Gryphon hoops men top Toronto to stop their losing skid
GUELPH – The Guelph Gryphons snapped their three-game losing streak with a 91-83 victory over the Toronto Varsity Blues at the Guelph Gryphons Athletic Centre to remain in the race for a playoff berth in the OUA men’s basketball league.
The Gryphs rallied in the second half to topple Toronto. The Varsity Blues led 24-22 at the end of the first quarter and 44-41 at halftime before the Gryphs shot ahead 61-58 by the end of the third quarter.
The Varsity Blues had the gap down to two points with just over six minutes to play, but wouldn’t get any closer.
Malcolm Glanville led the Gryphs with 19 points while Keenan Dowell had 15, Trevor Hutton had 13 and Kieran Naus had 10. Banky Alade, making his second appearance of the season and first since Jan. 8, and Naus each had seven rebounds while Naus had six assists and Glanville had three steals.
Evan Shadkami had 29 points for Toronto and was followed by Eric Rwahwire with 20 and Daniel Johansson and Chris Barrett with 10 apiece. Johansson also grabbed seven rebounds while Barrett had five assists and Rwahwire and Barrett each had two steals.
The top three finishers in each division along with the three teams with the best records of the teams in fourth, fifth or sixth in their division qualify for the playoffs.
The Gryphs are fourth in the West Division at 8-12 and do have a shot at finishing third. The loss knocked Toronto out of the playoff race. The Varsity Blues are fifth in the Central Division at 5-15.
The Western Mustangs are at 15-6 and have clinched first in the West Division. The Windsor Lancers are second at 10-10 with two games to go while the Laurier Golden Hawks are third at 10-11 with one game to play and both have clinched playoff berths. The Waterloo Warriors are fifth at 5-15 and Algoma Thunderbirds sixth at 2-18 and both are out of playoff contention.
With two games to go, the Gryphs can finish in a tie with both Windsor and Laurier. If they finish in a tie with just Windsor, the Lancers will win the tie-breaker. If they finish in a tie with just Laurier, the Gryphs will win the tie-breaker. If the three teams finish in a tie, the Gryphs will finish first among the three as they’re 3-1 in games against Windsor and Laurier. The Golden Hawks would be second at 2-2 and Windsor third at 1-3.
However, a win by Laurier in its final regular-season game against Waterloo Saturday would put the Golden Hawks out of reach of the Gryphons. A win by Windsor in one of its final two regular-season games – Friday at Waterloo and Saturday at Western – would put the Lancers out of reach.
The Gryphs are currently in the final playoff position, but the Nipissing Lakers are a win behind at 7-13. If they finish in a tie, Nipissing wins the tie-breaker thanks to an 82-80 win over Guelph Jan. 31 at North Bay.
Nipissing is to complete its regular season on the weekend with road games against the Ryerson Rams (14-6) Friday and Toronto Saturday.
The Gryphs are also on the road as they’re to play Algoma at Sault Ste. Marie Friday and Saturday. Game time is 8 p.m. both days.
Two losses by Nipissing on the weekend will give the Gryphs a playoff berth. They can also assure themselves of a playoff berth with two wins over the Thunderbirds who have lost a league-high 12 in a row.
The Gryphs also played twice at Sault Ste. Marie in February last year and split those matches, losing the first 77-63 and winning the second 87-85 in overtime. The Gryphs qualified for the playoffs last season at 11-13 while the Thunderbirds finished at 7-17 and didn’t make the playoffs.
Gryphons 91 Varsity Blues 83
- Guelph Sports Journal