Rebuilding Mustangs prepping to defend N-O League and Section VI titles

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 1 December 2021 at 9:41 am

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Medina’s returning starting duo of Jarin Rhim, left, and Joe Cecchini are shown in action during games last season.

Facing a bit of a rebuilding task Medina returns only two starters as the Mustangs prep to defend their Niagara-Orleans League and Section VI Class B2 basketball championships.

Leading the Mustangs is the returning starting duo of seniors Joe Cecchini and Jarin Rhim. Cecchini averaged 10.1 points and 5.5 rebounds this past season and Rhim 8 points and 6.3 rebounds.

The Mustangs also return varsity experience in the senior trio of Hayden Woodroe, Anthony Rutty and David Berry.

Rounding out the Mustangs lineup are senior Greg Thompson, a transfer from Albion, juniors Cayden Lilleby and Josh Wilson; sophomores Kaedon Cleveland, Robert Arnold and Justin Pitts and eighth grader Jerrell Nealy.

The Mustangs graduation losses included four of their top six players – first team N-O All-League honorees Tyler Chinn and Brian Fry as well as Dontae Rhim and Christian Drisdom.

“There is a lot of learning that has to happen over the next month,” said Coach Tom Forrestel. “We’re looking for our guys to play hard and learn and to compete.”

The Mustangs will tune up for the January 4 N-O opener at Barker with a challenging schedule of seven non league games beginning this Friday at South Parker in Buffalo.

That non league schedule also includes road games at West Seneca East (Dec. 16), Middle Early College (Dec. 20) and Tapestry (Jan. 3) as well as home contests against Central Christian AMucademy (Dec. 10), Cardinal O’Hara (Dec. 14) and Bennett (Dec. 30).

“We like to get as challenging a non league schedule as we can as that competition really helps get us ready for the league,” said Forrestel.

The Mustangs captured the N-O crown with an 11-1 record last season and finished with a 14-1 overall mark.