B1 semis next for Medina basketball squads

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 26 February 2018 at 10:08 am

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Medina’s Brendan Luthart and Maddie Williams and their Mustangs teammates will be competing in the semifinal round of the Section VI Class B1 playoffs this week..

Both the Medina boys and girls basketball teams have advanced to this week’s Section VI Class B1 semifinals.

The No. 3 seeded Medina boys squad will take on No 2 Olean at 8:15 p.m. Wednesday at Buffalo State College. The victor will face the winner of Tuesday’s No. 4 Newfane vs. No. 1 Lackawanna contest in the championship game on Saturday at Buffalo St.

The No. 10 Medina girls team will face No. 11 Dunkirk at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Kenmore West High School. The victor will meet the winner of the No. 5 Fredonia vs. No. 1 Newfane game on Sunday at Buffalo St.

The Medina boys will be looking to end a long semifinal round victory drought against an Olean Huskies squad that is 20-1 on the season. The Mustangs are 0-13 in the semis, including the last three years in a row, since last reaching the finals in 1977.

Both teams had close calls in the quarterfinals as Medina trimmed No. 6 Dunkirk 67-60 and Olean edged No. 7 City Honors 62-54.

The teams have met twice in the semifinals previously with Olean emerging victorious by scores of 75-35 in 2007 and 57-40 in 2009.

The Mustangs have been led offensively this season by senior Jalin Cooper who has scored 450 points (21.4 average) and grabbed off 200 rebounds and junior Izaiah Rhim who has tallied 229 points (10.9 ave.)

The Huskies offense has been keyed by a quartet of juniors  led by Mike Schmidt who has scored 307 points (16.1 ave.) as Brian Ramarge is averaging 11 and Alex Weakfall and Matt Droney 9 each.

This marks the second year in a row that the Medina girls have reached the semifinals. Last year the Mustangs defeated Oracle 41-31 to reach the Class B2 finals where they lost to Niagara-Orleans League foe Wilson 60-33. It was the Mustangs first appearance in the finals since 1998.

Medina, which has won six of its last seven games after a dismal 2-13 start to the season, has been sparked offensively by the trio of juniors Je’ne Brown who has scored 255 points (13.4 ave.) and grabbed off 193 rebounds, and Maddie Williams who has 165 points (8.2 ave.) and 161 rebounds along with sophomore Camri King who has 223 points (11.1 ave.) and 171 rebounds.

Dunkirk, which brings a 10-12 record into the semis, has been led by the sophomore trio of Jessica Beehler, Kymilondjie Nance and Olivia Smith who are each averaging around 10 points.

In the quarterfinals Medina romped past No. 2 I-Prep 63-37 and Dunkirk trimmed No. 3 City Honors 67-63.