02/25/05 — Second-ranked Midway overcomes Rosewood

View Archive

Second-ranked Midway overcomes Rosewood

By Neil Fuller
Published in Sports on February 25, 2005 2:08 PM

SPIVEY'S CORNER - A little Lauren Cochran goes a long way.

Cochran had 29 points on 13-of-18 shooting to go with 17 rebounds and three blocks Thursday night as the Midway women's basketball team defeated visiting Rosewood 50-47 in the second round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association playoffs.

Rosewood guard Shanita Monroe missed a 3-point attempt to force overtime as time expired. It wasn't the only bullet the Lady Raiders (24-2) dodged.

Midway committed a season-high 29 turnovers and was 7-of-26 at the free-throw line.

"We feel very fortunate to escape with a win tonight," Lady Raiders coach Tony Denning said. "After seeing the stats, I know why we weren't able to move on out ahead of Rosewood. This might be the best thing for us since we survived. If we can limit our turnovers and hit our free throws, we'll be alright."

Super Six 1-A champion Midway advances to host North Johnston on Saturday in the Section I title game -- a rematch from last season that the Lady Panthers won in overtime. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m.

The Lady Raiders have won 17 straight.

Rosewood forward Jessica Hill hit a runner in the lane with 51 seconds remaining to tie the game at 47-all -- only to see the 6-foot-5 Cochran answer on the other end.

Hill led the Eagles (16-9) with 17 points before fouling out with 18.7 seconds to go.

Foul problems forced Hill and Clare Narron (11 points) to the bench for a large chunk of the second half. Both players -- the Eagles' two leading scorers this season -- picked up their third fouls in the second quarter.

Midway overcame a suffocating Rosewood press to lead 31-26 at intermission.

"I was just thinking this is where my bench better come through for me," Rosewood coach June Hill said. "We gave it our best shot. I told the girls how very proud of them I am. Our bench brought us back into the game. I knew we would have the bench where (Denning) wouldn't."

But Denning did have Cochran, who produced eight fourth-quarter points despite being saddled with four fouls herself.

"What can you do?" coach Hill said. "The girl is 6-foot-5. What can you do with her when she can just stand there and lay the ball in? Whoever beats that team is going to have done something, because Cochran has such an advantage."

Midway guard Martina Bullard shrugged off a 2-for-8 shooting performance to record a game-high 10 assists -- most coming as feeds to Cochran in the post.

It was enough -- although barely -- to turn back the Eagles for a third time this season.

"Between turning the ball over 29 times and missing 18 free throws, we are very lucky to get out of here with a win against a team like Rosewood," Denning said. "I'm just glad we don't have to face Rosewood again. We were very lucky to beat them three times. We're just very fortunate to survive and move on.

"That's your goal in the playoffs."

Notes: Midway is ranked No. 2 in the latest NCPreps.com 1-A poll. ... Midway F Tanisha Evans had six points and 17 rebounds. ... Monroe scored six points. ... Rosewood committed 20 turnovers. ... Rosewood is expected to be a favorite in next season's Carolina 1-A race after a third-place finish in 2004-05.