Medina tops Tonawanda to gain semis

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 27 February 2015 at 12:00 am

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Medina’s Jalin Cooper (1) puts up a shot as Tonawanda’s Larenz Jefferson (55) tries for a block during the Mustangs sectional win over the visiting Warriors this evening.

Advancing to the semifinals for the first time in six years, No. 3 seed Medina downed visiting No. 6 Tonawanda 52-39 this evening in a Section VI Class B1 quarterfinal contest.

Justin Morgan scored a game high 19 points, Jason Hellwig netted 14 and Jalin Cooper 11 to spark the attack for Medina which earns a spot in the semifinals for the first time since 2009. Dylan Lewis, Brennan Zinkievich, Tyler Ames and Tyler Howard each chipped in with 2 points for the Mustangs.

The Mustangs will face No. 10 Maryvale, which upset No. 2 Depew 49-47, in the semis at Buffalo State at 6:45 p.m. March 4.

Medina jumped out to a 12-4 first quarter lead as Morgan had a three and a two and Cooper a bucket and a three-point play.

The Mustangs maintained a 23-17 lead at the half as Hellwig had a three and a three-point play in the second quarter.

Medina’s Jason Hellwig (2) puts up a shot.

Medina upped the lead a bit to nine, 31-22, at the three-quarter mark as Cooper and Zinkievich both hit jumpers and Hellwig added a rebound bucket in the low scoring third period.

Tonawanda did close the gap a bit to six, 32-26, early in the fourth quarter but the Warriors could get no closer.

Morgan answered back for Medina with a big burst of 11 points on three threes, two of which came back-to-back, and a layup to help vault the Mustangs out to a 15 point, 47-32, advantage with less than two minutes to go. Lewis also had a layup and Cooper a pair of free throws for the Mustangs during that decisive 15-6 run.

Medina’s Brennan Zinkievich (20) brings the ball up court against Tonawanda defender Collin Smith (33).