Weekend split leaves Gryphs looking at second in division
GUELPH – The Guelph Gryphons look set to finish second in the OUA women’s basketball league’s West Division after splitting a pair of games on the weekend.
The Gryphs are second in the division at 14-6 while the Waterloo Warriors lead at 16-4.
As both teams have two games left on their regular-season schedules, it is possible for the pair to finish tied and the Gryphs would win the tie-breaker. The two teams split their two regular-season games with the Gryphs beating Waterloo by a larger margin than they lost to the Warriors.
The Gryphs were unbeaten at 8-0 in the 2022 portion of their schedule, but have gone 6-6 in 2023.
However, the Gryphs are to play the Western Mustangs (10-10) and Windsor Lancers (11-9) while Waterloo is to play the York Lions (8-12) and the McMaster Marauders (15-5).
First-place team in each division plus the team with the best record of all the other teams will get byes in the first round of the playoffs. The non-division winning team will come from the East Division as the Queen’s Gaels are at 19-1, Carleton Ravens are at 18-2 and the Ottawa Gee-Gees are at 17-4.
Top eight of all the teams not getting first-round byes also qualify for the playoffs with the top four of those teams hosting first-round games. If the Gryphs don’t win the division, they will host a first-round playoff match.
The Gryphs split a pair of matches at home on the weekend as they defeated the Ontario Tech Ridgebacks 78-63 Friday night and lost 75-56 to Windsor Saturday night.
The hosts had a big first quarter against Ontario Tech, but needed a strong second half for the win. They led 28-19 at the end of the first quarter, 40-35 at halftime and 68-54 at the end of the third quarter.
Natalie Vigna led the Gryphon scoring with 13 points while MacKelly Shantz and Julia Colavecchia each had 12 and Lucy Tesseyman netted 10. Shantz had eight rebounds, four assists, five blocks and three steals while Hannah Bourdon also had eight rebounds. Renee Armstrong had four assists and three blocks.
Nadia Ismaila had 17 points for the Ridgebacks while Dalyssa Fleurgin collected 15 and Hadeza Ismaila added 11. Nadia Ismaila had eight rebounds and three steals while Hadeza Ismaila and Sara Esongola Biango each had three assists. No Gryphon shots were blocked.
Saturday, the Gryphs fell behind Windsor in the second quarter and never recovered. The teams were tied 16-16 at the end of the first quarter before the Lancers ran to a 42-29 lead at halftime and they stretched it to 62-42 by the end of the third quarter.
Shantz had 15 points for the Gryphs while Armstrong contributed 12. Bourdon hauled down nine rebounds while Armstrong and Vigna each had four assists. Rain Jhaj had two blocks and Armstrong had three steals.
The Gryphs shot 34 percent on field goals in the game while Windsor shot 48 percent. The Lancers also shot 42 percent on three-pointers to 20 percent for the locals.
Reine Ndome had 15 points for Windsor while Maggie Denys had 14 and Kali Grootenbeor had 13. Vanessa Budimunda had six rebounds while Denys had three assists, Ndome had the team’s lone block and Denys and Julia Chiarot each had two steals.
Wednesday’s game at the Guelph Gryphons Athletics Centre is to start at 6 p.m.
- Guelph Sports Journal