Decade in Review: #7 Albion and Barker end long boys basketball championship droughts

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 31 December 2019 at 2:46 pm

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Albion co-captains Clayton Stanton and Alex Bison celebrate with the championship plaque following the 2015 Class B1 title win over Maryvale which ended the Purple Eagles 40 plus year sectional title drought. At right Austin Loyd drives in for a layup.

On the hardwoods, it was a decade which saw Albion end a 40 plus year boys basketball Section VI title drought and Barker end  a 70 plus year long Niagara-Orleans League title drought.

Albion captured the Section VI Class B1 championship in 2015 with a 65-57 win over Maryvale.

Des Blackmon scored 20, and Clayton Stanton 16 to lead the Purple Eagles as Tommy Mattison added 9, Austin Loyd and Manny Thompson 6 and Alex Bison 4.

Barker’s Jacob Haight and his Raider teammates captured the N-O title in 2014 to end a 70 year drought.

The sectional championship was the first in 43 years for the Purple Eagles whose only other Section VI title came in 1972.

Seeded No. 4, Albion advanced to the finals by defeating top seeded Burgard 62-54 in the semifinals.

The Purple Eagles though were bested by East High of Buffalo 72-54 in the Class B state qualifier contest.

Barker captured its first Niagara-Orleans League championship since 1945 by claiming the 2013-14 crown with a perfect 14-0 record.

The Raiders clinched at least a tie for the title by nipping Medina 42-39 in their closest call of the league campaign. They then locked up the title with a 64-34 win over Wilson and closed out the 14-0 campaign with road wins at Roy-Hart (83-46) and Albion (81-52).

Barker, which went 18-0 during the regular season, was led by a quartet of multi year starters including seniors Jacob Haight, Mitch Luckman, Bryce Moeller and junior Christopher Sweeney.

The Raiders magical 19-1 season finally ended in a 62-48 Class C semifinal loss to Silver Creek.

Medina likewise had a big decade in N-O boys basketball competition as the Mustangs have captured a school record four straight league titles over the last four seasons (2016-17-18-19).