Gryphon hoops men lock down their spot in playoffs
SAULT STE. MARIE – Despite being held scoreless in the second quarter, the Guelph Gryphons clinched a playoff berth in OUA men’s basketball Friday night as they defeated the Algoma Thunderbirds 83-72 at Algoma’s George Leach Centre.
The Gryphs built a huge lead in the first quarter, going up 26-2 on their way to a 35-15 lead at the end of the quarter. However, Algoma battled back to lead 40-35 at halftime. According to the play-by-play stats on the league’s website, the Gryphs attempted four shots in the second quarter and missed all four.
The Gryphs rediscovered their scoring touch in the second half to come back for the win. They led 55-53 at the end of the third quarter.
Rasheed Weekes collected 23 points for the Gryphs while Trevor Hutton had 20 and Banky Alade had 12. Alade also grabbed 10 rebounds and had three assists and two blocks. Keenan Dowell had three steals.
Nicholas Gehlen had a game-high 25 points for Algoma while Maxime Bellony had 12 and Vincent Farardeau had 11. Gehlen and Devin Miron each had four rebounds while Bellony and Brandon Dwyer each had two assists.
The win leaves the Gryphs fourth in the West Division at 9-12. Western Mustangs lead at 16-6 while Windsor Lancers are at 11-11, Laurier Golden Hawks are at 10-11, Waterloo Warriors are at 5-16 and Algoma’s at 2-19.
Top 12 in the league’s overall standings qualify for the playoffs. The three teams that finished first in their divisions plus the second-place team with the best records get byes in the opening round while the other eight play in that first round.
The Gryphs can move up one spot with a win in their final game of the regular season and a loss by Laurier in their final game. That would leave the Gryphs and Golden Hawks tied and the Gryphs would win the tie-breaker as they swept the two regular-season games they played against Laurier.
The Gryphs are to play Algoma again Saturday at 8 p.m. at Sault Ste. Marie.
Gryphons 83 Thunderbirds 72
- Guelph Sports Journal