Irish turn back Mustangs comeback bid

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 12 February 2022 at 6:44 pm

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Medina’s Cayden Lilleby drives to the basket against a trio of Notre Dame players including Colin McCulley (42), Ryan Fitzpatrick (2) and Jordan Welker (0)  during the Mustangs loss to the visiting Irish this afternoon.

A second half comeback bid fell short as Medina dropped a 56-48 decision to visiting Notre Dame this afternoon in a non league boys basketball game.

Trailing by 16, 33-17, at the half, Medina came battling back with a big 21-7 third period scornig surge to slice the deficit to just two, 40-38.

Back-to-back threes by David Berry highlighted that rally which also featured a three and a jumper by Joe Cecchini and a layup and a rebound bucket by Jarin Rhim.

However, the Mustangs could not pull even as Notre Dame opened the decisive final period with an 11-3 run to regain a 10 point, 51-41, lead and Medina could get no closer than five after that.

A three by Colin McCulley and a layup off a turnover by Ryan Fitzpatrick highlighted that Irish scoring spurt.

A three-point play by Anthony Bowman and a basket by Robert Arnold did pull Medina within five, 51-46, with 1:45 remaining but the Irish countered with a layup by Cody Henry.

A layup by Kaedon Cleveland again rallied Medina to within five, 53-48, with 38 seconds to go but two free throws by McCulley and one by Jordan Welker finally put a lock on the win for Notre Dame. McCulley went 6 for 6 from the line in the final period.

Fitzpatrick finished with 15, McCulley and Jimmy Fanara 12 each, Welker 9 and Henry 8 for Notre Dame’s balanced attack.

Bowman scored 12 to lead Medina as Rhim an Cecchini both had 8, Berry and Arnold 7 each, Cayden Lilleby 4 and Cleveland 2.

Up by only two, 15-13, at the end of the first period, Notre Dame used an 18-4 second period scoring surge top open up a 16 point, 33-17, lead at the half. Fitzpatick scored 7 and Fnara and Henry 4 each during that stretch.

Medina did get back in the game by answering with a 21-7 third period scoring edge but the Irish countered with a 16-10 stretch run edge to claim the win.

Notre Dame’s Colin McCulley goes up to block a shot attempt by Medina’s Jarin Rhim.