Rams down Mustangs to clinch at least a tie for the N-O championship

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 15 February 2022 at 8:36 pm

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Roy-Hart’s Jamel Johnson Jr, who scored a game high 34 points, goes in for a layup against Medina’s Anthony Bowman during the Rams key win over the visiting Mustangs this evening.

Ending a 26 year title drought, Roy-Hart downed visiting Medina 70-52 this evening to clinch at least a tie for the Niagara-Orleans League boys basketball championship.

Improving to 9-2, Roy-Hart maintains a one game lead over runner-up Newfane (8-3), a 66-42 victor over Barker, with just one game remaining. Roy-Hart will host Albion and Newfane will visit Akron in the N-O season finales on Thursday.

Roy-Hart last claimed top N-O honors during the 1995-96 season when the Rams shared the title with Wilson as both teams finished the league season with identical 12-2 records.

Jamel Johnson Jr. poured in a game high 34 points to spearhead the Roy-Hart attack. Vinny Buscarino added 13, Brandon DiNeri 10, Aiden Petrie 8, John Conley 3 and Brandin Masters 2 for the Rams.

Jarin Rhim scored 19 and Anthony Bowman 11 to lead Medina. David Berry added 9, Joe Cecchini 5, Justin Pitts 4, Jared Odita 3 and Cayden Lilleby 2 for the Mustangs.

Roy-Hart jumped out to an 11-7 first period lead as Johnson tallied 7.

Medina though put together a 22-14 second period scoring surge, including a 12-0 run at one point, to rally into a 29-25 half-time lead.

Rhim and Berry each scored 7, with both including a three, Bowman 5 and Cecchini a three for the Mustangs during that stretch.

However, Roy-Hart answered right back with a big 22-7 third period scoring surge to regain the lead for good by an 11 point, 47-36, margin at the three-quarter mark.

A layup off a steal and a thee-point play by Johnson along with a three by Buscarino to open the period ignited that decisive Rams surge. Johnson had a total of 12 points in the quarter.

The Rams quickly built the lead to 13, 51-38, at the outset of the final period after layups by Buscarino and Johnson and the Mustangs could get no closer than 10 after that.

Roy-Hart put a firm lock on the victory with a 7-0 run, including two layups by DiNeri along with a bucket and a free throw by Johnson, to take a 17 point, 61-44 lead with just two minutes remaining,

Medina, which slips to 6-5 in N-O action, will close out the league season at Wilson on Thursday.

N-O Standings: Roy-Hart 9-2, Newfane 8-3, Medina 6-5, Albion 5-6, Wilson 4-7, Barker 4-8, Akron 3-8.

Roy-Hart’s Brandin Masters goes up to try and block a shot attempt by Medina’s Joe Cecchini.

Medina’s Anthony Bowman puts up a shot against Roy-Hart defender Aiden Petrie.