A second-quarter surge powered Midway’s varsity girls basketball team to a 66-42 win over visiting rival Triton on a milestone night for senior J.J. Sankey of the Lady Raiders on Tuesday.
“I would say tonight you saw the team I knew we could play like all year,” said Midway coach Allen McLamb. “I had a good rotation and everybody I put on the court did their job in the first half. We’ve still got a few things to work on, but as a whole, they came out and played together much better and played strong defense.”
Triton coach Wendy Simmons cited a lack of consistent offense as a major factor.
“I thought we came out and really played good defense the first four minutes of the ball game,” Simmons said. “It just seemed like on offense we couldn’t get anything going. We have a great offense to run against the man-to-man and we just never got into it.”
Sankey had a game-high 23 points in the contest, surpassing 1,000 points in her high school basketball career. She also tallied seven steals and two blocks.
“That was her best shooting from the three-point line (4-for-6 for 67 percent) ever that I know of,” McLamb said. “We’re pleased with that. She finished strong. I’m happy for J.J. and I’m happy for the team.”
Senior Alyssa Wrench recorded her fourth consecutive double-double for the Raiders (9-0), with 16 points and 11 rebounds. She also had four assists, five steals and two blocks.
Jenna Pope had eight points and six rebounds. Kris McKoy and Rylie Williams had six points apiece. Allison Belflowers had three points. Sydney Williams and Alexis Jackson had two points apiece.
Senior Anaya Lockamy recorded a double-double to lead the Hawks (2-5), with 19 points and 13 rebounds. She also had a game-high three blocks.
Sophomore Anastasia McDonald was also a strong performer for Triton, with eight points, six rebounds and a game-high nine steals.
“I thought Anaya and Anastasia both played really hard,” Simmons said. “(Assistant) Coach Steven Hamby said in the locker room after the game that we need all the girls to step up and play as hard as they do the whole time. Not just two minutes here, two minutes there. The whole game they need to play as hard as those two did.”
Hannah Jackson had five points and nine rebounds. Kaila Cooney had five points. Jordan Miles had four points. Alexis Howard had one point.
Simmons was not pleased with Triton’s 26 turnovers in the game.
“I think we had like 17 in the first half,” Simmons said. “Our goal is supposed to be 10 for a game. We work on passing and you’ve got to see the numbers before you throw the pass. We even worked on it before we left, since we didn’t get to practice yesterday (Harnett County schools were closed Monday for inclement weather). We just came out here and totally forgot everything.”
The first quarter was competitive, with the Raiders leading 19-11 at the end of the quarter. But Midway went on a 16-2 run through the second quarter to lead 35-13 at the half.
Midway also outscored Triton 22-15 in the third quarter, but Triton outscored Midway 14-9 in the fourth.
With 5:43 left in the fourth quarter, Sankey hit a three-pointer to reach 1,000 career points. McLamb immediately called a timeout to announce her milestone to the fans in attendance and present her with a commemorative plaque.
Triton is at rival South Johnston on Friday night.
Midway travels to rival Hobbton on Wednesday night before beginning East Central 2-A Conference play at home against Spring Creek on Friday night.
“The biggest thing is they’ve just got to believe in themselves and believe in the system,” McLamb said. “The communication has got to keep working. We’ve got to get a little bit better with our footwork. If we get that figured out, we’re fine.”