By Steve Petrick
Whenever the Ryerson men’s basketball team is involved with any tournament of significance, it is usually billed as a David versus Goliath event.
In the OUA East championship game last March, it was the overachieving Rams who felled the giant Laurentian Voyageurs en route to their fairy tale trip to the national championship.
Throughout the national tournament, Ryerson was seen as the little guy fighting up the ranks to become a contender.
Last week, Ryerson competed for civic supremacy in the second annual Raptors Cup and, in keeping with tradition, the underdog won.
When the final buzzer sounded to end the championship game Sunday afternoon, the overjoyed victors poured across the court at the Air Canada Centre, while the shocked favourites stood aside in disbelief.
This time, however, it was the Rams who fell short in a 62-58 loss to the underdog York Yeoman. The loss halted Ryerson’s pre-season winning streak at eight games.
“No one likes to lose,” second-year guard and tournament all-star Ben Gorham said. “The loss will bring the guys together.”
Ryerson entered the tournament ranked eighth in the country by a CIAU pre-season poll and were the heavy favourites to run away with the Toronto Raptor-sponsored trophey.
York finished last season in the basement of the OUA East with a pitiful 6-14 record and had the worst offence in the division.
When the game was over, screams from the York bench filled the court in celebration. The team even cut down one of the nets as a souvenir.
“We just sucked it up,” York head coach Bob Bain said. “We haven’t played all that well up to this point.”
The end of the match also marked the fourth game Ryerson had played over five days. Ryerson head coach Terry Haggerty said he’d give his team two days off before practicing tonight.