Going For Basketball Gold
What a night for high school basketball in this part of the world - lots of excitement, some great games, upsets, superb individual efforts, Greater Toronto Area teams within reach of medals at four Ontario playoffs and, well, more..
I was also under the impression that artificial noisemakers were not allowed at provincial playoffs so when this one spectator eluded security and walked in with a drum, then added to his exuberance by banging against the metal stands at Durham College, I thought my ears would be in need of medical attention.
Surely, there were enough police, security and plenty of teachers getting the day off to run this event who could have stepped in. Screaming is one thing, not what this guy was doing. Yikes.
All right, to the hardwood. The King is gone. Well, more than one. Defending Ontario Quad-A champion Eastern Commerce has been eliminated - missing a last second bucket in a 59-58 quarterfinal loss to Vaughan of Thornhill at the Quad-A playoffs. Top-ranked Pickering is gone too, becoming one of the few No. 1-teams to lose its first two games. Ouch.
Quad-A semifinals in Oshawa on Wednesday night has the Toronto pair of Blessed Mother Teresa against Oakwood while St. Thomas More of Hamilton meets Vaughan. Over in Kingston at the Triple-A playoffs, top-ranked Loyola from Oakville is two wins away from wearing a gold medal. Standing in the way are two Toronto teams - Martingrove and Jarvis along with Orchard Park of Stoney Creek set to go at it in semifinals.
Double-A teams left to play for medal colours in Windsor are Parkside (Dundas), Timmins and Herman (Windsor) but we're pinning our hopes on St. Thomas Aquinas from Oakville coming out on top. And up in Sturgeon Falls, Fleming - yes, the Toronto school - will come home with a medal. They have to beat King's Christian (Oakville), Arthur Voaden and Ridley (St. Catharines) to make it a golden one.
That's it. One day to go, four gold medals up for grabs and then we'll close the lid on the school basketball season for another year.