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Mustangs nip rival Purple Eagles

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 14 February 2015 at 12:00 am

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Medina’s Jason Hellwig (2) goes in for a layup against Albion defenders Clayton Stanton (31) and Tyler Rotoli (5) during the Mustangs narrow 63-59 win over the host Purple Eagles this afternoon.

Turning back a late challenge, Medina held on to edge past host rival Albion 63-59 this afternoon to remain just a game off the pace in the Niagara-Orleans League boys basketball title race.

Up by 11, 57-46, with three minutes to go, Medina saw Albion put together a 13-4 scoring burst to rally back to within two at 61-59 with 36 seconds remaining and make the finish exciting.

A rare four-point play by Alex Bison ignited the Purple Eagles rally which also included a three by Austin Loyd and three layups by Clayton Stanton.

However, Medina maintained the suddenly slender lead as two free throws by Jason Hellwig and then a key shot block by Jalin Cooper with 10 seconds to go helped to lock up the Mustangs narrow win.

Albion’s Gary Moore (15) works to get around Medina defender Justin Morgan (3).

Medina improves to 10-2 in N-O action and remains just a game behind front-running Wilson which defeated Barker 61-43 to go to 11-1.

Hellwig, who made good on 13 of 19 free throw attempts on the afternoon, finished with a game high 21 points. Cooper added 12, Brennan Zinkievich 11, Devonte Howard 7 and Justin Morgan and Dylan Lewis 6 each for the Mustangs.

Stanton had 14, Manny Thompson 12 and Des Blackmon 11 for Albion which slips to 7-5. The Purple Eagles also had Loyd with 7, Tommy Mattison 6, Gary Moore 5 and Bison 4.

A late rebound basket by Stanton gave Albion a narrow 16-15 lead at the end of a sea-saw first period which saw three ties and three lead changes. Loyd and Thompson both had a pair of buckets in the early going while Lewis hit two threes and Cooper netted 6 points for Medina.

Back-to-back layups off turnovers by Thompson and Mattison upped the Albion lead to six, 21-15, early in the second period.

Medina’s Jalin Cooper (1) puts up a shot over Albion defender Des Blackmon (21).

Medina though came battling back with a big 16-0 scoring surge which helped propel the Mustangs out to an 11 point, 36-25, advantage at the half.

Hellwig spearheaded that Mustangs uprising with 10 points as Zinkievich added 6 and Howard 5.

Medina upped the lead to 14, 46-32, midway through the third period after a jumper by Cooper but Albion came battling back.

The Purple Eagles put together a 10-0 run to close the period sparked by a three and a three point play by Blackmon, to slice the deficit to four, 46-42, at the three-quarter mark.

A jumper by Blackmon then pulled Albion to within two, 46-44, at the outset of the final period but Medina answered with a key 11-2 run to move back out to a 57-46 advantage with just three minutes to go. Two threes by Morgan keyed that surge.

Albion though made the finish exciting with the last ditch 13-4 run ignited by Bison’s four-point play and Loyd’s three but the Purple Eagles big comeback bid fell just short.

With just two games remaining on the N-O schedule, Medina will host Akron on Tuesday and CSAT on Thursday while Albion visits CSAT Tuesday and Akron Thursday.

Albion’s Tommy Mattison (1) drives past Medina defender Brennan Zinkievich (20).

Wilson 61, Barker 43
Wilson jumped out to leads of 19-10 after one period and 34-20 at the half in route to posting a 61-43 victory over Barker.

Kyle Bradley sparked the Lakemen with 23 points and Evan Shank added 15.

Christopher Sweeney scored 18 and Nate Luckman 7 for Barker which slips 1-11.

Wilson will next visit Roy-Hart on Tuesday and then finish out the N-O season at rival Newfane on Thursday.