Laurentian Athletics roundup: Voyageurs tip off basketball playoffs Wednesday

Natasha Mayer (7) of Laurentian University competes in the 600 metres at the Hal Brown Last Chance meet this past weekend. Adam Kalab/Photo supplied

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The Laurentian Voyageurs surely envisioned a better end to their OUA men’s basketball regular season than a 106-68 loss to the Ryerson Rams, but the local varsity squad can now shift its focus to the playoffs and a matchup with the Windsor Lancers on home court Wednesday night.

Entering their regular-season finale with a No. 6 national ranking — one spot ahead of Ryerson — and coming off a convincing win at the University of Toronto the night before, the Voyageurs found themselves down early as the Rams went on a 15-4 run to open the contest. Laurentian battled back to make it a six-point lead, only for the hosts to widen their advantage once more, 31-21 heading into the second frame.

It was more of the same through to halftime, as the Rams outscored the Voyageurs 27-12 to take a commanding 20-point lead into the break. Third-year guard Tevaun Kokko, with 20 points, and Tom Dumont, with 10, did most of the damage for Ryerson in the half. LU was led by guards Kadre Gray, with 17 points, and Sam Ivey, with six.

The Vees came a little closer in the third, outscored 25-19, but the home side left no doubt of the evening’s outcome by outpacing them 23-11 in the fourth.

Gray finished with 24 points and eight rebounds to lead Laurentian, while Kokko had a game-high 28 points and Tanor Ngom 10 boards for Ryerson.

Laurentian fell to 16-6, good for third in the OUA East, while Ryerson, with an identical record, finished second in the Central.

Windsor brings a mark of 11-11 into Wednesday’s contest, which tips off at 8 p.m. Led by forward Thomas Kennedy, who has averaged 18.6 points, the Lancers have gone 5-5 in their final 10 games of the regular season.

Gray finished the schedule as the leader on his team, and once again the entire OUA, with 23.8 points per game, edging out both Kokko and Ali Sow by only 0.01 points.
LU’s fourth-year star was also at the centre of his team’s offence in the victory over U of T last Friday, pouring in a game-high 23 and pulling down nine rebounds en route to a 96-78 final.

Caillou Lacroix scored 15 and Ivey 12 for the Voyageurs, who kept pace with their opponents through a 19-19 opening quarter, then broke out to nearly double them up, 28-15 and 26-14, in each of the second and third.

On the women’s side, Bailey Tabin’s impressive 18-point, 18-rebound, three-assist outing against Ryerson wasn’t enough to prevent an 80-50 loss to the Rams in Laurentian’s last game of the season on Saturday night.

That followed a much more competitive 60-57 loss to Toronto the night before, during which Maria La Rosa scored 12 and Tabin 11 for the Voyageurs.

The Laurentian women, who have battled various injuries this season, finished the season with a record of 3-19, well out of the playoff picture.

Moving from the hardcourt to the ice, the Laurentian women’s hockey team finished its own season with a 3-2 overtime loss to the Guelph Gryphons on Saturday.

Madison Heeney and Annie Sheridan scored and Danielle Toland made 41 saves for Laurentian, which also missed the post-season while posting a 10-14 record, but was not mathematically eliminated until late in the year.

Laurentian honoured its graduating players — Sherdian, Toland, Morgan McCann and Regan Toltesi — during a ceremony on Saturday.

The LU men, also out of playoff contention, finished their 2019-20 campaign one week earlier than the women.

Curlers make quarters

The Laurentian women’s curling team of Kira Brunton, Mikaela Cheslock, Camille Daly, Alyssa Denyer and Jamie Smith, made the quarter-finals of the OUA championships in Guelph, but gave up a steal of two in the final end to lose 5-3 to Queen’s.

The men’s team, composed of Maxime Blais, Mark D’Arcangelo, Matt Headley and Kelly Thompson, dropped its final round-robin game and missed the playoff round.

Still on track

The Laurentian indoor track team competed at the Hal Brown Last Chance Indoor Track Meet this past weekend, returning with three medals and five personal-best performances.

Natasha Mayer, a fourth-year runner from Sudbury, placed second in both the 300-metre and 600-metre events, with times of 42.27 and 1:38.71, respectively. Justin Graenert, a second-year athlete from Aurora, placed third in the 600 metres with a time of 1:23.59.

Justin Graenert (4) of Laurentian University and Sudbury’s Brendan Costello (3) of Western are followed by Liam Pedersen of Laurentian, second from right, during the Hal Brown Last Chance Meet this past weekend. Pascale Gendron/Photo supplied

The next competition for the Laurentian track team is the OUA Championships, to be held this Friday and Saturday at the York University track. Voyageur qualifiers include:

– Alexandre Noel de Tilly, 60m

– Caleb Beland, 1,500m,

– Christina Robert,  60m

– Eric Gareau, 1,000m, 1500m

– Erin Hansel, 1,000m

– Hannah Merjavec, 60m

– Justin Graenert, 600m, 1,000m

– Keon Wallingford, 3,000m

– Liam Passi, 1,500m, 3000m

– Liam Pedersen, 600m

– Natasha Mayer, 300m, 600m

– Men’s 4 x 800m relay

Laurentian Results – Hal Brown Last Chance 

Women

300m

2. Natasha Mayer, 300m, 42.27

600m

2. Natasha Mayer, 600m, 1:38.71

1,000m

15. Sarah Thackeray, 1,000m, 3:17.23

19. Meghan Sippel, 1,000m, 3:20.18

20. Ashley Valentini, 1,000m, 3:23.08 (personal best)

10. Erin Hansel, 1,000m, 3:08.43

3,000m

10. Kelsey Lefebvre, 3,000m, 11:45.69 (PB)

Men

60m

21. Alexandre Noel de Tilly, 60m, 7.40

40. Ebube Esinnah, 60m, 7.85 (PB)

300m

9. Alexandre Noel de Tilly, 300m, 38.62

600m

3. Justin Graenert, 600m, 1:23.59

7. Liam Pedersen, 600m, 1:24.81

1,000m

5. Eric Gareau, 1,000m, 2:36.19

13. Hayden Ring, 1,000m, 2:54.34 (PB)

14. Ryan Vincent, 1,000m, 2:54.42

17. Adam Kalab, 1,000m, 3:00.87

1,500m

6. Keon Wallingford, 1,500m, 4:03.08 (PB)

7. Liam Passi, 1,500m, 4:03.33

12. Caleb Beland, 1,500m, 4:08.77

3,000m

5. Dylan Brown, 3,000m, 8:58.51

9. Nick Lambert, 3,000m, 9:26.24

11. Chase Canty, 3,000m, 9:30.76

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