By Sean Fitz-Gerald
The Ryerson men’s basketball season came to an end last Friday night at Varsity Arena, signalling the end of a career for OUAA East All Star and Rams forward Scott Belasco.
The team lost their conference semi-final to number-one ranked Laurentian Voyageurs by a respectable 84-75 score.
“We thought we could come in here and steal a win,” said the 6’5” Belasco, who finished leading his team with 18 points. “They just played good defense, and they came out a little harder than us,” he said.
The Rams jumped out to an early eight-point lead in the first half, thanks largely to their tenacious rebounding at both ends of the floor.
Just when it looked like the Rams could hold their lead, Voyageurs star guard Shawn Swords cut in. Swords started slow but picked up his game midway through the first half as he began slicing the Rams up from the three point arc. He eventually led all scorers with 26 points.
Near the end of the half, the Rams world caved in on them. The Voyageurs used a three-man press trying to force the Rams into mistakes. It worked. After a Brian Smith turnover, the Vee’s went up for good, leading 47-42 at the half.
In the second half, the Vee’s began to overpower the Rams.
Senior forward Carl Harper did his best to keep the Rams in the game, pitching in 16 points and pulling down nine rebounds, but it wasn’t enough.
The Vee’s went ahead by as much as 15 before the Rams managed to weasel their way back to within seven with 10 minutes left.
However, with some untimely turnovers and Belasco fouling out, the fate of the Rams was sealed long before the final buzzer.
“I would have liked to have ended it on a better note,” Belasco said, “But it was a pretty productive game.”
After the game, Belasco walked over to his mother and gave her a big hug.
“My mom doesn’t know much about basketball, but she usually comes out with my sister during the playoffs to cheer us on. She’s a big part of my life,” Belasco said.
Rams head coach Terry Haggerty said Belasco was a key member of the team, and will be very difficult to replace.
“Scotty’s been the cornerstone of the program,” said Haggerty, in his 16th year as a Rams coach. “It’s no coincidence that we’re in the playoffs four years and he’s been here four years.”
“Off the court he’s been a great role model and leader for everybody on the team,” he said. “You can’t ask for anything more.”