BY KEVIN PRISE firstname.lastname@example.org
Medina Journal-Register — MEDINA — With five minutes remaining in the second quarter Friday night, Barker led Medina by a comfortable 19-11 margin. The Raiders jumped ahead by playing fundamentally sound, mistake-free basketball. Nothing flashy.
That all changed in the next minute, as Barker junior Chris Sweeney accepted a crisp pass behind the three-point arc, posted up and swished a basket. Thirty seconds later, he did it again. And again, for good measure.
Sweeney nailed three three-point shots in just over a minute — all nothing but net — to expand the Barker lead to 28-11. The Raiders never looked back, cruising to a 68-47 victory over Medina in a Niagara-Orleans League boys basketball contest.
With the win, Barker improves to 3-0 in league play, 7-0 overall. The Mustangs fall to 2-2 in N-O competition, 5-3 overall.
Barker coach Dave Carson frequently points to Sweeney as the spark that can ignite his lineup, as was the case on Friday.
“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Chris Sweeney just gets us going sometimes,” Carson remarked after the game. “When he gets going, it’s always a spark, and that’s what it was tonight.”
Although Sweeney didn’t make a field goal after his second-quarter spurt — he finished with 10 points — the rest of the Raider lineup proved itself worthy of maintaining the momentum for the rest of the night.
Raider senior Jake Haight led all scorers with 19 points, providing a personal highlight reel of his own with three consecutive layups early in the fourth quarter. Barker entered the fourth quarter with a 51-35 lead, and the score was 57-35 after Haight’s run. At that point, the outcome was hardly in question.
Barker junior Mitch Luckman added 18 points against the Mustangs, while senior Bryce Moeller notched 13. Moeller was assessed a technical foul for hanging on the rim midway through the fourth quarter, although Carson disputed the call after the game, feeling that Moeller held on solely to protect the safety of himself and nearby players.
Medina coach Tom Forrestel left the game with high praise for the Barker contingent of Haight, Sweeney, Luckman and Moeller. The group combined for 60 of the Raiders’ 68 points, and Forrestel opined that the group’s fundamentally sound play will carry Barker a long way throughout the latter stages of this winter season.
“Those four guys, they just do what they’re good at,” Forrestel said. “They make the most of their talents; that’s what it is. Nothing fancy, but they don’t make mistakes, and that’s why they’re so hard to beat.”
Sophomore Dylan Lewis led Medina with 13 points, including three three-pointers, while Mustang senior Cedric Griffith added 11 points.
Griffith and Haight were seen conversing in a friendly manner late in the fourth quarter, as the rivals gave each other credit for a hard-fought game.
Medina made seven three-pointers on the night, and Carson gave the Mustangs credit for a sound shooting performance despite the 21-point final margin.
“Medina’s got some good shooters — especially Lewis tonight — and we knew going in that we would have to defend the perimeter,” Carson said.
Medina senior Munjie Brown added eight points, and fellow senior Ben McPherson had six.
Both teams return to N-O league action on Tuesday, with Medina hosting Wilson, and Barker hosting Roy-Hart.
Roy-Hart 59, Albion 49
MIDDLEPORT — Do-it-all senior Alex Stoddard led the Rams with 18 points, as Roy-Hart withstood a late Albion charge and earned a 10-point victory over Albion in a Niagara-Orleans League contest on Friday evening.
The teams were tied at 13-all after the first quarter, before a 24-9 run in the second gave Roy-Hart a 37-22 advantage at halftime. Albion outscored the Rams by a 27-22 margin after halftime, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the strong second quarter compiled by coach Mark Rydza’s Roy-Hart squad.
Seniors DaRon Woods and Austin Heschke had 10 points apiece for Roy-Hart, while Des Blackmon led all Purple Eagle scorers with 11 points. Manny Thompson and Ryan Fannin each added 10 points for Albion.
Roy-Hart improves to 3-1 in N-O competition, while Albion drops to 1-4 in the league.