20211127 GMHOOPS 16

Time for a break, Gryphon hoops men clouted by Brock

GUELPH – The Guelph Gryphons could’ve done with the OUA men’s basketball league’s exam and Christmas break coming a week earlier.

That would’ve pushed their matches against the Brock Badgers into the 2022 portion of the schedule when the Gryphs could’ve been rested and healthier.

Brock 106 Guelph Gryphons 68

Saturday at the Guelph Gryphons Athletics Centre, the Gryphs suffered their second loss to Brock in four days as they were dropped 106-68. Brock had prevailed 86-76 at Brock Wednesday.

“I think the break would’ve come at the right time last week when Rasheed (Weekes) went down and Khalid (Ismail) was down and Brandon (Halliburton) has been down for a while,” Gryphon coach Chris O’Rourke said. “We showed a lot of grit at Brock on Wednesday in the second half in cutting it down. It was a similar scenario. We were down 20 at the half and we had a few runs in the second half in us. To do that today, they came out more aggressive than we were, disrupted us and doubled Malcolm everywhere and it forced other guys to have to make plays and shots. Defensively, we became spectators.”

Ismail returned for Saturday’s game but Weekes (shoulder) and Halliburton (foot) remained on the sidelines.

The Badgers jumped on the Gryphs early, scoring the first 12 points of the game and they were never headed. Brock led 27-17 at the end of the first quarter, 53-32 at halftime and 77-54 after the third quarter.

“We knew how good this Brock team was,” O’Rourke said. “They’ve proven they’re the best team in the Westin the first half. We knew it was going to be a battle. We just need to learn. If you’re not learning, then you are losing. We just need to learn, change our mindset, get Rasheed and Brandon healthy and in the lineup and I think that’ll certainly help.”

The loss was the fourth in a row for the Gryphs and it was the second time an opponent reached triple digits in scoring. The other time was a 123-121 loss in overtime to the McMaster Marauders Nov. 10, also at the GGAC.

Viktor Nausedas has 15 points for the Gryphs while both Felix Janusauskas and Ismail came off the bench to collect 10 points and two steals apiece. Malcolm Glanville was held to six points after scoring 30 Wednesday. He pulled down six rebounds while Keenan Dowell had nine points, six assists and two steals and Everest Jaggs had Guelph’s lone block.

Brock had six players in double digits in scoring – Tajinder Lall led with 21 while Isaiah Bujdoso had 14, Emmanuel Owoo-Toah 13, Daniel Caldwell and Jordan Tchuente 12 apiece and Daniel Cayer 10. Lall grabbed six rebounds while Cayer had five assists, Caldwell and Godsman Kwakwah had three steals apiece and Tchuente and Michael Okeke each had a block.

The Gryphs shot 43 percent on field goals, 32 percent on three-pointers and 67 percent on free throws, had 11 points on turnovers and 32 points from their bench.

Brock shot 53 percent on field goals, 29 percent on three-pointers and 74 percent on free throws while also getting 31 points on turnovers, 17 on second chances and 46 from their bench.

The Gryphs should get plenty of rest before resuming league play as there’s a gap of almost seven weeks until their next league outing.

“We’ll take a week off and we’ll have optional workouts during exams,” O’Rourke said. “Then we get together after Christmas. We’ve been cleared to be allowed to do that so we’ll practise a little bit. We don’t play until the 14th so we’ll have a lot of practices. We’ll have three before New Year’s and then back at it for a solid 10 days before we start on the 14th.”

And what stands out from the 2021 portion of the season?

“From a win-loss standpoint, the big thing that stands out is the two we gave away — the one at Windsor (82-80 loss in season opener) where we gave up five points in 30 seconds and then the Mac game here. We were up four with a minute left,” O’Rourke said. “Giving those two losses away really hurt. The other thing that probably would stand out would be the amount of injuries and how many guys have gotten banged up which is not surprising when there’s a 20-month layoff. Those would probably be the big things.”

The Gryphs are to return from the break with a pair of home games against the Algoma Thunderbirds on back-to-back days. They’re to play Jan. 14 at 8 p.m. and Jan. 15 at 6 p.m.

West Division
Brock Badgers                      7-0
McMaster Marauders           5-1
Western Mustangs                4-2
Waterloo Warriors                 4-2
Windsor Lancers                     3-4
Lakehead Thunderwolves       3-5
Laurier Golden Hawks             2-4
Guelph Gryphons                     1-5
Algoma Thunderbirds              0-6
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