On February 10, the Varsity Blues men’s basketball team faced the McMaster Marauders for the first time this season. The two teams met at the Blues’ home court, the Goldring Centre for High Performance Sport, and the whistle blew for game time at 8:00 pm. 

Prior to this match, the Blues lost two back-to-back games and looked to regain their winning streak. 

In an interview with The Varsity, Blues forward and former Marauders forward Tomi Johnson said that, leading up to this game, the team trained hard to prepare for the win. 

On top of training, Johnson said, “Later on in the week [before each match] we scout based on the opponent we’re playing, so it takes a lot of focus throughout the whole entire week.”

What happened

Both the Blues and the Marauders started off strong in the first quarter, and the teams were tied 12–12 by the end of it, going into the second quarter. 

Hungry to take an early lead in the second and get ahead of the opposing team, the Blues started connecting with strong passes and finishing their goal scoring opportunities. Johnson scored nine points, putting the Blues up 34–23 at halftime. 

Although the Marauders planned to close the 11-point gap, the Blues tightened up on defense in the third quarter and shut the Marauders down. 

Johnson’s teammates, guards Iñaki Alvarez and Callum Baker, secured 11 points between the two of them, which helped put the Blues up 50–35 at the end of the third. 

In the last quarter, the Blues got more creative with their offense movements and the Marauders were unable to keep up. With Johnson’s hustle and the Blues’ determination to come out on top, they were able to secure the win with a final score of 66–51. 

Johnson finished with a crushing career high of 12 points over his former team, with five rebounds, one assist, and a steal. 

“It was a good game — we were ready from the jump,” Johnson said. “We stayed together from the jump, and we stayed together throughout the whole game, so it was a good team performance overall.” 

What’s next

After a loss against the Warriors on Saturday, the Blues sit in fourth place in the Ontario University Athletics central division. They have one more game against the Marauders on February 18, before playoffs begin.