B1 semifinals up next for Mustangs and Purple Eagles on Wednesday

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 2 March 2015 at 12:00 am

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Medina and Albion will both be competing in Section VI Class B1 semifinal games Wednesday evening at Buffalo State College. At left is Medina’s Dylan Lewis and at right Albion’s Manny Thompson.

It will be a big doubleheader for local basketball fans as Albion and Medina both compete in the Section VI Class B1 semifinals on Wednesday evening at Buffalo State College.

No. 4 seed Albion (11-9) will take on top seeded Burgard (14-6) at 5:15 p.m. No. 3 Medina (11-9) will face No. 10 Maryvale (12-10) at 6:45 p.m.

The opener will be a rematch as Burgard bested Albion 54-42 in the non league season opener.

The winners will advance to the B1 title contest at 1:45 p.m. Saturday at Buffalo State.

Albion advanced to the semifinals for the first time since 2004 by defeating No. 5 East Aurora on Friday in the quarterfinals while Burgrd bested City of Buffalo rival Bennett 65-53.

Medina earned its first berth in the semis since 2009 by downing No. 6 Tonawanda 52-39 in the quarterfinals Friday while Maryvale upended No. 2 Depew 49-47.

Albion’s balanced attack has been led this season by Austin Loyd (12.3 point average), Clayton Stanton (10.5 ave.), Des Blackmon (9.9 ave.), Alex Bison (7.5 ave.), Manny Thompson (6.6 ave.) and Tommy Mattison (5.8 ave.). Stanton also leads the Purple Eagles in rebounds with 151 (8.9 ave.).

Jason Hellwig has led Medina this season with 324 points (16.7 ave.), 211 rebounds, 100 assists and 45 steals. Justin Morgan has 230 points (11.5 ave.) 70 rebounds and 53 assists for the Mustangs as Dylan Lewis has also averaged 8.6 points, Brennan Zinkievich 6.6 and Jalin Cooper 5.8. Cooper has also grabbed off 100 rebounds and Zinkievich 99.

It marks the first time since 2004 that Albion and Medina have reached the semis in the same year. The Purple Eagles lost to Maryvale 65-51 in Class A2 and the Mustangs bowed to Seneca 82-60 in Class B1 that season. The last time the two teams reached the semis in the same class was 1987 (Class B2).

Albion last advanced to the finals was 1982 when the Purple Eagles lost to Grover Cleveland 51-35 in the B2 title contest.

Medina’s last appearance in the finals was 1977 when the Mustangs lost to Fredonia 69-44 in the Class B title game.

Albion’s only Section VI title was earned in 1972 when the Purple Eagles nipped Salamanca 67-66 in overtime in Class BBB.

Interestingly, Medina’s only Section VI title came just the year before, in 1971, when the Mustangs downed Starpoint 84-73, also in the Class BBB title contest.

In Class B2, Niagara-Orleans League champion No. 2 seed Wilson will face No. 3 Fredonia in the semifinals at 6:45 p.m. Tuesday at Buffalo State. The victor will face the winner of the No. 5 Buffalo East vs. No. 1 Cleveland Hill semi in the title game on Saturday at Buffalo State.