Friday, 14 January 2011

York 88, Toronto 74

Lions pieced together a 12-0 run bridging the third and fourth to break open a tight game and used hot shooting, an aggressive half-court "d" and a season-best effort from 6'10" Stefan Haynes to defeat the Varsity Blues before a near capacity crowd in North York.  Blues led by 2 at 62-60 late in the third after 6'1" Justin Holmes knocked down a three, but the deeper Lions kept the game at a high tempo and the Blues wilted as 6'1" David Tyndale got to the rim in transition, 6'4" Ostap Chioly picked up a loose ball and laid it in and Haynes hit a turn around and York was not serious threatened thereafter.

For this night, the Lions exposed Varsity's lack of quality post depth as 6'6" Andrew Wasik tired severly down the stretch, playing virtually the entire fourth quarter with 4 fouls and 6'6" Drazen Glizic also had his fourth late, but both still had to play the majority of the minutes.

A spirited first half in which the Lions were aggressive defensively, jumping into passing lanes and selectively double teaming Blues guards saw York lead 42-40 behind 12 first-half points from Haynes, who had York's first 8 points of the game.  The Blues stayed in the game primarily off their strong outside shooting which included 4 3's from the uber-confident outside shooting Holmes plus several nice finishes from 6'5" Alex Hill.  Toronto got another reasonably consistent effort up front from their pair of veteran forwards Wasik and Glizic, although York's more active and athletic bigs provided Toronto some issues, primarily on the "o" glass with putbacks and altering shots inside.  A long 3 by Aron Kumar off the bench at the buzzer, tied it at 20 at the end of one.  Largest lead of the half was just 6 when Lions got a couple of turnovers leading to easy scores and open 3's to go on an 8-0 in the second, culminated in a conventional 3 point play by 6'10" Dejan Kravic.  But Holmes later hit one of his 3's and Wasik found Glizic inside to give the Blues the lead back and the see-saw affair continued.

York showed that when the group commits to playing with energy and purpose at the defensive end which they certainly tonight, the Lions will be a tough out.

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