Gryphon hoops men edged by Windsor

GUELPH – The Guelph Gryphons just couldn’t get over the hump in the fourth quarter as they dropped a 96-92 decision to the Windsor Lancers in OUA men’s basketball play Saturday night at the Guelph Gryphons Athletic Centre.

The lead changed hands nine times in the game, but none after Windsor shot ahead 70-69 on a Lucas Orlita three-pointer with 26 seconds to go in the third quarter.

The margin increased to seven points early in the fourth quarter before the Gryphs fought back to bring it down to a single point three times in the final six minutes of the game, but they could never go ahead or pull even.

Every time the gap was reduced to one point, the Lancers hit a basket to increase the lead. Mike Rocca hit a jumper with 5:25 to go 17 seconds after a Taylor Boers jumper for the Gryphs made it a one-point game with 5:42to play. Damian Persaud sank a jump shot 50 seconds after Jonathan Wallace’s free throw for the Gryphs left the score at 83-82 with 3:23 to go. Another jumper by Boers 19 seconds after Persaud’s bucket made it a one-point margin for the final time as Marcus Jones hit a jump shot with 1:52 to go to extend the lead to three points.

Daniel Dooley led the Gryphs with 23 points while Boers had 20 and Wallace and Banky Alade had 12 apiece. Drew Walford added nine and Kieran Naus had eight. Alade grabbed seven rebounds and Naus had six and Dooley had three assists and three steals.

Roca and Orlita each had 20 points for Windsor while Jones added 18, Anthony Zrvnar had 14 and Persaud had 10. Rocca and Bishop Mac grad Chris Poloniato had six rebounds apiece while Zrvnar had six assists, Rocca had four steals and Orlita had three blocks.

Three former Bishop Mac teammates hit the floor during the game. Poloniato finished with two points and Lucas Wood had five for Windsor while Jake Chaput had three rebounds, an assist and a steal for the Gryphs in 14 minutes of floor time.

The Gryphs are seventh in the West at 3-11 while Windsor is tied for third at 6-8. Top six qualify for the playoffs and the Algoma Thunderbirds are sixth at 4-10.

Next up for the Gryphs is a match against the second-place Western Mustangs (8-6) at Western’s Alumni Hall Wednesday at 8 p.m. before a pair of games against the division-leading and second-ranked Brock Badgers (12-2) – Friday at home and Jan. 24 at Brock.

  • Guelph Sports Journal