Medina Journal-Register — MIDDLEPORT — After a tough loss at Newfane earlier in the week, the Medina boys basketball team looked to possess the ball better and play smarter in Friday night’s Niagara-Orleans League contest at rival Roy-Hart.
Mission accomplished for coach Tom Forrestel and the Mustangs. Seniors Kevin Arnold and Munjie Brown led the way, and Medina withstood a late Rams surge to earn a 57-49 victory. Medina improves to 1-1 in league play, 3-1 overall, while Roy-Hart falls to 1-1 in the league, 1-4 overall.
“We were able to keep our composure tonight,” Forrestel said. “Even when Roy-Hart started making the comeback, our guys didn’t show any signs of emotional stress. We made smart passes, controlled the ball well, and stayed disciplined.”
Medina jumped out to a 33-24 halftime lead on the strength of nine points from senior Ben McPherson and eight from Arnold, before senior Alex Stoddard helped lead the Rams on a second-half comeback.
Stoddard finished the night with 22 points, making several key shots down the stretch to help Roy-Hart close within 50-49, with just over two minutes to play.
Medina maintained a 50-38 lead after three quarters, but the Rams opened the final quarter on an 11-0 run that included a pretty floater by Stoddard off an inbound, which made the score 50-45 midway through the quarter.
A drive-and-shoot play by Brown made the score 52-49 Medina with a 90 seconds remaining, and two free throws by Arnold gave the Mustangs a five-point advantage. Medina closed the game with strong defensive pressure, keeping the Rams flustered and unable to find a clear look at a three-pointer.
McPherson finished with 15 points for Medina, while Arnold finished with 12 and Brown added 10. Junior Jason Hellwig added nine points, and senior Cedric Griffith had eight.
Sophomore Andy Xapsos had 11 points for the Rams, who return to action next Friday in a non-league contest at Alden.
Medina also resumes action next Friday, taking on Orchard Park in the first round of the Starpoint Tournament.
Barker 83, Akron 42
AKRON — Jacob Haight continued to do what he does, scoring 22 points to help Barker remain undefeated with a resounding victory at Akron in an N-O game on Friday night.
Mitch Luckman added 19 points for coach Dave Carson’s Raiders, including three three-pointers, as Barker jumped out to a 24-11 lead after the first quarter and never let up.
“Mitch did a nice job at point guard, keeping the tempo up and helping us push the ball down the court,” Carson said. “We had a really good first quarter, with a balanced attack, and we kept it up.”
Bryce Moeller added 11 points for the Raiders, while Chris Sweeney added eight, including two early three-pointers. Barker extended the lead to 42-19 at halftime, and was on cruise control from that point forward.
Clay Longwell led the Tigers with 21 points, but Akron drops to 0-1 in the league, 2-3 overall. Barker improves to 2-0 in N-O competition, 5-0 overall.
Albion 49, Wilson 30
WILSON — Junior Alex Bison led the Purple Eagles with nine points, as Albion coach Brennan Meakin earned his inaugural league victory in a convincing N-O win over Wilson on Friday evening.
Juniors Des Blackmon and Clayton Stanton added eight points apiece for the Purple Eagles, who opened up a 19-11 lead at halftime, as Wilson only managed to score a single point in the second quarter.
“In the second quarter, we were able to shut it down,” Meakin said. “We got in some foul trouble in the first, but we switched up our approach and it worked out well for us.”
Kyle Bradley led the Lakemen with 13 points, including two three-pointers. Wilson remains winless in league play at 0-2, and falls to 0-4 overall. Albion is now 1-1 in the league, 2-3 overall.