Mustang cagers top Quakers in tourney opener
PENDLETON – With an aggressive, pressing defense setting the tone, Medina opened its title defense by defeating Orchard Park 49-37 this evening in the semifinal round of the Pendleton Lions Club Tournament at Starpoint.
Munjie Brown scored 13 and Jason Hellwig 12 to lead the balanced attack for Medina which also included 8 by Ben McPherson, 6 by Kevin Arnold and Cedric Griffith and 2 by David Garrow and Devonte Howard.
“We played pretty solid defense,” Medina Coach Tom Forrestel said. “We executed our defense better in the second half than in the first. We played more disciplined in the second half but overall I liked our defensive effort.”
Medina’s balanced scoring was evident from the start as two buckets by Hellwig along with one each by Arnold, McPherson, Brown and Howard earned the Mustangs a narrow 17-15 first quarter lead.
The Mustangs increased the advantage a bit to 26-21 at the half on second quarter tallies by Arnold, McPherson, Brown and Griffith.
Continuing to get good results from the tight, aggressive defense, Medina maintained a six point, 35-29, advantage at the three-quarter mark after a late three by Hellwig and a rebound bucket by Brown.
The Mustangs quickly extended the lead to 12, 41-29, early in the final period on a jumper by Brown, a lay-up off a steal by Griffith and a fast break lay-up by Hellwig.
Orchard Park could get no closer than 10 after that as a rebound bucket by Brown followed by lay-ups by McPherson and Hellwig ballooned the Mustangs advantage to 14, 47-33 with less than three minutes to go putting a lock on the victory.
Improving to 4-1, Medina plays in the championship game at 5 p.m. Saturday against Starpoint, which defeated South Park 60-52 in the other semifinal.
The Mustangs defeated Niagara Catholic 56-51 in last year’s title contest after downing Starpoint 54-47 in the opening round.