Midway fell in a varsity basketball sweep against visiting Southeastern Athletic 2-A Conference opponent St. Pauls on Friday night.
The boys game was competitive throughout, but Midway was unable to find the final surge it needed as St. Pauls won 61-55.
“Our guys competed so hard tonight,” said Midway boys coach Matthew Creech. “That’s a team that lost one game last year and was ranked top five in the state and brought back their two leading scorers. It’s a really good basketball team. We were undersized and they have more athleticism than us, but our kids are crafty, smart and they try to make plays for each other. Coming close doesn’t give you a win, but we were certainly pleased with the effort tonight.”
Senior Wyatt Holland and junior Davis Williams had 17 points apiece to lead the Raiders (6-6, 0-2 SAC).
Tripp Westbrook had nine points. Casey Culbreth had seven points. Trey Gregory and Jaylin Baggett had two points apiece. Nate Smith had one point.
Senior Jeyvian Tatum had 20 points, senior Josh Henderson had 19 points and junior Marcus Galbreath, Jr. had 16 points to pace the Bulldogs (5-5, 1-0).
With Midway holding an early 8-5 lead, St Pauls finished the first quarter on a 13-4 run to lead 18-12 at the end of the quarter.
The Bulldogs were leading by nine late in the second quarter when Williams beat the buzzer with a shot from half court to cut it to 32-26 at halftime.
“Definitely going in nine as opposed to going in six is a different feeling,” Creech said. “Davis has hit some big shots for us all season. We have some guys that aren’t afraid of a big moment and he’s certainly one of them.”
Midway opened the third quarter with an 11-4 run, taking a 37-36 lead on an old fashioned three-point play by Westbrook. But St. Pauls outscored Midway 15-8 down the stretch to lead 51-45 at the end of the third.
Midway cut the lead to two with a 10-6 run to start the fourth, but St. Pauls ended the game with four unanswered points.
In the girls game, St. Pauls won a 72-33 rout over Midway.
Senior Rylie Williams had 13 points to lead the Raiders (7-5, 1-1).
Kris’shyia McKoy had nine points. McKenzie Williams had seven points. Jaycie Byrd and Anaya West had two points apiece.
Five players scored in double figures for the Bulldogs (10-1, 1-0). Senior Taliya Council and sophomore Jashontae Harris had 16 points apiece, junior Jakieya Thompson had 13 points, senior Tamyra Council had 11 points and junior Au.Nyah Teague had 10 points
St. Pauls outscored Midway in all four quarters: 17-6 in the first quarter, 17-10 in the second, 19-11 in the third and 19-6 in the fourth.
Midway is at conference and Sampson County rival Clinton on Wednesday and at home against conference opponent West Bladen on Friday.
“Our conference is tough,” Creech said. “We go into Clinton Wednesday and host West Bladen next Friday. And we’ve told our team that one-through-seven, our conference is so evenly competitive that I think we’re going to see a lot more games like this down the road if our guys will buy in and bring the same energy.”