Mustangs nip Panthers in overtime thriller

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 3 January 2019 at 9:51 pm

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – The scoreboard in the background tells the story as Medina’s Brian Fry puts up the winning three-point shot against Newfane defender Sam Capen during the Mustangs overtime win on the Panthers court this evening.

In a down to the wire thriller, Medina nipped host Newfane 50-49 in overtime this evening in a key early season clash of defending Niagara-Orleans League co-champions.

Brian Fry hit a clutch three-point shot with just four seconds remaining in the four minute overtime period to give Medina the exciting victory.

“It was a great win,” said Medina Coach Tom Forrestel. “The guys really kept their composure and our defensive focus was really strong. Both teams played really well and really hard. It’s a tough place to play and to squeeze out a win like that on the road is great.”

Fry finished with a game high 16 points as Nate Sherman had 11, Vincent Montague 9 and Izaiah Rhim and Jarin Rhim 7 each for the Mustangs which had only 7 players available for the contest.

Garrett Srock led Newfane with 15 as Josh Everett and Matt DiTullio both had 9, Deuce Capen 6, Connor MacEvoy 5, Sam Capen 3 and Caden Gibson 2.

Medina’s Nate Sherman and Newfane’s Deuce Capen battle for a rebound.

Medina jumped out to a 10-5 first period lead but Newfane answered back with a 15-5 second period surge, including threes by DiTullio and MacEvoy, to rally into a 20-15 half-time advantage.

The Panthers upped the lead to seven, 24-17, at the outset of the third period on a pair of baskets by Srock

The Mustangs though battled back to within two at 31-29 after a 12-4 run which included three buckets by Montague.

However, Newfane went back up by six, 35-29, at the three-quarter mark after a late jumper by Srock and rebound bucket by Gibson.

Medina finally forged into the lead for the first time at 39-35 by opening the final period with a key 10-0 run capped off by back-to-back threes by Izaiah Rhim and Fry. The rally also included a running one hander and two free throws by Fry..

Layups by Sherman and Fry helped keep the Mustangs up by six, 43-37, with 1:12 remaining but the Panthers came storming back in the final minute.

A rebound bucket by Deuce Capen, followed by two huge threes by Everett in the final 35 seconds, rallied Newfane into a 45-45 tie forcing the contest into overtime.

Newfane took a 47-45 lead at the outset of the overtime period on a layup by Scrock.

Medina pulled even at 47-47 on two free throws by Fry with 2:14 remaining

The Panthers regained the lead for what proved to be the last time at 49-47 on a basket off a turnover by DiTullio with 1:15 remaining.

That set the stage for Fry’s dramatic game winning three with just four seconds to go. He scored 14 of the Mustangs 21 points in the fourth period and overtime.

Medina is now 3-0 in the league (8-1 overall) and Newfane 1-1.

Medina’s Izaiah Rhim tries to put shot up against Newfane defenders Deuce Capen and Garrett Srock.