Basketball Lions roar back into the win column

York Lions Dejan KravicThe York men’s and women’s basketball teams led the way in a series of wins for Lions teams this weekend in Ontario University Athletics (OUA) games both at home and on the road.

The men’s basketball team (1-3) snapped a three-game losing skid Saturday with a convincing 78-62 victory over the Brock Badgers, the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) champions just two seasons ago. Rookie Dejan Kravic (right, photo by Alex Pylyshyn) had a monster game with 23 points and 10 rebounds, and was one of five Lions to score more than 10 points in the game. The Lions also dropped a 96-85 decision to the Guelph Gryphons on Friday.

The women’s basketball team (1-4) earned its first victory of the season with an exciting 72-71 victory over Guelph on Friday night. Brittany Szockyj led the way in the fourth quarter to pull the Lions even with the Gryphons and then Kate Mowat sank two free throws at the end of overtime to seal the win for the Lions. They also came out hard the following night against Brock and were down by only two at the half but the team struggled in the second half and lost 73-46.

The women’s hockey team went a perfect 2-0 on the weekend to improve its record to 5-3 on the season and move into fourth place in the OUA standings. The Lions easily defeated the Queen’s Gaels 4-1 in Kingston Friday and then needed a shootout to upend the University of Ontario Institute of Technology Ridgebacks 3-2 on Saturday. Fifth-year forward Mandy Cole scored a goal in each game to be named York’s female athlete of the week.

The men’s hockey team (5-5-1) bounced back from a frustrating 5-3 loss to the Queen’s Gaels on Friday night to crush the Royal Military College Paladins 5-0 at home on Saturday. Team captain Tyler Harrison, left wing Nathaniel Brooks and defenceman Kyle Searle all recorded three points in the winning effort.

The men’s water polo team (4-6) qualified for the OUA championships with an 18-4 victory over the Queen’s Gaels in Ottawa to finish the season in fourth place on Saturday. Josip Cvitanovic had a game-high six goals and Straun Wefers added three. The women’s water polo team (0-8) was not able to get a win on the board with losses to Queen’s and the Carleton Ravens and their season has come to an end.

The women’s soccer team participated in the CIS championships at the University of Toronto this past weekend after qualifying for the event with their OUA gold-medal performance last weekend. The Lions were defeated by a 2-1 score in overtime by the UBC Thunderbirds and then fell 1-0 to the host Varsity Blues to finish in seventh place.

The swim team competed well at the Campbell Division Championships in Guelph and returned home with nine top-10 finishes at the meet. The top Lions swimmer was Viktor Verblac. He captured the silver medal in the 400-metre freestyle, added two more individual top-10 finishes in the 200-metre butterfly and 200–metre freestyle and was part of two relay teams that also finished in the top 10. Verblac was named York’s male athlete of the week.

The women’s volleyball team (3-2) dropped its second match of the season with a 3-1 defeat to the Varsity Blues. Thinesa Sriskandarajah was all over the court throughout the match, recording 15 kills and 16 digs.

The men’s volleyball team (1-7) also lost its games this weekend, falling 3-0 to both the Guelph Gryphons and the Varsity Blues. Captain Reid Hall led the team in both games with eight kills and 13 digs against Guelph and 11 kills against Toronto.