Favorites Fall Like Flies At Tournaments
Wow, what a weekend of great high school basketball and hockey in the Greater Toronto Area - and some teams realizing they may not be as untouchable as they might think.
Just goes to show that in this wild and often wacky world of sports, even the top teams - often oblivious to others - took it on the chin. Yes, maestro, some good teams now know what it is like to lose games to others who are better.
The only good thing for those, who thought they were invincible, was the fact that these were not season-ending playoffs.
Let's start with senior basketball and eight of the teams in the Star's Top Ten last week lost and were eliminated from the tournament spotlight. Just Oakwood, who won the Silver Fox in Hamilton, and Richardson, the winners of the Blessed Mother Teresa Invitational in Toronto, left their respective tournaments with the championship awards.
A far cry from all the hype and bragging. I think it proves that any one of 10 teams could win the Ontario Quad-A gold medal when the boys' hoops playoffs take place in March in Oshawa. Then again, No. 11 or 12 might also get lucky.
Of all the people who I spoke with prior to the weekend, on the phone or via e-mail, none picked Oakwood or Richardson to win. So, it begs the question: what happened to Father Henry Carr, Loyola, Pickering, St. Marguerite d'Youville, Mother Teresa, Eastern Commerce, Vaughan, Martingrove and St. Edmund Campion?
Maybe some over confidence?
Maybe getting beaten by a better team?
Maybe understanding that no one team is dominating this year?
And it wasn't just on the hardwood, how about the ice too.
St. Andrew's of Aurora, some claim the best collection of high school hockey players on a team this year, coasted to an 11-0 win in the opening game of their own tournament. Then, the Saints got beat - and left their home rink without the prestigious gold medal from the MacPherson tourney.
Some of those 'ole boys were hiding behind their tartan skirts.
Appleby of Oakville, a team made up of plenty of youngsters, skated off with the title after a thrilling game that needed three periods of overtime. The only other game that I can recall watching, that may have matched this one in excitement, goes back to 1999 in Dryden when St. Andrew's beat Upper Canada in a provincial semifinal - also in OT.