Blue Devils oust Mustangs in semis
A lengthy 11 minute plus field goal scoring drought down the stretch proved fatal as No. 2 seed Medina dropped a 55-46 decision to No. 3 East Aurora this evening in the semifinal round of the Section VI Class B1 playoffs at Buffalo State College.
Up by seven, 36-29, with 3:15 to go in the third quarter, Medina could not score from the field again until 4:50 remained in the final stanza when Jalin Cooper hit a jumper.
During that long drought East Aurora rallied into the lead for good at 46-40.
Cooper’s jumper, followed by two free throws by Tyler Ames, did pull Medina back to within two, 46-44, with 3:50 remaining but the Mustangs could not score from the field again until the fins three seconds.
Back-to-back threes by Noah Thompson and Cal McTigue upped the Blue Devils advantage to eight at 52-44, and put a lock on the win.
Thompson finished with a game high 25 points for the Blue Devils which will now face undefeated (22-0) top seeded Olean in the B1 championship game on Saturday. The Huskies romped past No. 4 Dunkirk 59-41 in the other semi.
Cooper had 18 to lead Medina as Daryl Haynes added 8, Ames 6, Justin Morgan and Jared Zinkievich 5 and Ronnie Koonce 4.
East Aurora grabbed a narrow 11-10 lead at the end of a sea-saw first quarter which saw five lead changes.
The Blue Devils upped the lead to five, 17-12, early in the second period after back-to-back threes by Thompson and Liam Sheehan.
Medina though came battling back with a 12-5 run to rally into a 24-21 lead.
A rebound bucket by Ames and a layup by Cooper ignited that rally. Zinkieivch followed up with back-to-back layups and Haynes tacked on a three off a turnover.
East Aurora though rallied back into a 27-25 lead at the outset of the third period after layups by Thompson and McTigue.
Medina came battling back one more time, this time with an 11-2 run, on a jumper and rebound bucket by Cooper, driving layups by Koonce and Haynes and a three by Morgan to regain a seven point, 36-29, advantage with 3:15 to go in the third period.
However, the lid went on the basket again on the Mustangs for most of the final 11:15 of the game.
Trailing by five, 43-38, at the three-quarter mark, the Mustangs rallied back to within two at 46-44 with 3:50 to go after a jumper by Cooper and two free throws by Ames but could not pull even as East Aurora countered with a 9-0 run to put a firm lock on the win and a trip to the finals.
Medina finishes the season at 15-7.