DUBLIN — After pulling to within 6-5 midway through the first quarter, the Lady Knights couldn’t keep up with visiting Midway on Friday and took a 56-31 Four County Conference loss.
West Bladen fell to 5-9 overall and 3-2 in the conference.
The Lady Raiders opened the game with a 6-0 spurt, but a three-pointer by Laikyn Pait and basket by Lanna Ludlum cut the deficit to one. Midway answered with a 6-1 run to finish the period and took a 12-6 lead into the second stanza.
Midway started the quarter with a 4-0 burst before Pait’s second long-range bomb cut the gap to 16-9. A free throw by Logan Autry and bucket by Erika McKoy gave West Bladen a 6-1 spurt to cut the deficit to 17-12, but the Lady Knights never got closer. Three free throws by Jerena Purdie, along with two free throws by Pait and one from Elizabeth Albright helped West Bladen stay within 25-18 at halftime.
“We played a better second quarter, but we put them at the line too much,” West Bladen coach Rick Rhoda said.
Midway opened the second half with a 9-2 run that gave the Lady Raiders a 34-20 edge. Ludlum drained a three-pointer and Pait canned a free throw to put West Bladen on a 4-1 spurt to finish the third quarter trailing 36-24.
The Lady Raiders opened the final frame with a 6-1 jump before free throws by Pait and Purdie stopped the bleeding. But a 6-0 burst by Midway all but sealed the game, and the Lady Raiders finished the game with an 8-3 run.
“Nine turnovers and our defense let us down in the second half,” Rhoda said. “But I’m proud of them. They kept fighting.”
Pait led West Bladen with nine points and two three-pointers, along with seven rebounds. Purdie had eight rebounds, while Autry had five boards. Ludlum and McKoy each scored six points for the Lady Knights.
W. Curt Vincent can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.