BURGAW — No. 3 seed Midway broke open a close contest with a 15-0 burst late in the third quarter and upset No. 2 seed East Bladen in the semifinals of the Four County Conference Tournament on Thursday.
The loss drops the Lady Eagles to 21-5.
Ja’Tyra Moore-Peterson drained a three-pointer early in the game to give East Bladen a 5-2 edge, but the Lady Raiders went on a 7-4 spurt to knot the game at 9-9 before the Lady Eagles answered with a 5-0 run. Shardajah Brown buried a three-pointer late in the first quarter to help put East Bladen up, 17-13.
In the second stanza, the Lady Eagles went on a 4-0 run on buckets by Emily Scott and Yolanda Costen, then Brown canned another three-pointer to give East Bladen a 24-19 lead. But Midway closed out the first half with a 12-5 run and carried a 31-29 advantage into the intermission.
The Lady Eagles came out of halftime and got three baskets from Moore-Peterson and another from Justyna Gargala to fuel an 8-0 run that gave East Bladen a 37-31 lead. But the Lady Raiders stopped the bleeding and went on a 15-0 burst that covered the last half of the third quarter for a 46-37 Midway lead. Ashley Hardin’s basket closed out the period with a bucket for East Bladen.
The Lady Eagles opened the final quarter with a 4-0 spurt on baskets by Scott and Hardin, but Midway held off the East Bladen rally, thanks to a trio of free throws down the stretch, and sealed the 10-point win.
“We had a complete meltdown when (Midway) went to a box (defense) on Ja’Tyra,” said East Bladen coach Patty Evers, who also lamented the fact that the Lady Eagles had 27 turnovers.
Moore-Peterson led East Bladen with 14 points, while a foursome of Lady Eagles — Brown, Scott, Hardin and Patience Ward — each scored six points. Brown also contributed 10 rebounds, while Scott and Hardin each grabbed nine boards.
The Lady Eagles will find out Saturday who they will play to open the state’s Class 2-A playoffs on Tuesday.