Mustangs prepping for N-O title defense

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 28 November 2016 at 7:36 am

Photo by Mike Wertman – Veteran members of the defending champion Medina basketball squad include, in front, Tyler Howard, Johnny Salone and Jalin Cooper. In back are Michael Cardone, Tyrellis Atkins and Mason Lewis.

Six returnees anchor the lineup for Medina as the Mustangs prep to defend their Niagara-Orleans League basketball title.

Junior Jalin Cooper, the squad’s lone returning starter who earned first team N-O All-League honors last season, heads that group of returnees which also includes seniors Tyler Howard, Tyrellis Atkins, Michael Cardone, junior Mason Lewis and sophomore Johnny Salone.

The Mustangs lineup also includes juniors Alex Allis, Brendan Luthart, Jorge Phillips and Trenton Jones along with sophomores Izaiah Rhim who was injured last year, and Vincent Montague.

“It’s a bit of a youth movement this year,” said Coach Tom Forrestel. “We lack experience but this group certainly has some potential and now we’re working to build team chemistry.”

THe Mustangs, which went 13-1 in the league and 15-7 overall a last season, will tuneup for their N-O title defense with an ambitious non league schedule which includes facing Williamsville North in the Cataract City Classic this Friday and O’Hara in the I-90 Holiday Showcase at Villa Maria College on Devcember 30.. The Mustangs will open the N-O season at Albion on December 16.

“It’s an honor to get invited to those events. You get better as you play up in talent,” said Forrestel of the Mustangs non league schedule.

Medina’s Schedule
Dec. 2 – vs. Williamsville North at the Cataract City Classic at Niagara Falls High School, 6:30 p.m.
Dec. 6 – at Tapestry, 6 p.m.
Dec. 9 – Burgard, 6:30 p.m.
Dec. 12 – CSAT, 6:30 p.m.
Dec. 16 – at Albion, 7 p.m.
Dec. 21 – at Elba, 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 30 – vs. O’Hara at I-90 Holiday Showcase at Villa Maria College, 8:15 p.m.
Jan. 5 – at Roy-Hart, 7 p.m.
Jan. 10 – at Wilson, 6 p.m.
Jan. 13 – at Newfane, 7 p.m.
Jan. 17 – Barker, 6:30 p.m.
Jan. 20 – Akron ,6:30 p.m.
Jan. 24 – Albion, 6:30 p.m.
Jan. 28 – Orchard Park, 6 p.m.
Jan. 30 – Buffalo Academy of Science, 7 p.m.
Feb. 3 – Roy-Hart, 6:30 p.m.
Feb. 7 – Wilson, 6:30 p.m.
Feb. 9 – Newfane, 6:30 p.m.
Feb. 14 – at Barker, 6:30 p.m.
Feb. 16 – at Akron, 6:30 p.m.