Eric Demers: Past, Present, and Future

(Portland ME) Gordon’s Eric Demers is still playing and hoping.

He is currently a member of the Maine Celtics in the NBA G League.

Maine Celtics

Realizing that the Maine team was ending its 2021-22 home season today, I made connections with Maine Celtics media director Evans Boston, and he arranged time for me to talk with Eric pre-game.

Eric grew up in Acushnet (on Cape Cod) “playing whatever sport I could play outside with my friends,” he said.

As he got better at basketball, it became his primary sport.

He attended Falmouth High School because there was no high school in Acushnet and he could choose where he went.

“There was a different lifestyle at Falmouth,” he recalled, “but it was a good place for me.  I got better at basketball.  I was coached hard and started for two years and was All-State my senior year.”

Eric was recruited by only two colleges: Springfield and Gordon.  He considered doing a year at prep school.

When Gordon assistant coach Josh Theis called Eric during his junior year, he admitted that he had never heard of the place.

However, GC coach Tod Murphy and Josh persisted. 

“They took the time to recruit me,” said Eric. “They spent time with my family and came to a lot of my games.  They showed me that they wanted me.  I was looking for a place that I could play at right away.”

“I drove up there a few times my senior year to play pickup with the team,” he said.  “I committed there late in my senior year (2015).”

Eric thrived at Gordon.  He was quick to point out that meeting his wife-to-be (Lauren) was at the top of his Gordon experience.

Lauren and Jordan with Eric

“I met Lauren my third year there.  She was a sophomore.  We met in the spring semester and eight months later we were engaged.”

Basketball was also good for Eric at Gordon.  “It was an amazing experience,” he said.  “I had the opportunity to start my freshman year.  I played a bigger role than maybe I was ready for, but it helped me in the long run.  I was there with Garrison (Duvivier), Noah (Szilagyi), and Jake (Haar). Being able to compete and grow with such a special group was good.  I built some life-long friendships.  Unfortunately, we never got to win a conference championship thanks to Nichols.”

Eric’s fifth season at Gordon put him on the national basketball map.  How?  “I had the opportunity to lead the country in scoring, be in Sports Illustrated, and get into the national spotlight.  If that hadn’t happened, I’d probably now be playing in a small country overseas.”

Jordan with Eric

But it did happen, and Eric signed a contract to play in New Zealand but couldn’t honor it because of covid restrictions.

So he stayed home and worked out in the Boston area with a few of the Celtics’ players including Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart.  “Over two months I worked out with them 4-5 times a week,” Eric said.

“I am always trying to network because basketball is going to stop bouncing for me someday,” he added.  “The relationships I build during my career will help later on.”

Eric decided to be part of a team in the Million Dollar TV Tournament.  “We only played one game (and lost) but it was televised on ESPN on a Friday night and there was significant national exposure. I did pretty well and later San Antonio offered me a Summer League spot.”

During that summer season Eric found time to meet with Remy Cofield who was the GM of the Maine Celtics.  “I knew of him, and he knew of me,” said Eric.  “When the G League, four-round draft took place, they were the ones who called my number.”

I asked Eric about what it was like when he heard that he had been drafted by the Maine Celtics: “I was at home with my family packing up because I knew I was going somewhere.  We had people set up to sublet our condo.  I had to leave the next day no matter where I was going.  Thankfully, we were only an hour and twenty minutes up the road.  It could have been anywhere in the US!”

The NBA G League season started in November. It is filled with established players.  “Ten of the twelve players on our opening roster had NBA experience,” said Eric.  “I had the chance to come in and learn from true professionals even though it didn’t correlate into playing time early on.”

When Covid, however, started impacting NBA teams, there were plenty of call-ups from the G League.  That opened things up for Eric in Portland.  “I had the opportunity to start eight-to-ten games in a row,” he said. 

“I always wanted to be prepared and when my number was called, I wanted to take full advantage of the opportunities and I think I did,” he added.

Lately playing time has been hard to come by.  Eric hasn’t played at all over the past three games.  “It’s kind of the flip side now as far as playing time goes,” said Eric.  “The Celtics are assigning players down as they try to get ready for the playoffs.” 

The players coming to Maine from the Celtics are going to get playing time which currently is influencing Eric’s playing time.

Maine (14-15) has three road games left in their season so maybe there will be some chances for Eric to play in the days ahead.

“It’s a league with a lot of movement,” he said.  “You never know who is going to be in town that night to play.”

“My attitude is to stay ready and take advantage of the windows of opportunity I do get so that I can build my career going forward.”

Eric said that lots of his friends and family have come up to see him play in Portland.  He added that even on the road he has occasionally seen Gordon sweatshirts and gotten some friendly waves.

I asked Eric about what his plans are after his G League season ends next Saturday: “I’ll head back to Beverly (MA) and enjoy some time with the family.  We’re going to take a family vacation.  I have been traveling and on the road so much.  Then I’ll try to return to the cycle of going to the NBA Summer League and then finding out where I’m playing next year.”

You have to admire Eric’s optimism and his professionalism.  The NBA and the G League are long-range leagues and Eric is a strong outside shooter.  His last year at Gordon showcased that skill and his confidence in his shot.  Now it’s all about getting a chance to prove to others that a Division 3 player from a small college in Wenham (MA) can produce at the highest level.  I wouldn’t bet against it happening.

Thanks to Eric and Evans for their cooperation.

(The pictures will enlarge.)

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Gordon routs Salve Regina 93-70

Seniors Ben North, Parker Omslaer, and David Massillon were honored.
Garrett Sattazahn (25 points)

(Wenham MA) You had to wonder:

“Which team is 14-3?”

“Which team lost by twenty the last time the two teams played?”

Salve Regina was the first and Gordon was the second.

On this afternoon, as the game unfolded, it was easy to be confused.

Gordon clearly dominated Salve Regina from beginning to end and earned a satisfying, 93-70, win on Saturday afternoon’s Senior Day.

“That was something special out there for sure,” said Gordon coach Tod Murphy afterwards.

Parker Omslaer (17 points)

The Scots (8-10) in the Commonwealth Coast Conference jumped out by ten points early (18-7) and had the margin up to twenty (44-23) at halftime.

Passes were connecting and shots were falling for the home team.

A loss or win in this last game of the regular season wasn’t going to change either team’s place in the standings.  SR was assured of second and GC was assured of seventh.

Bryce Smith (10 assists and 10 points)

The Scots will host a play-in game with Curry on Monday night.  A win there (Curry is 0-12 on the road and have lost sixteen straight games) and Gordon will travel to Newport to face Salve Regina again.

“We wanted Salve to know that they won’t be getting a rollover game if we play them on Tuesday,” said Coach Murphy.

Gordon honored their seniors (Parker Omslaer, Ben North, David Massillon) before the game.

“It’s always a good time when you get to win on Senior Night,” said David Massillon post-game.

You expected that the Seahawks would make things more competitive in the second half, but they didn’t.

Michael Makiej (16 points and 8 rebounds)

The Scots scored the first ten points of the half and their lead enlarged to thirty points after three minutes.

Two Parker Omslaer layups (one assisted by Bryce Smith) surrounded three’s by Ben North and Bryce Smith provided the ten unanswered points for Gordon.

“Parker and Ben were getting a ton of good looks,” recalled David Massillon.

Parker (17 points) was a perfect 8-for-8 from the floor.

David Massillon

Bryce had a double/double with ten points and a season-high ten assists.

Michael Makiej totaled sixteen points while leading everyone with eight rebounds.

Gordon has now won three straight games.  “We’ve had a couple of games lately where we’ve shown what we’re capable of,” said Coach Murphy.  “When we put together defense and offense, we can beat the top teams in the conference.”

Ben North

The 30-point Gordon lead early in the half turned the rest of the half into a more relaxed state.  The only tense moment was when Parker went down with a knee injury with five minutes left.

“I saw the season pass before me when he went down,” said Coach Murphy.  “I panicked when it happened because he has been playing so well.”

I asked Parker about the knee afterwards.  “I think I’ll be okay for Monday,” he said. “It’s a big game.  I’ll play through it.”

Junior Garrett Sattazahn continues to put up big numbers.  Today it was twenty-five points, including seven made three’s.

Garrett Sattazahn drives

“G (Garrett) is on a roll right now,” said David Massillon.  “I love it when he makes a ton of shots.”

“Garrett has been one of the top players in the CCC the last 3-4 weeks,” added Coach Murphy.

How far can the Scots go in the tournament? 

“We came out today with aggression and passion,” said Ben North afterwards.  “We have to play each game ahead the same way.”

Parker Omslaer

Parker: “The five years here went by like a flash.  I’m happy to play with my brothers and I’m glad we got the win.  I’m ready for the playoffs.”

Ben: “It’s been a long road for me to get here.  It’s been a wild four years and I wouldn’t trade any second of it.”

The score differential gave both coaches the opportunity to use all their players.

Gordon’s representative in the G-League (Eric Demers) was in the crowd with Lauren and their son.  “I’m getting paid to do something I enjoy, play basketball,” Eric said.

(The pictures will enlarge.)

Champ Chipman
Jayson Clayton
Jordan Bretton
Xahn Frater
Caleb Scott
Ben North
Zach Quanico
Mikey Spencer
Kevin Kelly
Up fake
Ryan St. Clair
Parker Omslaer family
David Massillon family
Ben North family
Lauren/Eric Demers

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Parker Omslaer gets 1000th point in Gordon’s 84-62 win over Curry

Parker Omslaer reached 1000 points on this shot
Parker Omslaer celebrates with his parents afterwards
Parker spins into the lane

(Wenham MA) Big day for Parker Omslaer at Gordon on Wednesday night.

The 6’11” graduate student tallied twenty-four points and entered the 1000-point club at Gordon.

Parker and his teammates combined to defeat Curry, 84-62, to add to the evening’s pleasantries.

“I was just relying on my teammates to get me the ball,” said Parker afterwards.  “Thankfully, they trusted me to make my post moves and I was finishing.”

Frankie Santiago (18 points)

Parker ended his historic evening with twenty-four points which was a career high.

The Colonels (2-13) were certainly a good team for Parker to operate against since their tallest player (Lowelle Torres) is just 6-3.

“We should have dominated the inside more than we did tonight,” explained GC coach Tod Murphy.  “They were working with a 6-3 center who was working his tale off.”

Battle for a rebound

“The win wasn’t pretty but it’s better to win ugly than to lose ugly,” added Coach Murphy.

The Colonels entered the game with significant baggage; five straight losses, 0-6 on the road, sixteen straight losses to Gordon.

But that didn’t seem to matter in the first half.  The visitors made shots and capitalized on GC miscues (13 turnovers), in fact had a 33-30 lead with three minutes remaining in the first half.

Frankie Santiago had nine points for Curry and teammate JayQuan Leonard had five assists in a strong first half.

JayQuan Leonard

The Scots got their collective acts together in the second half.  They toned down the turnovers and ramped up the assists.

The GC lead became 51-40 seven minutes into the second half and the tiring Colonels had trouble preventing inside scores.  The Scots finished with fifty points in the paint.

Parker needed twenty-one points to reach 1000 at the start of the game.  As the game’s outcome began to be settled the big question was whether he could reach 1000.

With his parents watching from a distance, Parker joined the “club” with five minutes left in the game.  After receiving a pass inside, Parker turned right and banked home the special basket.

Bryce Smith (14 points)

“I’m happy for Parker to be able to get his 1000th point tonight at home,” said Coach Murphy.  “Hopefully that will take off some of the pressure on him moving ahead.”

Justin Yu (13 points), Bryce Smith (14 points), and Michael Makiej (14 points) combined to shoot a red-hot 16-for-22 for Gordon.

Garrett Sattazahn was out with Covid.  Treyton Tebbs took his place.  “Treyton was good defensively and got a lot of rebounds (10) for us,” said Coach Murphy.

Justin Yu (13 points)

Garrett is expected back on Saturday against Endicott.

The win tonight evens Gordon’s record at 7-7.

Frankie Santiago (18 points) was the top scorer for Curry.

I asked Parker if he remembered the first basket he scored for Gordon and he said he couldn’t.  But he did share this freshman year memory: “All I remember from freshman year was Garrisson (Duvivier) beating me up in practice every day.  He’s what got me to this point.  I thank Garrisson for that.”

(The pictures will enlarge.)

Coach Tod Murphy with Parker and his family
Ben North
Michael Makiej (14 points)
Todd Robinson
Ball on the floor
Gehrig Zimmerman
Treyton Tebbs holds off a defender
Parker in for two

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Gordon defeats UNE 76-72 despite 43 points from Alex Kravchuk

Alex Kravchuk (43 points) kept UNE in the game
David Massillon (15 points/12 rebounds)

(Pictures enlarge when you click on them.)

(Wenham MA) Alex Kravchuk (43 points) had a career game for UNE but it wasn’t enough.

Gordon defeated the Nor’easters, 76-72, on Wednesday night to end a two-game losing streak.

“Hats off to Alex,” said Gordon coach Tod Murphy afterwards.  “He kept them in the game and almost won it for them.”

UNE (2-11) led briefly in the first half (14-13) but quickly fell behind and trailed the rest of the way.

Parker Omslaer (12 points/11 rebounds)

However, in the late stages of the game the visitors were constantly within two possessions of taking the lead.

Coach Murphy was pleased with the win but lamented the way his team played.  “We’re in a funk and I don’t know why,” he said.  “The mental mistakes we made in the second half were hard to imagine.”

Taking care of the ball, making open shots were problems but when was the last time you saw a team get a technical foul for having too many players on the floor?  But it happened to the Scots in this game in the closing minute in a tight game.

How many Scots are on the floor in the closing minute?
Mark Rella (14 points/seven rebounds)

How did the Scots (5-6) win?

Credit seniors David Massillon (15 points/12 rebounds) and Parker Omslaer (12 points/11 rebounds).

David got the start tonight and went to the basket on almost every possession.  He scored points and he drew fouls.  It was easily his best game of this season. 

Parker had his first double/double of the season.  He added four blocks and two assists and didn’t have any turnovers.  It might well have been his best game of the season too.

Treyton Tebbs to the rim

Gordon had scoring production from all nine players who participated. 

UNE had 43 points from Alex and fourteen from Mark Rella.  After that, there were some serious shooting problems for the Nor’easters.  Three UNE players combined to go 4-for-43.

The Scots continue their mastery of UNE at home.  The Nor’easters are 1-16 all-time at Gordon.

Alex Kravchuk avoids a blocked shot

It was a special night for Alex Kravchuk.  The six-footer had ten rebounds to go with his forty-three points.  He did drain five 3’s but seven of his baskets were from in close and near potential shot blockers. 

“Alex was the toughest player on the court for sure,” said Coach Murphy, “and it wasn’t even close.”

“We going to have to go back to work,” added Coach Murphy.  “Hopefully we’ll gain some confidence from somewhere.  It doesn’t get any easier for us because we have Nichols next.”

(The pictures will enlarge when clicked on.)

Justin Yu (six points)
Michael Makiej in close late in the game
Zach Boulay
Drake Gavin (10 rebounds)
Alex Kravchuk fouled on the way to the basket
Alex Kravchuk made five 3’s
Michael Makiej in for a layup
Caleb Scott rebounds
David Massillon powers to the basket
Treyton Tebbs
Bryce Smith
Michael Makiej (9 points/6 rebounds)
David Massillon at the line
Garrett Sattazahn (11 points/8 rebounds)

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Gordon shoots by ENC 97-85

(All of the pictures below will enlarge when you click on them.)

Garrett Sattazahn (18 points) in the open court
Justin Yu (12 points)

(Wenham MA) A lot to like in this one.

Anytime you can defeat a former rival (Eastern Nazarene) it’s a good win.

Tonight, ENC (5-6) walked away with a, 97-85, non-league loss on the Kanas Court.

For those who may be recent to Gordon athletics, before Endicott was our main rival, that distinction belonged to Eastern Nazarene. 

The Commonwealth Coast Conference brought our neighbor Endicott into our athletic lives and lessened the GC/ENC rivalry.  And now the former Crusaders are no longer in the CCC.

Drew Thibeault faces the ENC defense

“We knew that ENC was a good team,” said Gordon high scorer Garrett Sattazahn afterwards.  “They had a win over Middlebury.”

The Scots (3-2) were coming off a tough, 85-83, loss on Tuesday night at Western New England.

“After the way we played the last game,” said Gordon coach Tod Murphy, “I’m very happy with this one.”

The Scots had a steady flow of offense that the visitors from Quincy couldn’t match.

Bryce Smith (14 points)

After a Bryce Smith three gave Gordon a 7-6 lead, the Scots never trailed thereafter.

The home team pushed their advantage to eighteen (35-17) in the first half and led by twelve (45-33) at halftime.

One of Coach Murphy’s post-game quotes was, “We want to make it interesting, don’t we.”

That was a reference to the Scots letting the Lions make things a lot tighter in the second half.

Donte Pearson defends Parker Omslaer

Led by senior Corey McGhee (19 points/12 rebounds/5 assists), ENC clawed its way back.  With ten minutes remaining in the game, the Lions were within four points (65-61).  The outcome was no longer as certain as it had appeared to be earlier in the game.

But on this night, the Scots quickly returned to their scoring ways and brought along some tight defense over the next three minutes.  The Scots put up twelve points while the Lions were held to one point.  This crucial segment gave Gordon a more comfortable, 77-62, lead and they were on their way to their third win of the season.

“We hit the shots when we needed to, and we got the defensive stops when we needed them,” said Coach Murphy.

Justin Yu (12 points) came off the bench to have his best game of the season.  The GC junior was three-for-three from long range.

Drew Thibeault (8 points) collected his first points of the season.  He had a three during the Scots’ run to rebuild their lead in the second half.

Drew Thibeault (33) launches a key three in the second half
Zach Quanico (3)

“We got a lot of help from a lot of people,” added Coach Murphy.

Garrett Sattazahn (18), Parker Omslaer (15), Bryce Smith (14) and Michael Makiej (12) joined Justin in registering double figures for Gordon.

“It was a good team win,” said Garrett.  “We put the ball in the hoop and Parker did a great job down low.”

Both teams were quick to break and quick to shoot. 

Parker Omslaer and Levi Grady-White

That style of play isn’t exactly to Coach Murphy’s liking: “I always get nervous when we focus on trying to beat teams with three’s.  We’ve got a good shooting team, but we also have a 6-11 big man in the middle who I didn’t think they could stop.  I’m an old-school guy.  I like to go to our big guys.”

“We did a better job tonight boxing out in our zone defense,” explained Garrett.  In the Western New England loss, the Scots gave up an astonishing twenty-two offensive rebounds.  Tonight, that number was lowered to fourteen.

Two key stats in this game involved turnovers and free throws.  The Scots had seventeen, but ENC had eighteen.  The Lions’ full-court pressure caused most of the GC miscues.  The Lions’ turnovers were in the half court.  That fact would be a credit to how active the Gordon zone was tonight.

Garrett Sattazahn looks to pass

Gordon (22-for-26) was very good at the free throw line.  ENC missed ten freebies.

“We still have a lot of work to do in handling pressure,” said Garrett.  “I keep turning the ball over.  I don’t know what’s going on.”

Ka’Shaun Swan (16), Bernie McGinness (13), and Levi Grady-White (11) were the other Lions in double figures.

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Garrett Sattazahn layup
The Scots were good at the line
Loose ball
David Massillon
Caleb Scott layup
Jordan Bretton and Zach Quanico
Michael Makiej
Zach Quanico on the floor
Nick Manso

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Gordon defeats Wentworth 61-58

Michael Makiej (22) puts back the game winner
Kevin Fernandez (18 points)

(Wenham MA) Have yourself a final minute, Michael Makiej!

The Gordon sophomore had a steal, an offensive rebound that led to a layup, and a blocked shot, all in the last minute to push the Scots past Wentworth, 61-58, at Kanas Court on Saturday afternoon.

“Michael, when he’s active is really, really hard to stop at either end of the court,” said GC coach Tod Murphy afterwards.

Treyton Tebbs on the floor for Scots

The Leopards (2-4) led most of the way. Gordon, however, was close enough to take the lead in the second half briefly (40-39) on a Zach Quanico three and later tie the score (53-53) on a Treyton Tebbs layup.

A Trey Carrier (12 points) jump shot gave the team from Boston a, 58-55, lead with 3:40 remaining.

Wentworth didn’t score another point in their final seven possessions.  Instead, the Leopards had five turnovers and two missed three’s.

“They made the plays in crunch time, and we didn’t,” said WIT coach Arlen Galloway post-game.

Despite the slew of pointless possessions, the Leopards still had a chance to send the game into overtime on their final possession.

Wentworth attacked the Gordon zone with quick passes in the final twelve seconds and got the ball to Kevin Fernandez (18 points) on the right wing. 

Kevin Fernandez receives a pass on the wing

Kevin appeared set up for a wide-open, potentially game-tying three.  But Michael Makiej hustled to the perimeter and deflected the shot to seal this one for Gordon.

Michael Makiej hustles out to deflect the final shot
Garrett Sattazahn (16 points)

“I definitely think he (Kevin Fernandez) would have made that shot,” recalled Michael.

“Michael made plays when we needed them today,” said Coach Murphy.  Michael’s basket after an offensive rebound gave Gordon the lead for good.

“They made some big plays late and we didn’t,” said Coach Galloway.  “We have a lot of guys who’ve made those big plays in the past. We’ve got to be ready to bounce back.”

Gordon (2-1) was buried by Endicott a few days ago.  “This was a little bit better than the last one,” laughed Coach Murphy.  “I’m not sure, however, what’s happened to our offense.”

Parker Omslaer surrounded by Leopards

Garrett Sattazahn paced the Scots with sixteen points including consecutive free throws in the final minute.

Both coaches were pleased with their defenses.

“I thought we did a good job today defensively,” said Coach Galloway.  “This game could have gone either way.  We have to stay positive.”

“To be able to win a game where we can say defense won it for us is a good thing,” added Coach Murphy.

Trey Carrier (12 points)

The Leopards have a reputation of extending possessions and keeping scores lower than usual.

“To grind out a win against a team that is a grinding type of team is something we can be pleased about,” said Coach Murphy.

Three games in, Coach Murphy wasn’t too concerned about the lack of points in the last two games.  “We’ll do better,” he said.  “We’re going to be fine.  Offensively, we’ll get it going again.”

Senior Parker Omslaer had twelve points and nine rebounds for the Scots.

Caleb Scott gets position in the lane

Wentworth had a 25-point second half while Gordon had a 26-point first half.

“Twenty-five points in a half is never going to be good enough,” said Coach Galloway.

“I told the team at halftime that we needed to go out there in the second half and have some fun,” recalled Coach Murphy.  “They came off the court at the end of the half with their heads down.  I told them that basketball is the greatest sport in the world, and they should go out and enjoy playing it.  I told them that they were too good to be playing the way they were.”

“We have a lot of room to grow,” said Michael Makiej afterwards.  “This is only our third game.  We’ve lost a lot of time because of sickness.”

Kevin Fernandez finds an opening in the Gordon zone defense
Bryce Smith fouled in the lane

Coach Murphy: “Bryce (Smith) is such an intelligent player.  He was the one telling me that we had two fouls to give at the end.”

Coach Galloway: “We’re happy to be playing basketball after not playing at all last year.”

Next home game for the Scots is Thursday night (7:30) against Eastern Nazarene.  Before there was Endicott, Gordon’s biggest rival was ENC. 

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Gordon celebrates
Dempseys in the house
Bryce Smith guarded by Conor Rubenskas
Parker Omslaer guarded by Thomas Hacker
Garrett Sattazahn in the lane

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Endicott routs Gordon 82-55

Jalen Echevarria led the Gulls with twenty-six points
Billy Arsenault (10 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists)

(Wenham MA) Two games in, who can figure out the Gordon men’s basketball team?

Tonight, they never had a chance, losing to Endicott, 82-55.

Eight days ago in their opener, the Scots (1-1) shot well and defended well enough to get a, 99-86, win against highly-regarded Salem State.

“It’s too early to diagnose what’s going on,” said Gordon coach Tod Murphy afterwards.  “I’m hoping to play some younger guys, but we’ll look at film and try to figure it out.”

Bryce Smith (11 points)

Endicott coach Kevin Bettencourt was all smiles afterwards.  “It was obviously a good one for us,” he said.  “We’ve never had a game like this in this gym before.”

Junior Jalen Echevarria paced the Gulls (4-2) with twenty-six points.

“Jalen is a great player,” said Coach Murphy.  “He’s just so fast.”

The Scots only trailed by six points (16-10) seven minutes into the game.

David Massillon looks for someone to pass to.

After that? It was all Endicott.

The Gulls scored eleven straight points in the next four minutes and just like that were up by seventeen (27-10).

Reserve Mike Levesque had a pair of three’s and Jalen Echevarria added another one in the streak of efficient Endicott offense.

The Gulls scored nine times from long range in the first half.

“They had nine 3’s in the first half,” recalled Coach Murphy, “and on six of them we had mental errors.”

Parker Omslaer shoots over Parker McLaren

Endicott led 43-24 at the half. 

Three-plus minutes into the second half the Gordon deficit reached twenty (52-30) and with five minutes left it was thirty (77-47).

“The good news is that we only lost one game tonight,” said Coach Murphy.  “We played bad enough to lose three or four!”

The Endicott man-to-man defense was a key piece in their win.

“I thought that our defensive effort was great tonight,” said Coach Bettencourt.  “We hadn’t been playing with a lot of defensive intensity and it was a point of emphasis tonight.”

The Scots struggled to get open looks and didn’t take good care of the ball (twenty-two turnovers).

Justin Yu trapped

Eric Demers (Maine Celtics) was in the house as was AJ Terry.  “I was ready to use both of them,” joked Coach Murphy.

No question that Gordon’s zone defense is a work in progress.  Few players show up with the experience required to execute it at the college level. 

“Our defense is not a normal defense for the new players,” said Coach Murphy.  “It’s contrary to what they’ve been taught in high school.”

“Defensively, we didn’t take them out of anything they wanted to do,” added Coach Murphy. 

Treyton Tebbs

“We did a pretty good job against their zone,” recalled Coach Bettencourt.  “We created space and had the ball moving.  Then we stepped up and knocked down shots.”

Lynnfield’s Billy Arsenault had a big game for the Gulls.  His numbers show the variety of his contributions.  Tonight, he had ten points, eight rebounds, and six assists.  Billy was the primary ballhandler for Endicott and had just one turnover.

“The two guys (Jalen & Billy) that get us to go had great games,” said Coach Bettencourt.  “Tonight, we had some shooting around them.”

Eyeing a rebound

Freshman Mike Levesque hit all four of his 3-point attempts to collect twelve points for the Gulls.

The Scots, so far, have really felt the effects of Covid-19.  Their first two games were cancelled because of the virus.  “We had a full week this season where we didn’t have enough guys to practice,” said Coach Murphy.

The two teams will meet again in the new year.

David Massillon (15)

“I’m sure that it will be a much tougher game next time we play them,” said Coach Bettencourt.  “They have some great shooters.  It was just one of those days for them.  Our defense had a lot to do with it.”

Freshman Bryce Smith was the lone Scot in double figures with eleven points.  Parker Omslaer had nine rebounds for Gordon.

Tough night for Garrett Sattazahn: two points on one-for-nine shooting, plus four turnovers. 

Good active crowd in at Kanas Court. 

Gordon hosts Wentworth on Saturday afternoon (3PM).  So far this season we’ve seen extremely good basketball and extremely not-so-good basketball.  What will we see on Saturday?

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Jayson Clayton
Alex Villalobos
Ben North
Gehrig Zimmerman
Bryce Smith and Billy Arsenault
Jordan Bretton
Parker McLaren and Adam Lux
Michael Makiej shoots over Parker McLaren

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Suffolk ends season with 82-67 win over Gordon

(Wenham MA)  Change the pace.

Change the result.

Alex Jacovides (25 points) gets in the lane against Gordon

Suffolk defeated Gordon, 82-67, on Thursday night at Gordon.

Nate Hale (16 points) shoots over Zach Bennett

“We slowed it down a bit and we just tried to execute more in the halfcourt,” explained Suffolk coach Jeff Juron afterwards.

The Rams (6-2) had been averaging 100 points per game before they lost to the Scots (5-3), 84-82, on Wednesday in Boston.

“Suffolk played very well tonight,” said Gordon coach Tod Murphy.  “They have three very good seniors (Alex Jacovides, Nate Hale, Brendan Mulson).”

It was the last game for that trio and they each made significant contributions versus Gordon.

Alex was the game’s high scorer with twenty-five points.  “We knew we had to play more as a team against their hard zone,” he said, “by moving inside and out.”

“Alex is one of the best shooters in the country,” said Coach Juron, “you kind of knew that he was going to come back and shoot it better (nine points yesterday) today.”

Senior Josh Crutchfield )10 points) in for two

Nate added sixteen points on six-for-nine shooting including four from long range.

Brendan put up eleven points.  His defensive work versus GC top scorer Garrett Sattazahn was very much connected to the Ram result.  Brendan limited Garrett to only nine shots.

“Brendan is a great defender,” said Coach Juron.  “He can guard a lot of different positions.  He’s a senior and I thought he left it all out on the court tonight.  #12 (Garrett Sattazahn) is a heck of a player.”

The Rams took the lead for good, 13-11, on an Alex Jacovides layup 6 ½ minutes into the game. 

The Scots would get within seven twice in the second half (55-48 & 65-58) but the Rams quickly responded from long range and in close.

Senior Parker Omslaer (10 points)

“We haven’t had a 67-point game in quite a while,” said Coach Murphy.  “Generally, teams I coach outscore teams in the paint, but they killed us there tonight.”

“I don’t think we had our legs,” added Coach Murphy.  “We needed to do a better job of staying in condition during the break and we didn’t.”

The five Suffolk starters all played twenty-eight minutes or more.  The Scots had double-figure minutes with nine players.

Key stats for Gordon tonight were steals (six) and assists (nine).  In the win on Wednesday the Scots had twelve steals.

“Their press is really good,” said Coach Juron.  “They turned us over a lot in the first game.  Our guys just did a better job against it tonight.”

The nine assists were crucial because in the first win there were twenty-one assists.  “We didn’t shoot the ball as well as we are capable,” said Coach Murphy.

Garrett Sattazahn closely guarded by Brendan Mulson

Alex Jacovides on Suffolk’s first year in the Commonwealth Coast Conference: “It is a faster pace.  There’s more offense.  More firepower for every team.”

Gordon applies pressure

Alex told me he wasn’t sure about his post-Suffolk basketball plans.  “I might go overseas,” he said.

Gordon has two more games left.  Endicott will be the opponent on Wednesday (home) and Thursday (away).  The Gulls only loss this season was to Suffolk. 

“Our schedule has graded upward the whole time,” said Coach Murphy.  “It’ll be fun to end the season with them.”

Garrett Sattazahn led the GC scorers with twelve points.  Seniors Josh Crutchfield and Parker Omslaer each had ten points.

Junior Will Rowe (16 points, 10 rebounds) had a double/double for the Rams.

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Michael Makiej (8 points, 6 rebounds)
Will Rowe (16 points, 10 rebounds)
Alex Jacovides guarded by Caleb Scott
Jordan Bretton
Michael Makiej and Alex Jacovides
Aidan Sullivan (9 points, 4 assists, 40 minutes)
Michael Makiej on the floor
Garrett Sattazahn spots Parker Omslaer close to the basket
Drew Thibeault
Parker Omslaer in for two
Zach Quanico
Parker Omslaer
Josh Crutchfield

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Gordon bounces back with 75-53 win over Nichols

Senior Abby Vampatella (22 points, 9 rebounds)

(Wenham MA) Night and day.

Cara Andreotti Euro-steps in for a layup

Gordon avenged a Friday night loss (74-60) to Nichols by defeating the Bison, 75-53, this afternoon at Gordon.

The Scots (5-3) were all thumbs on Friday registering thirty turnovers.  Every player on the team “contributed” to the unfortunate total.

But that was yesterday…… the song goes.  Today was different.

“Gordon was much more patient,” said NC coach MaryLynn Skarzenski afterwards.  “They definitely adjusted to our pressure.”

The Bison (3-5) wanted to pressure full court, but you need to score to set that up.  On this afternoon, the Gordon defense was stingy.

“Our one-on-one defense and our help defense was terrible yesterday,” said GC senior Abby Vampatella (22 points, 9 rebounds).  “We made the adjustments we needed to.”

It took the Bison five minutes to score points. However, their aggressive defense and ability to hit the long-range shot kept them in contention into the 3rd quarter.

Battle under the basket

The visitors from Dudley (MA), in fact, had the lead briefly early in the third quarter.

But a Caleigh Williams’ layup pushed GC ahead, 37-36, three minutes into that quarter and they never trailed again.

The Bison were still around (48-42) after three quarters but ahead was the final quarter and it was all Gordon (27 points).

“They pressed us full-time in the last game,” recalled freshman Caroline Sikkink (11 points, 6 rebounds).  “Today we were better breaking the press and getting easy layups off it.”

Those layups were flowing in the fourth quarter as Nichols tired (they had only seven players) and openings developed behind the press.

Seri Anderson (14), Cara Andreotti (12), and Caroline Sikkink (11) reached double figures.  Caleigh Williams (10 points, 10 rebounds) had a double-double.

“Our defense was a lot better today,” said Gordon coach Carter Shaw.  “We were able to contain their drivers a little better.  They were so successful yesterday driving that we played off them and they made open outside shots.”

Bri Vazquez (21 points)

Freshman Bri Vazquez stood out for Nichols.  “She makes us go,” said Coach Skarzenski.  “She’s a competitor.”  Bri finished with twenty-one points.

Two seniors, Gordon’s Abby Vampatella & Nichols Isabella Nerney, had history from their Connecticut pasts.

“I’ve been playing with Isabella since eighth grade,” said Abby afterwards.  “She’s close to 1000 points.  We had to get up on her and take away her shot and get gap help.”

The Scots limited Isabella to eleven points in this one.  Last two times versus Gordon, Isabella had collected twenty-five points in each outing.

Coach Shaw: “We rebounded well, and we took care of the ball.  I’ll take not turning the ball over any day.”

Coach Skarzenski: “It’s nice to be playing and have some sort of season.  We have a great group of seven.  They are all committed to each other and it’s really a team effort.”

Freshman Caroline Sikkink (11 points)

Caroline Sikkink: “They made a lot of transition points on us yesterday.  We wanted to cut our turnovers in half.”  They nearly did as they only had seventeen this afternoon.

Abby Vampatella on post-Gordon: “Hopefully, I’m going to get a graduate assistant coach job.  Then I can get my Master’s, and peek into the collegiate coaching world.  I am an education major so if that doesn’t work out, I’d love to be a teacher.”

All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.

Freshman Caleigh Williams (10 points and 10 rebounds)
Gordon coach Carter Shaw
Freshman Cara Andreotti (12 points)
Addison Burlison
Shannon St.Lawrence (7 rebounds, 9 points)
Cara Andreotti guarded by Leandra Ortiz
Isabella Nerney steals from Abby Vampatella
Delaney McDonnell (5) on the move
Bri Vazquez
Summer Klein
Seri Anderson (14 points)
Jillian Spillane
Isabella Nerney
Nichols coach MaryLynn Skarzenski

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Garrett Sattazahn key in Gordon’s 78-72 win over Western New England

Garrett Sattazahn (28 points) had a terrific all-around game for Gordon

Garrett Sattazahn seals the W at the line

Garrett Sattazahn gets open in close

(Wenham MA) Can one player take over a game?

Not usually, but sophomore Garrett Sattazahn (28 points) came close tonight in Gordon’s 78-72 win over Western New England.

The Bears (0-3) had the lead (69-66) with 3:40 left after an Alex Sikorski (19 points) three.

Enter Garrett.

The Scots (3-0) next eleven points came from the young man from Morris (CT).  There was a three, two layups, and four straight free throws.

The Bears couldn’t keep pace down the stretch.  They shot one-for-seven and had two turnovers and allowed Garrett and his teammates to secure the win.

Alex Sikorski (19 points) puts up a late-game three for Western New England

“We were there, and we had our chances,” said WNE coach Colin Tabb afterwards.  “We don’t shoot as well as we did last year so their zone was tough for us to play against.”

The Gordon defense in the second half was the key to their successful turnaround.

“It wasn’t looking good for the first fifteen minutes,” recalled Gordon coach Tod Murphy post-game.

“We didn’t play any defense in the first half but did in the second half,” said Coach Murphy.

Zach Bennett (six points) goes for a steal against Kenny Flynn

The numbers from the two halves spoke volumes as Western New England had forty-eight points in the first half but only twenty-four points in the second half.”

The jump-out stat from this game, other than Garrett’s 28 points, was Gordon’s twelve steals.

“The difference between last year and this year is that we’re putting a lot more effort into defense,” explained Garrett, “and it’s showing. Last year they came in here and scored nearly 120 points.”

GC went into seldom-seen, full-court pressure late in the first half and lowered a 45-33 WNE lead to 48-43 by halftime.

Caleb Scott (8 points) shoots over Zach Tavitian

Freshman Caleb Scott (8 points) scored twice from in close in the last minute, assisted by Garrett (seven assists) both times.

Garrett seemed to flourish in transition, either setting up teammates or finishing himself.

“He (Garrett) is a very good player,” said Coach Tabb, “It looks like he’s stepping nicely into the (Eric) Demers’ role.”

“Eric has been a great mentor to me,” explained Garrett.  “He’s taught me how to get open among other things.”

“I was feeling it a little bit tonight,” added Garrett.  “I definitely, however, give credit to my teammates.  They were looking for me and giving me good screens.”

“Garrett does everything,” said Coach Murphy.  Hard to argue with that after Garrett had a night with seven rebounds, seven assists, six steals, and twenty-eight points!

“I have to pull him out from time to time because he’ll run himself into the ground if I don’t,” added Coach Murphy.

Michael Makiej drives

Coach Tabb wasn’t pleased with his team’s defense.  “Our decisions on the defensive end weren’t good.  We didn’t defend well in transition or off the ball.”

“Defense wins ballgames,” said Coach Murphy.  “If we give the defensive energy we did in the second half, we’ll be okay.  We have to be aggressive because we’re a small team.”

Parker Omslaer, despite getting into foul trouble, was able to get thirteen points on the inside.

Kenny Flynn (16 points) and Gavin Greene (12 points) were the other Bears in double figures.

Off night, for sure for WNE senior Zach Tavitian (5 points).  Zach recently reached the 1000-point mark for the Bears.

Alex Villalobos and Josh Crutchfield

Got my first look at Gordon freshman Alex Villalobos.

The Scots will play on the road tomorrow (Saturday) in Springfield at Western New England.

Still impressed with the brightness of the Kanas Court.

I have been in quite a few gymnasiums lately (ask my wife), and the Kanas Court is as good as any of them.  Can’t wait to be in there when the crowds are back.

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

The link to this coverage will be on Twitter (@mcclellandpeter) and pictures should appear on Instagram (@mcclellandmiscellanea) on Saturday.

Zach Tavitian

Zach Quanico and Justin Yu

Alex Sikorski (19 points) dunks

Kenny Flynn (16 points) dunks

Josh Crutchfield launches from long range

Parker Omslaer (13 points, 7 rebounds)

Josh Crutchfield loses a shoe

Zach Quanico (4 points)

Western New England coach Colin Tabb

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