Inside the Goldring Centre for high-performance sports and away from the frigid temperatures of a frozen city, the Toronto Varsity Blues and York Lions battled it out on the hardcourt in one of the best rivalries in all of U Sports.
With both the men and women hitting the floor, the potential for a weekend sweep was a possibility, however, neither team was able to win both games as the Lions leaped over the varsity blues in the women’s game, and reverse in the men.
With the men, the Blues were led by the pair of Eric Rwahwire and Evan Shadkami who combined for 45 points of the Blues 95. Both of them put up season high’s in the game, with Rhawire putting himself at the top of Toronto’s team scoring chart. Not only did rewire connect in the two-point area, but he also hit his stride from long range, although he struggled throughout the year from distance, going two for three on Friday will boost his performance in the coming games.
From a Lions perspective, the game was played well but in the moments that mattered, their big players could not execute. Their leading scorer put up 22 points, not far off of the U of T counterpart, however, his support was much less than that of the Blues. On the defensive side of the ball, the Lions did a better job than they have at most points this season. After a shambolic defensive performance in the first quarter where Toronto scored 66% from long range, the york men held the Blues to 44% from field goal range and 37.5% from behind the arc in the second half.
It was not perfect for either team, but the result also could have been predicted. The Lions now fall to a dismal, last-place record of 1-6, as the Blues move up the standings with a 2-3 record. It’s not totally fair that the Lions have played a couple more games than the Blues, but as many coaches ay “You beat your schedule, there’s nothing you can do about it.” That’s something that the Lions have been unable to do this year, and will inevitably be their doom come to the end of the year.
For women, it was a very different story. Not only did they result go to the other school, but the game also played out in a much different fashion. While most basketball games easily find their way to 80 plus points for each team, the final combined score between the two women’s sides failed to top 100.
Even though the score was low, the competition was high. The Lions prevailed by only five points, moving themselves to the top of the OUA Central division, a far reach from the depths the men’s team find themselves in.
All the teams will have to put the game behind them regardless of the result, as they are both backs on the court tomorrow at their home arenas. The Varsity Blues will be hosting Hamilton’s McMaster Maraduers, meanwhile, the Lions will have another Toronto rival matchup against the Ryerson Rams.