Mustangs use late surge to edge past rival Purple Eagles and clinch tie for N-O title
Putting together a big late scoring burst, Medina bested rival Albion 60-53 this afternoon in a makeup game at Albion to clinch at least a tie for a school record fourth straight Niagara-Orleans League boys basketball championship.
Trailing 47-45, Medina erupted for a decisive 15-6 scoring surge to close the game and lock up the win and the league title.
A three by Izaiah Rhim and a layup off a steal by Vincent Montague ignited that uprising putting Medina back on top to stay at 50-47.
Albion cut the deficit to one, at 50-49 on a layup by Dylan Fox but could not pull even.
Medina answered with a fast break layup by Montague and a rebound bucket by Brian Fry to up the lead to 54-49.
The Purple Eagles did close the gap back to three twice, first at 54-51 after a pair of free throws by Kevin Hillman and again at 56-52 on a layup by Hillman but would get no closer.
Both times the Mustangs quickly answered the challenge to regain a five point lead first at 56-51 on a rebound basket by Izaiah Rhim and then at 58-53 on a pair of clutch free throws by Tyler Chinn with only 13 seconds to go. Chinn tacked on two more free throws with four seconds remaining to close out the win.
Nate Sherman scored 15, Izaiah Rhim 14 and Fry 13 to lead Medina’s balanced attack as Jarin Rhim added 7, Montague 6 and Chinn 5.
Deyonci Farley shared game high honors for Albion with 15 as Bryce Pritchard added 11, Fox 7, Liam Ward and Hillman 6, Brilliance Johnson and Xavier Cornick 3 and Michael DiCureia 2.
The victory boosts Medina’s N-O record to 10-0 (15-3 overall) and keeps the Mustangs two games ahead of runner-up Wilson (8-2) with just two games remaining on the league schedule.
Albion, which slips to 5-5 in the league, grabbed an 11-9 first quarter lead on 5 points by Farley along with threes by Ward and Pritchard.
Medina pulled even at 22-22 at the half as Fry scored 5 and Sherman 4 in the second period.
Albion regained a slender 39-38 lead at the three-quarter mark as Farley and Pritchard both had a three and a two and Cornick a three in the third period.
Izaiah Rhim and Fry likewise both had a three and a two and Sherman added a pair of baskets in the period to keep Medina close.
The lead then changed hands four times in the first four minutes of the decisive final period before Medina regained the lead for good at 48-47 on a three by Izaiah Rhim which ignited the decisive 15-6 run to close out the tight contest.
Albion next visits Akron on Monday and Medina hosts Akron on Tuesday.