Gryphon hoops men go cold in heartbreaking loss
Rob Massey, Guelph Sports Journal
GUELPH – Just when it looked like the Guelph Gryphons were going to finish the 2017 segment of their OUA men’s basketball league season with a win, their shooting went ice cold.
After sinking 59 per cent of their shots in the first three quarters, the Gryphs hit 26 per cent in the fourth quarter as they were edged 88-86 by the Queen’s Gaels when Jaz Bains hit a jumper at the buzzer for the victory.
“We played well and we were in control of the game and we obviously went a little cold for a stretch and allowed them back in the game,” Gryphon coach Chris O’Rourke said. “But both ends of the floor we still controlled our fate. It’s a heart-breaking loss considering the way we were playing.”
That stretch was the last seven minutes of the game, a period Guelph entered with a 13-point advantage. The Gryphs scored four points in that stretch and shot 12 per cent, at one point missing 11 consecutive shots, while the Gaels hit 64 per cent of their shots.
“We struggled to score in the fourth quarter and defensive rebounding hurt us,” O’Rourke said. “I think they had 10-0 boards. We had our chances. It’s every shot. It’s every possession. It’s every second and unfortunately for us we got on the short end of it.”
The Gryphs looked like they had the game under control in its middle stages as they turned a 20-18 lead at the end of the first quarter into a 51-39 advantage at halftime and they were up 72-62 at the end of the third quarter.
The winning basket by Bains put the Gaels ahead for the first time since they led 18-17 with eight seconds to go in the first quarter.
The Gryphs had six players hit double figures in scoring – Taylor Boers with 18 points, Daniel Dooley with 14, Tommy Yanchus with 12 and Jonathan Wallace, Drew Walford and Rasheed Weekes with 10 apiece. Shawn Carey had eight rebounds while Dooley had seven assists and Walford had three blocks and four steals.
Tanner Graham led Queen’s with 25 points and he was followed by Mike Shoveller with 23, Bains with 18 and Harry Range with 11. Graham grabbed 17 rebounds and Shoveller had 12 while Bains had five assists and Graham had three blocks.
The Gryphs will have a lot of time to think about the loss as they now enter the exams and Christmas break. Their next league matches are slated for the first weekend of 2018.
“We’re scratching and clawing in the West as it is,” O’Rourke said. “Brock is the only team above .500. We’ve got a huge January and February ahead of us. We could finish second and we could finish seventh. We could finish anywhere and there’s so much to play for, but it’s a real tough one to swallow at home where we’ve been playing well this year.”
The East is the beast this season with seven of its eight teams having records of .500 or better. Two of the West’s nine teams are at .500 or better with the Brock Badgers running away at 9-1. Western Mustangs are second at 5-5 and they’re followed by Windsor Lancers at 4-5, Algoma Thunderbirds at 4-6, the Waterloo schools (Waterloo Warriors, Laurier Golden Hawks) both at 3-7, the Gryphs at 2-8, McMaster Marauders at 1-8 and Lakehead Thunderwolves at 0-9.
The loss was the third consecutive setback for the Gryphs and the game was their final one against an East opponent in league play this season.
The win by Queen’s leaves the Gaels as one of four teams in the East with seven wins. The Carleton Ravens lead the division at 9-0 while the Laurentian Voyageurs are at 7-1, Ottawa Gee-Gees and Ryerson Rams are each at 7-2 and Queen’s is at 7-3.
The Gryphs will come out of the break with games in Thunder Bay against Lakehead Jan. 5 and 6.
Gaels 88 Gryphons 86
SCORING BY QUARTER
Field Goals (made-attempted): Queen’s 35-70; Guelph 35-82
Field-Goal Percentage: Queen’s 50.0; Guelph 42.7
Three-Pointers (made-attempted): Queen’s 9-21; Guelph 11-22
Three-Point Percentage: Queen’s 42.9; Guelph 50.0
Free Throws (made-attempted): Queen’s 9-16; Guelph 5-9
Free-Throw Percentage: Queen’s 56.3; Guelph 55.6
Rebounds: Queen’s 45; Guelph 34
Assists: Queen’s 14; Guelph 19
Turnovers: Queen’s 19; Guelph 10
Points off Turnovers: Queen’s 12; Guelph 18
Second-Chance Points: Queen’s 13; Guelph 10
Bench Points: Queen’s 8; Guelph 46
Largest Lead: Queen’s 5; Guelph 13
Time of Largest Lead: Queen’s 1st-7:58; Guelph 4th-9:42
Starters: T.Graham, Range, Shoveller, Bains, Elcock.
Minutes: T.Graham 33, Range 33, Shoveller 28, Bains 28, Gray 27, Brickenden 16, Ayisi 13, J.Graham 12, Elcock 10.
Field Goals (made-attempted): Shoveller 10-16, T.Graham 9-15, Bains 8-18, Range 5-8, Brickenden 2-2, Elcock 1-5, J.Graham 0-1, Ayisi 0-1, Gray 0-4.
Three-Pointers (made-attempted): T.Graham 3-4, Brickenden 2-2, Bains 2-6, Shoveller 1-2, Elcock 1-3, Ayisi 0-1, Gray 0-3.
Free Throws (made-attempted): T.Graham 4-4, Gray 2-2, Shoveller 2-4, Range 1-4, J.Graham 0-2.
Offensive Rebounds: Shoveller 6, Range 4, T.Graham 3, Brickenden 1.
Defensive Rebounds: T.Graham 14, Shoveller 6, Bains 6, Range 3, J.Graham 1, Brickenden 1.
Total Rebounds: T.Graham 17, Shoveller 12, Range 7, Bains 6, Brickenden 2, J.Graham 1.
Assists: Bains 5, T.Graham 2, Range 2, Gray 2, Shoveller 1, J.Graham 1, Brickenden 1.
Steals: T.Graham 2, Bains 2, Gray 2, Ayisi 1.
Blocks: T.Graham 3, Shoveller 2, Elcock 1, Gray 1.
Turnovers: Range 4, Gray 4, Shoveller 3, Bains 3, J.Graham 2, T.Graham 1, Brickenden 1, Ayisi 1.
Personal Fouls: T.Graham 3, Range 2, Gray 2, J.Graham 2, Brickenden 2, Shoveller 1, Bains 1, Ayisi 1.
Points: T.Graham 25, Shoveller 23, Bains 18, Range 11, Brickenden 6, Elcock 3, Gray 2.