Mustangs nip Lakemen in overtime thriller to claim N-O championship outright

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 18 March 2021 at 9:19 pm

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Medina’s Jarin Rhim puts up a shot during the Mustangs overtime home court win over Wilson this evening surrounded by a quartet of Lakemen defenders including Ben Stimm (20), Mike Miller (10), Ben Mahar (24) and Mike Bubar (21).

In a down to the wire regular season ending thriller Medina nipped visiting Wilson 63-61 in overtime this evening to claim outright possession of the Niagara-Orleans League boys basketball championship.

The N-O title is the fifth in the last six years for Medina which finishes at 11-1 a game ahead of 10-2 Newfane which bested Akron 56-35.

Two pressure free throws by Brian Fry with 28 seconds remaining in the overtime period, which snapped a 61-61 deadlock, provided the margin of victory for the Mustangs.

Jarin Rhim scored a season high 18 pouts and Fry and Joe Cecchini each netted 16 to lead the Medina attack as Tyler Chinn added 7 and Christian Drisdom and Dontae Rhim 3 each.

Mike Miller scored 17, Ben Lyman 12 and Mason Branco 10 to pace Wilson.

Medina’s Brian Fry drives by Wilson defender Mike Miller.

Closing the opening period with a 14-2 run, Medina jumped out to an 11 point, 25-14 lead at the end of the stanza.  Jarin Rhim and Fry each scored 8 and Chinn 5 to lead that uprising.

However, Medina’s shooting went ice cold in the second quarter as the Lakemen outscored the Mustangs 16-0 to rally into a 30-25 half-time advantage.  Threes by Miller and Lyman highlighted that surge as the Lakemen got scoring from six different players.

And for Medina it was an up hill battle the rest of the way.

The Mustangs did pull to within one, 44-43, at the three-quarter mark after closing the third period with a 7-2 run on a three by Cecchini followed by a rebound bucket and a layup off a steal by Jarin Rhim.  Cecchini had three threes and Rhim three baskets in the period.

A free throw by Dontae Rhim finally pulled Medina even at 44-44 at the outset of the final period.

There were four more ties and two lead changes during the rest of the tense period.

Threes by Fry and Drisdom followed by a pair of free throws by Cecchini put Medina up 52-50 with 3:53 remaining.

However, the Mustangs couldn’t score again until the final seconds as Wilson regained a 54-52 lead on a pair of free throws by Paul Smith followed by a layup by Jared Jaques with just 15 seconds to go.

The Mustangs though sent the contest into overtime knotted at 54-54 after a basket from close range by Jarin Rhim with only eight seconds to go.

The Lakemen took a 56-54 lead at the outset of the four minute overtime period on a basket by Branco off a turnover.

The Mustangs though answered back with a pair of free throws by Jarin Rhim and a layup by Chinn to regain a 58-56 lead and the teams traded scores the rest of the way.

Wilson pulled even at 58-58 on a pair of free throws by Branco.

A three by Cecchini put Medina up 61-58 with 2:17 remaining but Miller countered with a three for Wilson with 1:24 to go retying the contest for the last time at 61-61.

The Mustangs were then able to blank the Lakemen over the last minute and a half and made a pair of free throws by Fry with 28 seconds to go stand up for the title clinching victory.

Medina will now begin Section VI Class B2 playoff action at home on Monday likely as the No. 1 seed. The sectional pairings will be announced on Saturday.

Medina’s Christian Drisdom takes a shot as Ben Lyman defends for Wilson.