The Georgian Grizzlies men’s and women’s basketball teams welcomed the Durham Lords on Friday night and their guests were anything but friendly.
In a battle between the top two seeds in the OCAA east division standings, the Grizzlies men’s team came out to a great start jumping out to a 21-13 lead by the end of the first quarter.
As hot as the Grizzlies were in the first quarter, the Lords were in the second erasing Georgian’s eight point lead and gaining themselves a seven point lead by halftime 38-31.
The second half started cold again for the Grizzlies as they found themselves down by 16 points in the third quarter. Georgian showed their resiliency chipping away at the Lords lead getting to as close as a four point deficit with less than five minutes to play.
Unfortunately for the Grizzlies that was as close as they could come as the Lords pulled away late for an 84-70 final for Durham.
Rookie guard Jonathan Edwards (Mississauga) had a season high 22 points in the loss for the Grizzlies.
The Lords were led by fifth year veteran Eric Smith (Ajax) who had 23 points and rookie Aaron Hayles (Pickering) who had 21 points in Durham’s seventh straight victory.
The Grizzlies now trail the Lords by three games for first in the east and also have to worry about the fast charging St Lawrence-Kingston Vikings who are just one win back with a game in hand.
It was a similar end for the Grizzlies women’s team as a frustrating second and third quarter saw the game slip away from their reach in a 74-60 victory for the Lords. A late game surge by the Grizzlies pulled them closer but the Lords, who led by as many as 25 points, couldn’t be overcome.
Mackenzie Merkley (Guelph) continued her strong play as of late scoring a team high 14 points while Grizzlies teammate Hannah Pearsall (Guelph) had 12 points.
Rookie Kelsey Dunkeld (Barrie) had another impressive game for Georgian with 11 points and a team high 7 rebounds.
The Grizzlies had no answers for a pair of three year veterans from Durham. Lindsay Panchan (Ajax) had 21 points while teammate Kayla Marshall (Ottawa) had 18 points accounting for over half the Lords offence.
Georgian’s basketball teams will be back in action this Tuesday night for a pair of big games when they travel to face the Seneca Sting. The Grizzlies will play their next home game Saturday Feb. 7 when they face the Fleming Knights.