Gaels win home opener, road game

Gaels' defensive efforts sink Guelph and Ontario Tech in weekend set

Quinton Gray controls the ball.

Over the weekend, the men’s basketball team won at home against the Guelph Gryphons and then on the road against the Ontario Tech Ridgebacks.

On Nov. 1, the Gaels beat the Gryphons 88-70 in their home opener, and defeated the Ridgebacks 83-61 on the Sunday for a perfect weekend.

The Gaels started strong against the Gryphons. The game began with a three-pointer by fourth-year Harry Range, which was followed by buckets from first-year Luka Syllas.

Henry Van Herk and Syllas’ strong defensive effort on the court allowed Queen’s to pull ahead early.

“Defensive effort. [Syllas] is a nightmare in terms of having to play against him,” Head Coach Stephan Barrie told The Journal in a post-game interview.  “He’s always around the ball, he’s making stuff happen. He will always have a huge impact on the defensive side. I’m really happy with how he played.”

In the second quarter, the Gryphons started to gain momentum and make some good plays. However, the Gaels made up for their mistakes due to the combined effort of Landon Brickendon and Cole Syllas. 

“It was a matter of staying focused when things weren’t going well. We held ourselves together, we at least managed to not let them get a spread on us even though they tried,” Barrie said.

Despite ending the second quarter with a seven-point lead, the Gaels needed much more focus in the second half to protect their lead. “Once we refocused and got ourselves back, then we played well down the stretch. Just glad that in the part we didn’t play well, we fought through to make it through our mistakes.”

The third quarter was a difficult one for the Gaels, as Guelph clawed back to tie it at 51-51. It was a neck-and-neck game, but at the end of the third Gaels were edging out Guelph, 60-56.

In the last quarter, the Gaels turned it up and dominated at the end. Their combined focus and effort on the court resulted in correcting the errors they made in the last quarter.

Once the Gaels gained control, they managed the game well and kept a steady lead, winning 88-70.

Despite their win against the Gryphons, there’s lots they want to improve on throughout the course of the season.

“Everything,” Barrie said, referring to what areas they want to address.

The Gaels followed the win up with a dominant performance against Ontario Tech. The game was close in the first quarter, but Queen’s blew it open in the second and never looked back. Queen’s never trailed in the 83-61 victory.

Queen’s has a tough weekend at home on the horizon, facing No. 1 Carleton and No. 3 Ottawa on consecutive nights.

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