Mustangs nip rival Purple Eagles
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.
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 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.
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.