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Late surge powers Medina past Olmsted in Class B2 semi; Wilson nips Buffalo Arts

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 1 March 2017 at 10:30 pm

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Medina’s Maddie Williams works to the basket between Olmsted defenders Gabrielle McDuffie and Imani Burch during the Mustangs Class B2 semifinal win over the Lady Owls this evening at Sweet Home.

One big fourth quarter scoring burst proved to be just enough as No. 5 seed Medina rebounded from three turnover filled periods to down No. 1 Olmsted 41-31 this evening in the semifinal round of the Section VI Class B2 girls basketball tournament at Sweet Home.

The victory sets up an all Niagara-Orleans League title contest as Medina will face No. 3 Wilson, a 60-58 winner over No. 2 Buffalo Arts in the other semi, in the B2 championship game at 6 p.m. Sunday at Buffalo State College.

Trailing by five, 27-22, early in the final period, Medina put together a decisive 8-0 run on a  jumper and layup by Molley Gross followed by layups by Maddie Williams and Je’ne Brown to rally into the lead for the first time at 30-27.

Medina’s Camri King tries to put up a shot against Imani Burch of Olmsted.

A free throw by Camri King and a layup by Emily Kams upped the Mustangs lead to 33-29 with 1:15 remaining.

Olmsted did cut the deficit to 31-29 after a bucket by Gabrielle McDuffie but the Lady Owls would get no closer.

Medina, which went just 2 of 13 from the foul line over the first three periods, then used some sharp free throw shooting in the final half minute to put a lock on the victory.  Kams made 5 free throws, Maddie Winters 2 and Brown 1 in the final 21 seconds.

“We finally played like we can play,” said Medina Coach Ken Haak of his charges fourth period rally. “They are resilient and they never gave up. They never quit.”

Brown, who is now Medina’s all-time single season scoring leader with 417 points, had 12 on the evening as Kams netted 9, Williams and King 6 and Winters and Gross 4.  Brown’s total breaks the old school record total of 392 set by Erin Oveis during the 1994-95 season.

McDuffie finished with 14 and Eliza Conyers 9 for Olmsted which winds up the season at 16-4.

Hampered by a rash of 13 turnovers and 2 of 11 free throw shooting in the first half, Medina trailed by narrow margins of 12-9 after one period and 20-18 at the break.

Brown scored 7, King 5 and Williams 4 in the opening half to keep the Mustangs close.

Stymied by 9 more third period turnovers, Medina trailed 25-22 at the three-quarter mark and by a 27-22 margin at the outset of the final period before beginning the deceive comeback.

Medina will now take a 17-5 record into  what will be the Mustangs first title game appearance since the 1997-98 season.

The Mustangs split a pair of N-O meetings with Wilson this season.

Medina’s Emily Kams looks to pass as Jade Rutledge defends for Olmsted.

Wilson 60, Buffalo Arts 58

N-O champion Wilson likewise had to shake off a rash of turnovers and foul problems to nip Buffalo Arts 60-58.

Kayla Neumann scored 26 and Rachel Senek 22 to lead the way for Wilson before both players fouled out in the final period.

Arts likewise was paced by a pair of high scorers as Alexis Campbell tallied 26 and Taliah Bush 21.

Neumann scored 8 early points to spark Wilson out to a 13-8 first quarter lead.

However, Arts battled back to take narrow leads of 28-25 at the half and 45-43 at the three-quarter mark.

Senek netted 8 in the second period and 6 in the third and Neumann 10 in the third to keep the Lakewomen close.

The decisive final period then saw no less than 11 lead changes as Neumann scored 8 and Senek 5 for Wilson and Campbell 10 for Arts.

Wilson finally regained the lead for good at 59-58 on a jumper by Neumann with 38 seconds to go.

Wilson now brings an 18-3 record into the B2 finals while Arts finishes the season at 17-5.

Wilson’s Kayla Neumann puts up a shot during tonight’s narrow B2 semi win over Buffalo Arts.