The Toronto Varsity Blues couldn’t have needed the holiday break any more.
With a chance to claim second in the East for their own, they in fact got owned—with losses to the McMaster Marauders and Brock Badgers. The 78–60 loss to Mac Dec. 2 was fairly competitive out of the gates, but 30 turnovers, a mere four 3-pointers, and 20 points by Andrew Wasik, Alex Hill and Drazen Glisic—the veteran leadership on this team—are clear indicators of an offensive shutdown. The pattern seemed almost similar in the 95–55 spanking by Brock, a squad that has the Blues’ number in the last few seasons. A 19–13 first quarter by Toronto was followed up by a 82-point performance by the tricky Badgers. While Wasik had 16 points to follow on a 4-point performance the night before, this is not like the Blues at all. Somehow, they need to get the ball control and offensive personnel sparked up before their next OUA match in January.
The Laurentian Voyageurs also need some kind of spark. This team has a lot going against them, but a lot of heart and can squeak out games if they bring their best stuff. Their luck was absent this weekend, losing by a basket, 79–76, against the Guelph Gryphons, and 99–95 in OT against the powerful Lakehead Thunderwolves in Thunder Bay. A 27–19 third quarter was the difference against Guelph, and while they kept their turnovers down and made 46 per cent of their shots, they could not keep up with the Gryphon starters, who played a cache of minutes. The next night, the home court advantage for the Thunderwolves was a catalyst in the Wolves’ four-point victory. Six Thunderwolves, lead by G Joseph Jones, had double digit points. An 0–2 weekend is a bitter pill to swallow, but the Voys have glimpses of good things coming. G Alex Ratte is quietly becoming a leader on the floor for Laurentian—if his 28 points against the Wolves were any indication. This team may need to work on defensive issues, especially with rebounds and such, but they could upset an Ottawa or Toronto.
The rest of the OUA East had a so-so weekend. While a 0–4 showing by RMC and Queen’s and a 2–0 weekend by Carleton are pretty much destined to occur, the Gee-Gees have landed second in the division. Their 77–76 victory was a sweet one, as the squad was trailing after three quarters. G Kale Harrison left it out on the court, putting up 31 points for the game. That game became the wake up call the Gee-Gees have been waiting for, as they buried the Waterloo Warriors 119–76 the next night. Five Gee-Gee players had double-digit scoring, and two—Warren Ward and Vikas Gill—had at least 20 points.