Midway used a strong second half performance to take a varsity girls basketball season sweep over South Johnston by routing the visiting Trojans 64-32 to remain unbeaten Thursday.
“(At halftime) we just said we needed to go in and fix what we’re not doing,” said Midway coach Allen McLamb. “That was closing out on shooters, backside rebounding and making sure the bottom block was covered. Doing that and run the floor. Sometimes we have a tendency to get a little passive sometimes and want to walk the ball up. We need to push. We need to get the rebound, kick it out and go play basketball. That’s what we do.”
South Johnston coach Whitney Williams said the Trojans were unable to put together a complete game.
“I’d say we had a much, much better first half than we had second half,” Williams said. “We’ve got to figure out how to transition into the second half. We play as hard as we can in the first half and we come out here in the second half and we don’t know how to bring it back out. But work ethic definitely was 10 times more than it was the other night at Harnett Central.”
Freshman Kris McKoy had 15 points and seven steals, senior J.J. Sankey had 15 points, including 7-for-8 (87.5 percent) free throw shooting, and five steals and senior Alyssa Wrench had 11 points, including 9-for-12 (75 percent) free throw shooting, and 13 rebounds for a double-double to lead the Raiders (7-0).
Sydney Williams had seven points. Allison Belflowers had five points. Alexis Jackson had three points and six rebounds. Anaya West had three points. Rylie Williams and Gabbi Salas-Davis had two points apiece.
Junior Nikki Lee, with14 points and sophomore Janay McDonald, with 11 points, provided the bulk of the scoring for the Trojans (0-5).
Kennedy Byrd had three points and Jenna Brown and Emma Jernigan had two points apiece.
Williams was pleased with the defensive and rebounding efforts of junior Paige Toler.
“Paige coming in, she started out as a guard,” Williams said. “She’s a guard coming in as a post and she’s stepping up in the post.”
With a combined 48 fouls called in the contest, Midway shot 27-for-48 (56.2) percent at the free throw line and South shot 10-for-22 (45.5 percent).
Midway opened with a 12-5 run to lead at the end of the first quarter.
South fought back to open the second quarter, going on a 12-6 run to cut the lead to one. But Midway finished the quarter with a 10-1 run and remained in control the rest of the way.
Midway outscored South 16-6 in the third quarter and 20-8 in the fourth.
McLamb was pleased with the level of play several young players showed off of the bench in the fourth.
“I was impressed with my young girls in the fourth quarter,” McLamb said. “They’ve been working hard in practice and it showed.”
Midway travels to rival Triton (2-3) tonight (Friday, Dec. 7) and South Johnston is at Western Harnett (3-3) on Tuesday.