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……..as 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.

double-team
Freshman Caleigh Williams (10 points and 10 rebounds)
Gordon coach Carter Shaw
Freshman Cara Andreotti (12 points)
Triple-team
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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Michael Makiej debuts with 28 points as Gordon downs Curry 99-63 in opener

Freshman Michael Makiej had 28 points and 12 rebounds in his first game at Gordon

Plenty of inside shots turned up for Michael Makiej vs Curry

(Wenham MA) It’s always nice to make a good first impression.

And freshman Michael Makiej certainly did that collecting twenty-eight points as Gordon defeated Curry, 99-63, on Friday night at the Bennett Center.

“We’re just happy to be able to play basketball,” said Gordon coach Tod Murphy post-game.  “So many conferences in New England are not playing this year.”

The Scots (1-0) may end up with ten-to-twelve games.

“We have ten scheduled,” said Coach Murphy, “including one more tomorrow with Curry, as well as two each with Western New England, Nichols, Suffolk, and Endicott.  I am going to try to get a couple with Eastern Nazarene.  Everything depends on staying Covid-free.”

The visitors from Milton (MA) stayed with Gordon through the first 13 ½ minutes and were ahead, 27-26.

Zach Bennett – 8 points and 3 steals

The rest of the first half the Scots, led by Garrett Sattazahn and Zach Bennett, put a 17-3 segment together and were in command, 43-30, at the half.

Garrett had a triple, a jumper, and a steal during the good run while Zach had two steals that were turned into points.

Curry coach Joe Busacca was disappointed with the way things went.  “We’re so young that we’re going to make a ton of mistakes early,” he said.  “Gordon has some good upper classmen who know how to win and played in big games last year.  When we cooled off, we didn’t respond very well.  If the ball doesn’t go in, it doesn’t mean we can’t compete in the defensive end.”

Drew Thibeault had ten rebounds

Freshman Josh Vargas (6’8”) was a presence inside.  He put fifteen points together with fourteen rebounds.  Angelo Sardgna (12 points) and Jayquan Leonard (10 points) reached double figures for the Colonels.

Gordon’s late run in the first half spilled over into the entire second half.  The Scots put up fifty-six points and Michael Makiej had twenty-two of them.

Senior Parker Omslaer joked about Michael’s performance afterwards: “My all-time high is twenty-three points and he beats it in his first game.  I don’t even know what to say about that.”

There were nothing but inside shots in the points Michael collected.  “Credit my teammates,” he said, “they gave me the good looks on the high post.  It’s not about me.  It about the team.  I was just having fun out there.”

Angel Sardegna had twelve points for Curry

Michael came to Gordon from Lexington Christian Academy.  “He’s one of the most talented offensive players we’ve ever had here,” said Coach Murphy.  “He has some things to learn but he could be an absolute nightmare to defend.”

Michael (6’4”) had twelve rebounds to go with his twenty-eight points.

Newcomer Drew Thibeault had ten rebounds.

“Excited to be here,” said Drew.  “I transferred from RPI.  There’s something special going on here and I wanted to be part of it.  Putting up ninety-nine points in your first game is pretty good.”

Justin Yu (15 points)

Coach Murphy: “Justin Yu (15 points) had a great game off the bench.  Caleb (Scott) filled in nicely when Parker got into foul trouble.  Garrett (Sattazahn) will be our go-to guy this season.  His shooting was off a bit but in the 2nd half he distributed the ball and had several steals.”

The Scots played a zone defense for much of the game.  Coach Murphy is not a fan of it.  “I hate that defense.  It did work tonight but only because they weren’t hitting shots.  That may well be different against other teams we face.”

Josh Crutchfield: “I am so blessed to be back on the court and be with these guys.  I love them.  Michael had a phenomenal game.  He loves basketball and is a great kid.  We scored 99 points but out defense was very good too.”

Garrett Sattazahn (16 points)

Michael Makiej: “There are Christian aspects to being here at Gordon.  We pray together before each practice.  I really like that.”

I told Garrett Sattazahn afterwards that I wondered how this year’s team was going to make up for all the points Eric Demers’ scored the previous season.  “Tonight, Michael took care of the ‘Eric’ part,” he said.

The biggest surprise for me was seeing what the new Bennett Center looked like.  I wasn’t the only one pleasantly surprised.

“The court, the mats, the stands, are all awesome,” said Garrett.  “You couldn’t ask for a better facility.”

David Massillon, who wasn’t in uniform because of surgery, summed things up best. “It sure was nice to see all the guys with smiles on their faces after an opening night win in this fine facility.”

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

Eric Demers and David Massillon

Garrett Sattazahn

Caleb Scott (7 rebounds, 7 points)

Josh Crutchfield guards Jayquan Leonard

Michael Makiej guards Nabi Mwesiga

Parker Omslaer (9 rebounds)

Josh Crutchfield

Drew Thibeault

Jordan Bretton

RJ Hadfield

Nabi Mwesiga

Zach Quanico

Michael Makiej to the basket

Marcus Retegues

Marcus Retegues from the corner

Jayson Clayton

 

 

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Gordon clinches playoff spot with 83-67 win over UNE

Eric Demers (28 points) found ways to score on the inside against UNE

(Wenham MA) Eric was Eric.

Garrett Sattazahn (25 points) reached a career high

Garrett set a career high in points scored.

Parker took away the inside for UNE.

The result was an important 83-67 win over the Nor’Easters on Wednesday night at the Bennett Center.

“I’m thrilled with the victory,” said Gordon coach Tod Murphy afterwards. “Before tonight we had no guarantee that we would get into the playoffs.”

Combined with a Roger Williams’ loss tonight, the Scots are into the playoffs which start next Tuesday.

“The crazy thing,” added Coach Murphy, “is that if we win Saturday (at Nichols) there’s a way that we could host on Tuesday. Granted, about six different things have to happen for that to work.”

Ray Evans and Eric Demers

Eric Demers had his 15th straight 30+ points per game streak stopped with “only” twenty-eight tonight. He must be slipping!

UNE coach Ed Silva: “Eric is a stud.”

The Scots (12-12) pulled away from the Nor’Easters at the end of the first half, building up a ten-point lead (43-33).

UNE was also looking for some CCC playoff guarantee tonight.

“Tonight would have solidified a playoff spot for us,” said Coach Silva. “Now we have to win Saturday (vs Roger Williams) to guarantee us a spot.”

Parker Omslaer had ten rebounds

UNE can still get in with a loss Saturday, but they would have to rely on other teams winning/losing to make it happen.

Eric Demers had a little extra incentive in tonight’s game: “I didn’t want to leave this school with a loss on this court. It’s been an up-and-down season, but I wanted to win my last game here.”

There was a sense of urgency for both teams, but the Scots did a better job of not showing it. They stayed with UNE in the early going and then rode the hot shooting of Eric and Garrett Sattazahn to a 23-point lead in the second half. The Nor’Easters would get to within twelve points in the final 2 ½ minutes but the Scots held on.

Garrett Sattazahn guarded by Siddiq Canty

Garrett hit five of ten three’s and reached a career-high twenty-five points. His heated performance certainly took the pressure off Eric to have to score 30+ points for the Scots to have a chance.

“Garrett is next,” said Eric. “He coming up right after me. He’s going to be great here for a long time.”

“Next year Garrett might have to be like Eric,” reported Coach Murphy. “It depends on how recruiting goes. There’s a lot of playing time available and we’ll have 40+ points per game (Eric and AJ Terry) to make up somewhere.”

“I thought they (Gordon) competed harder than we did,” said Coach Silva. “They had a sense of urgency and we didn’t.”

Coach Silva cited one particular play relating to urgency: “We turned the ball over at the end of the second quarter (Eric steal) and Josh (Crutchfield) raced full court to get a layup. Those are the types of plays that earn you playoff spots.”

Josh Crutchfield breaks in

Gordon’s zone defense lasted the whole game. It’s been “pulled” several times recently.

Parker Omslaer protects the inside

“When Parker (Omslaer) is a force inside it makes all the difference in the world,” said Coach Murphy.

UNE missed fifty shots (25/75) and Parker’s 6-11 presence had something to do with the inaccuracies.

“We knew that they’d stay with the zone if we didn’t score against it easily,” said Coach Silva.

Asked about tonight’s defense, Eric said, “The defense was good. It’s crazy because we didn’t change anything. It’s just a matter of which team shows up.”

“The defense was good,” said Josh Crutchfield. “We all bought into it tonight.”

Parker finished with his fifth double/double (10 points/12 rebounds) of the season.

Avery DeBrito (16 points & 10 rebounds)

Avery DeBrito (16 points/10 rebounds) and Siddiq Canty (16 points) paced the Nor’Easters. Alex Kravchuk added fourteen points for the team from Biddeford (ME).

Last year’s UNE team pressed full-court, shot three’s, and substituted frequently. Not this year. “At the end of last season, we changed our style of play based on guys we had coming in.”

One of the players coming in was freshman Siddiq Canty. “He’s a very smooth player,” said Coach Silva. “A friend of mine was head coach at Woodstock Academy (Connecticut) and he told me about Siddiq when he came on campus.”

The Scots end their regular season at Nichols Saturday. “It will be tough,” admitted Coach Murphy. “It’s their Senior Day.” Gordon lost in overtime to Nichols at the Bennett Center in December.

I asked Coach Murphy what his memories were of Eric playing at the Bennett Center: “My memory of his playing here will be his raining shots on people left and right. Tonight he didn’t shoot that well from the outside so he went inside on post-ups and drives. He was probably our leading post scorer tonight.”

Box from the game

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

Siddiq Canty tries to shoot against David Massillon

Siddiq Canty hears it from the Gordon student section

Parker Omslaer gets ready to finish

Garrett Sattazahn dials up a three in front of the Gordon bench

Eric Demers shoots a free throw

Eric Demers draws a crowd

David Massillon after a loose ball

Alex Kravchuk passes

Alex Kravchuk (14 points)

AJ Terry gets a rebound

 

 

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Gordon ends slide with 83-74 win over Roger Williams – Eric Demers 31 points

Eric Demers (31 points) splits two Hawks to get a layup

Parker Omslaer (23 points) made 9-of-10 free throws

(Wenham MA) “We were dying for a win, for sure,” said Eric Demers afterwards.

Gordon defeated Roger Williams, 83-74, and stopped their slide toward exclusion from the post-season Commonwealth Coast Conference post-season tournament.

Gordon (6-7) has three games remaining (Salve Regina,UNE,Nichols) against teams with something in common….they all beat the Scots in the first meeting.

The Hawks (6-8) now have lost twice to Gordon giving the Scots the tie-breaker over them.

“We have to win another game to have a chance to make the tournament,” said RW coach Mike Tully.

The Hawks trailed the entire way tonight.

The visitors from Bristol (RI) started the night with a segment that included five missed shots and four turnovers. That got them down, 10-0.

In the second half, RW was within two (47-45) three minutes into the half. Four minutes later the Hawks were still stuck at 45 while the home team had put fourteen unanswered points together.

Doug Hostetler (19 points) finishes

Five missed three’s and two turnovers caused this RW scoring drought.

Meanwhile, the Scots shot 5-for-6 with Eric Demers (31 points) getting two layups and a triple and GC had a 61-45 lead.

The Hawks would get within nine twice the rest of the way but never closer.

“Every time we made a run, they answered it,” said Coach Tully.

Eric was part of the Gordon “answer” with his thirty-one points. This is the 14th straight game he’s reached at least thirty.

“If you’d told me at the beginning of the season that this would happen, I wouldn’t have believed you,” said Eric.

How has it been possible? “My teammates find me, and my coach gives me the green light. They believe in me and that builds my confidence.”

Gordon coach Tod Murphy wasn’t feeling sorry for Roger Williams but added, “Two of our best defensive games turned out to be against them. If we play defense, we can beat everyone in the conference, if we don’t play defense, we can lose to everyone.”

Parker Omslaer shoots

Junior Parker Omslaer was strong on both ends against Roger Williams.

“He had zero fouls and he protected the rim,” said Eric.

On offense, he tied a career high with 23 points including nine-of-ten free throws.

“I knew that I could beat any one of them,” explained Parker afterwards. “So I knew that they’d have to double me or I’d do my thing down low.”

“Parker is starting to get his confidence back,” said Coach Murphy. “He’s getting his stroke back at the foul line. When he’s hitting free throws, he’s doing much more inside. When he’s not making them, he doesn’t go to the basket aggressively because he doesn’t want to get fouled.”

Eli Harris (18 points) drives

Parker talked about Gordon’s good defense: “Whenever the guards funneled their guys to me, I made sure to stay straight up and made sure that they didn’t get any easy buckets on me.”

Coach Murphy: “They weren’t real effective against Parker and our bigs. We were able to get spread out and get to the other shooters. This is what the defense is supposed to look like.”

The Scots win tonight ends a 2-game losing streak in which the defense was anything but good. “Our problem in our last two games has been our defense,” said Parker. “We weren’t rotating and getting to the shooters.”

Coach Murphy: “Parker is capable of scoring against any of the bigs in our conference. He’s not as explosive as Hans (Miersma) but he has a great right and left hand. When Parker’s on, we’re pretty tough to beat.”

Eric for three

The new Gordon scoreboard that came into use in the new year has the point totals of the players on the floor. I asked Eric if he ever sneaks a look at it during the game. “I see the numbers up there, but I try not to pay attention to it. But the new scoreboard is really bright and it’s hard not to look at it.”

Doug Hosteller (19 points) and Eli Harris (18 points) were the top scorers for RW. JJ Pfohl handed out seven assists.

Gordon will be in Newport (Salve Regina) on Saturday. Their next (and last?) home game will be on Wednesday against UNE. The Scots finish the regular season, and hopefully not the season, at Nichols on February 22nd.

Among the spectators was Austin Coene. The former Hawk and former CCC MVP now works in Waltham. “I work with pension plans and everything else. It’s awful watching. I want to play so bad. I still play in men’s leagues, so I’m not totally washed up yet!”

The Gordon women added another victory to their already remarkable season defeating Roger Williams, 58-56.

Gordon women celebrate a win over Roger Williams

Box from the game

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

AJ Terry (13 rebounds)

Drew Hart and Garrett Sattazahn

EJ Nelson

EJ Nelson and Eric Demers

Eric Demers – top scorer in all divisions

Eric Demers draws a foul

Ian Carmichael blocks AJ Terry

James Clarkson and Justin Yu

Josh Crutchfield drives

Justin Yu tries a three

Parker Omslaer and Drew Hart

Tie up

 

 

 

 

 

 

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