An overpowered and under-manned EMCS senior boys’ basketball team fell to the Glenlyon Norfolk Gryphons 130-61 last Thursday in their season home opener.
The Wolverines went into the matchup with only seven players in the lineup thanks to some unforeseen events — key centre Jason Demoe is out for five weeks following a bout of appendicitis, and 6-3 Ryan Ehman, just back from a trip to Tanzania, was battling a bad reaction to some malaria medication.
“We get Ryan back on Monday,” said head coach Trevor Bligh.
Both Ehman and Demoe were sorely missed as the home team simply couldn’t compete size-wise with GNS. One of their burly forwards, which Blight guessed to weigh in at around 280 pounds, set up shop underneath the basket snatching up rebound after rebound. Second and even third attempt field goals put the Gryphons up by as much as 29-7 at the end of the first quarter.
“We could not match up man-to-man,” said Bligh. “In the second quarter (we) packed everyone in the centre.”
That left outside jump shots open for their opponents, which they couldn’t capitalize as easily on. That, coupled with an aggressive full-court defence, narrowed the gap to a 13 point deficit.
Unfortunately, the Wolverines suffered yet another blow to their roster that night. Blight said shooting guard Brad Smith received a chop to the back of the knee that sidelined him for the rest of the evening. In the second half, small forward Tristen Griffin sat out for a quarter after a tumble to the hardwood.
“At one time we had five (players),” he said.
After the break, the third quarter turned into a high-scoring affair with the Wolverines scoring 28 points to the Gryphons’ 32. One highlight for the boys in white was their ability to draw fouls — and number three Eric Albert was able to convert six out of his eight free throw attempts.
Bligh said it was all EMCS guards all night, combining for a total of 45 out of the team’s 61 points. Not all that surprising considering the missing forwards.
“We’re going to be giving up height here for the next month, so we have to try and keep the ball out of the post.”
The next exhibition game is away at Vic High and the Wolverines will be back home against St. Andrew’s on Dec. 13 at 7 p.m. League play doesn’t start until January 11 at St. Michael’s.