Late rally comes up short as Gryphon women upset by York

Late rally comes up short as Gryphon women upset by York

TORONTO – A last-minute comeback attempt by the Guelph Gryphons fell a point short as they were edged 66-65 by the York Lions in OUA women’s basketball play Wednesday night at York’s Tait McKenzie Centre.

The teams were tied at 58 Trinity Papamandjaris hit a pair of free throws for the Gryphs with just under two minutes to play. However, York countered with two baskets of its own, a three-pointer by Gabriella Di Pietro and a jumper by Ruqaya Green to claim a five-point advantage with 50 seconds to play.

Alexis Wright connected on a pair of free throws for the Gryphs with 41 seconds to play before the Lions added a free-throw bucket by Katy Leudy with 39 seconds to play.

Rene Armstrong dropped a pair of free throws in for the Gryphs with 25 seconds to play to narrow the gap to two points, but the hosts got those two points back on two free throws sunk by Kiara Leveridge with three seconds to go.

Wright’s buzzer-beater three-pointer left the Gryphs a point shy.

The Gryphs had led the Lions 16-14 at the end of the first quarter, 34-27 at halftime and 42-38 at the end of a low-scoring third quarter, but Guelph was held to a single field goal in the final quarter before Wright drained the final shot of the game. They did, however, sink 18 free throws in a fourth quarter that saw the two teams combine to take 34 free throws. The Lions hit seven field goals in the fourth including five three-pointers and a 10-3 run that culminated with Green’s last-minute jumper put York ahead for good.

Papamandjaris led the Gryphs with 19 points while Wright had 12 and Armstrong added 11. Papamandjaris also had eight rebounds and two assists while Armstrong had seven rebounds and three steals. Julia Colavecchia had two assists and a block while Alexandra Urban also had a block and Hannah Bourdon had two steals.

Leveridge had a game-high 23 points for York while Bilan Khadar had 20 and Di Pietro netted 14. Leveridge also had nine rebounds and York’s lone block while Leudy had three assists and Green and Jaz Balan each had two steals.

The Gryphs shot 33 percent on field goals, 33 percent on three-pointers and 80 percent (24 of 30) on free throws. They also grabbed 34 rebounds, had six assists, two blocks and eight steals, committed 20 turnovers, had 13 points off York turnovers, 11 second-chance points and received nine points from their bench.

The Lions shot 36 percent on field goals, 38 percent on three-pointers and 82 percent (14 of 17) on free throws and had 31 rebounds, seven assists, one block, nine steals, 17 turnovers, 14 points off Gryphon turnovers, six second-chance points and had their bench score two points.

The result leaves the Gryphs, who have clinched a playoff berth as they can finish no lower than 11th, at 13-6 and the Lions, who are in a battle for the final playoff spot, at 5-14.

Guelph tops the OUA West and is followed by the Waterloo Warriors at 12-6, Western Mustangs at 10-9, Windsor Lancers at 9-9, Laurier Golden Hawks also at 9-9 and Algoma Thunderbirds at 3-15.

Top 12 in the league qualify for the playoffs. The Gryphs are sixth and can finish as high as third. Top four receive byes in the opening round Feb. 21 and are to host quarter-final matches Feb. 24. Semifinals are to go Feb. 28 and the Critelli Cup championship match is slated for March 2.

The Gryphs are to complete the home portion of their regular-season schedule Saturday at 6 p.m. at the Guelph Gryphons Athletics Centre when they’re to host Western in their Senior Night Game.

Guelph’s regular season is to come to an end next weekend with games Friday in North Bay against the Nipissing Lakers (2-17) and Saturday in Sudbury against the Laurentian Voyageurs (5-14).


  • Guelph Sports Journal