Gryphon hoops men build character with overtime victory

GUELPH – The young Guelph Gryphons grew a little Saturday night when they edged the Lakehead Thunderwolves 91-87 in an OUA men’s basketball game at the Guelph Gryphons Athletic Centre that needed a five-minute overtime period before a winner was decided.

“We had to dig deep in the second half and we grew as a team, defensively, in the second half,” Gryphon coach Chris O’Rourke said. “We grinded it out and put ourselves in that position.”

“I feel like we built a lot of character tonight,” rookie Gryphon guard Malcolm Glanville said. “In the past we had trouble trying to finish out games, especially (last week in exhibition tournament games) in Quebec. We had three very close games in the last two minutes, but we couldn’t seal the game at the end. But to be able to seal the game, go into overtime and close it in overtime, it builds a lot of character in our team. As well, it shows us how to close out games.”

With Lakehead travelling in from Thunder Bay, the teams hook up for their two regular-season games at the same location. Next season the Gryphs and Thunderwolves will play their two regular-season games at Lakehead.

“It’s really tough,” Glanville said of games against the same opponent on consecutive nights. “Not just physically, but mentally as well. People don’t know the mental wear and tear of constantly trying to stay focused. Facing the same team two days in a row, they get to learn your tendencies, especially going over film after yesterday. Tommy had a big game yesterday, 37 (points), but their game plan against him (Saturday) was very good so other people had to step up.”

A night after beating Lakehead by 22 points in a league game at the GGAC, Saturday’s game appeared to be headed the same way when the Gryphs quickly opened an 11-3 lead. However, the Thunderwolves weren’t going to have any of that as they stormed back to lead 22-18 at the end of the first quarter and 43-30 at halftime.

“We knew they were going to come out hard,” O’Rourke said of Lakehead. “They’re a talented team. They’re a good team – every team in the West is. We’re all kind of ven in some ways. We knew they were going to come out a lot more motivated than they were (Friday) night and they put it to us.”

The Gryphs rallied in the third quarter as they shot ahead 59-58 by the end of the quarter. Lakehead didn’t fold and the teams took turns being ahead until Alston Harris sank a jumper for the visitors with four seconds to go that tied the score 78-78 and forced the extra period.

The locals secured the win by sinking three free throws in the final 14 seconds to complete the scoring in the game.

Glanville led the Gryphs with a 39-point outing.

“He followed up Tommy’s game last night,” O’Rourke said. “We knew Tommy wasn’t going to go for 37 tonight (as he did in Friday’s win) and Malcolm followed it up. He just imposed his will at times throughout the game and carried us when we needed buckets – and big buckets.”

“When I get going I definitely do want the ball,” Glanville said. “I have a good offensive skill set, but at the same time I do want to get my teammates involved. I’ve had some good games and I’ve had some low games as well. Yesterday I only had seven points. Really, I just like to listen to my coach and his feedback and I just take what the defense gives me. If I see an opportunity to score, I’m going to score the ball and if I see an opportunity to pass, I’m going to pass the ball as well. I really just take what the defence gives me.”

Rasheed Weekes had 20 for Guelph and Banky Alade added 13. Weekes grabbed 13 rebounds, Tommy Yanchus had four assists and Craig Valeriote had three steals.

Harris connected for 18 points as Lakehead had five players hit double figures. Isaiah Traylor had 15, Davarius Wright 14 and Nick Burke and Quincy Johnson 12 apiece. Traylor hauled down seven rebounds while Harris had eight assists, Burke four steals and Wright three blocks.

The work the Gryphs have put in on their free-throw shooting during practices paid off as they sank 31 foul shots, 19 more than Lakehead. The Gryphs were called for 19 fouls while Lakehead was whistled for 28.

The Gryphs are tied with the McMaster Marauders for fourth in the West Division with 5-7 records. Lakehead is ninth at 2-10.

The Gryphs are to play the seventh-place Waterloo Warriors (3-9) at Waterloo’s Physical Activities Complex Wednesday at 11 a.m.


Gryphons 91 Thunderwolves 87 (OT)
Lakehead     22-21-15-20-9–87
Guelph        18-12-29-19-13–91
Field-Goal Percentage: Guelph 38.9; Lakehead 41.8
Three-Point Percentage: Guelph 25.0; Lakehead 34.6
Free-Throw Percentage: Guelph 83.8; Lakehead 57.1
Turnovers: Guelph 18; Lakehead 12
Points off Turnovers: Guelph 11; Lakehead 24
Second-Chance Points: Guelph 16; Lakehead 7
Total Rebounds: Guelph 46; Lakehead 35
Offensive Rebounds: Guelph 12; Lakehead 6
Defensive Rebounds: Guelph 34; Lakehead 29
Assists: Guelph 10; Lakehead 15
Blocks: Guelph 4; Lakehead 6
Steals: Guelph 4; Lakehead 10
Fouls: Guelph 19; Lakehead 28
Points: Guelph — Glanville 39, Weekes 20, Alade 13, Nwosu 6, Yanchus 5, Nugent 4, Naus 4; Lakehead — Harris 18, Traylor 15, Wright 14, Burke 12, Johnson 12, Poirier 8, Bull 5, Lam 2, Curtin 1.
Rebounds: Guelph — Weekes 13, Glanville 8, Alade 8, Nwosu 7, Nugent 4, Naus 4, Yanchus 1, Valeriote 1; Lakehead — Traylor 7, Burke 6, Johnson 6, Wright 4, Harris 3, Curtin 3, Lam 2, Anderson 1, Ndahiro 1, Poirier 1, Bull 1.
Assists: Guelph — Yanchus 4, Nugent 2, Weekes 2, Glanville 1, Alade 1; Lakehead — Harris 8, Johnson 2, Traylor 1, Burke 1, Poirier 1, Wright 1, Curtin 1.
Steals: Guelph — Valeriote 3, Nugent 1; Lakehead — Burke 4, Harris 3, Wright 2, Poirier 1.
Blocks: Guelph — Yanchus 1, Glanville 1, Nugent 1, Alade 1; Lakehead — Wright 3, Traylor 1, Burke 1, Lam 1.
Turnovers: Guelph — Alade 4, Glanville 3, Naus 3, Nwosu 3, Yanchus 2, Nugent 1, Weekes 1; Lakehead — Traylor 2, Anderson 2, Poirier 2, Wright 2, Harris 1, Johnson 1.
Fouls: Guelph — Yanchus 4, Glanville 4, Nugent 4, Alade 2, Naus 2, Weekes 1, Valeriote 1, Nwosu 1; Lakehead — Poirier 5, Traylor 4, Bull 4, Anderson 3, Ndahiro 3, Burke 3, Harris 3, Lam 1, Johnson 1, Wright 1.


  • Guelph Sports Journal