Blue Devils oust Mustangs in semis

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 25 February 2016 at 12:00 am

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Medina’s Jalin Cooper puts up a floater shot during the Mustangs semifinal loss to East Aurora this evening at Buffalo State College.

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.

Jared Zinkievich puts up a shot for Medina over East Aurora defender Cal McTigue.

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’s Justin Morgan tries to drive against East Aurora’s Noah Thompson.

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.