Mustangs win B2 semifinal in OT thriller

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 24 March 2021 at 9:51 pm

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Jarin Rhim, who spearheaded Medina’s big overtime scoring surge during this evening’s sectional semifinal win, goes up for a shot as Sam Capen defends for Newfane.

Unlike the two regular season meetings this one went right down to the wire and beyond as top seeded Medina outlasted visiting No. 4 seed Niagara-Orleans League rival Newfane 64-55 in overtime this evening in a thrilling Section VI Class B2 semifinal round playoff game.

The victory sends Medina into the sectional finals for the first time since 1977 as the Mustangs will host No. 2 seed Lackawanna in the B2 championship game on Friday evening. Lackawanna nipped No. 6 Akron 47-43 in the other semifinal.

The teams split a pair of N-O league meetings by margins of 20 and 16 points but this one was much closer as Newfane sent the contest into overtime deadlocked at 46-46 on a layup by Cade Littman with just four seconds to go.

However, the Mustangs answered back in strong fashion at the outset of the overtime period as Jarin Rhim erupted for 10 straight points on a three, two layups and three free throws to put Medina back on top to stay at 56-48 with 1:38 to go in the four minute extra period.

Joe Cecchini puts up a shot for Medina as Michael Carmer tries to block for Newfane.

Newfane could get no closer than five, 60-55, after that as four free throws by Tyler Chinn in the final 16 seconds put a lock on the victory and a rare trip to the finals for Medina.

“It was a matter of regaining our composure in the overtime period and Jarin was a major contributor in the overtime,” said Medina Coach Eric Hellwig. “The main thing for us was to keep our composure and our focus.”

Jarin Rhin and Chinn each scored 15 to lead Medina’s balanced attack as Joe Cecchini added 12, Christian Drisdom 11, Brian Fry 8 and Dontae Rhim three.

Jeremy Foltz scored 14, Sam Capen 12 and Cade Littman 10 to pace Newfane as Zach Snow and Deuce Capen each added 6, Michael Carmer 4 and Tyler Oudette 3.

Medina grabbed a narrow 11-10 lead at the end of the opening quarter on a late rebound basket by Cecchini.

Newfane though turned the tables in the second period as two baskets each off the bench by Littman and Deuce Capen along with a three by Sam Capen rallied the Panthers into a 23-20 half-time lead.

The advantage sea-sawed back into Medina’s favor in the third period which ended with the Mustangs up by two, 35-33, off a late rebound basket by Chinn followed by a three-point play by Dontae Rhim.

Medina then opened up a seven point, 43-36, advantage three minutes into the final period after threes by Cecchini and Fry and a fast break layup by Drisdom but the Mustangs were unable to hold the lead.

Newfane came battling back to regain a 44-43 lead with 1:35 remaining after threes by Foltz and Oudette and a layup by Carmer.

Medina answered with a jumper by Jarin Rhim and a free throw by Chinn to go back on top 46-44 with 16 seconds remaining.

However, the Panthers again answered the challenge this time with a layup by Littman with four seconds to go which knotted the contest at 46-46 forcing overtime.

The last surge and the win though belonged to Medina in what was the Jarin Rhim Show in the overtime. The junior netted the first 10 points of what proved to be an 18-9 Mustangs scoring edge in the decisive extra four minutes.

Medina will take a 13-1 record into Friday’s title contest.

Lackawanna 47, Akron 43

Mitchell Holtz scored 14 and David Kalinowski 10 for Akron in the Tigers narrow 47-43 semifinal loss at Lackawanna.

Medina’s Brian Fry goes up for a shot between Newfane defenders Sam Capen and Tyler Oudette.

Christian Drisdom goes in for a layup for Medina as Newfane’s Trevor Heschke tries to block.

Tyler Chinn drives to the basket for Medina as Jeremy Foltz and Michael Carmer defend for Newfane.