladen the lead for good with 17.4 seconds left, as West Bladen, who lost the prior 2 meetings with the Lady Raiders, is moved into the semi-finals to play East Bladen, the undefeated, number 1, team in in the state.
Midway jumped out to an 11-1 lead, but West Bladen answered with a run of their own, cutting the lead to 13-11 at one point. Midway then extended their lead back to 7 after the second quarter, and led 23-16 at halftime.
The third quarter really hurt the Lady Raiders. They scored just 6 points, and made just 1 field goal. This allowed West Bladen to cut the lead to 29-27 entering the 4th quarter of play.
In the 4th, West Bladen took control. After leading by 4 for about a 4 minute stretch, Taylor Faircloth knocked down a pair of free throws to cut it to 2, then a running hook shot to tie the game at 39 apiece.
However, a runner at the Lady Knight end of the floor and a pair of free throws after an empty Midway possession sealed the deal for the visiting team.
Faircloth led the Lady Raiders with 18 points. Alyssa Wrench added 10 points and Leah Williams tallied 7.
The West Bladen man-to-man defense really gave the Lady Raiders trouble in the second half. Head coach Brian Wallum alluded to that in the second half.
“We could not make any shots,” said Wallum. “You have to give them credit, they play a strong man-to-man defense, and we could not make anything happen. We’ll start practicing quicker than we wanted to, because we want to be playing in this tournament, but we can benefit from the practice before the first round playoff game.”
Midway is set to play on the road next Tuesday night for the first round of the state playoffs, but the location and opponent is undetermined as of right now. The NCHSAA Brackets are set to be released on Saturday, so for more information, check out their website this weekend.
Reach Adam Capps at 910-214-9585