DUBLIN — West Bladen overcame a sluggish game, sparked by Stefan McDonald’s hot shooting, and handed conference foe Midway its first loss of the season in the second round of the Woodman Life Christmas Tournament on Tuesday, 79-72.
The win sends West Bladen into today’s championship against Hoke County at 8 p.m.
“We didn’t play real well — it seemed like we were out of sync,” said West Bladen coach Travis Pait. “I don’t think people know just how young we really are, so getting a win like this is big for us.”
The two teams slugged it out through the first quarter, and the Raiders edged ahead 20-18 going into the second stanza.
The Knights kept pace through the period and managed to nip Midway 15-14 to slice the deficit in half at 34-33 going into halftime.
Pait made his adjustments and it paid off over the next 16 minutes.
West Bladen outscored the Raiders by a 20-17 margin to move ahead, taking a 53-51 lead into the final frame.
The Knights exploded for 26 points down the stretch, outscoring Midway by five and sealing up the seven-point win.
“Shaquille (Johnson) did a good job on Midway’s best scorer, holding him to just six points, which was big,” Pait said. “And Stefan had a big game for us.”
McDonald tallied 24 points and canned four three-pointers to lead three players in double figures for West Bladen. Sayaun Dent scored 15 points with a three-pointer and Keshawn Lewis scored 14 points with a pair of three-pointers.