Monthly Archives: December 2002

(Game #6 – Massachusetts College) Gordon Rides Hot Shooting to 5th Win

By Peter McClelland 

(Wenham)  Gordon improved to 5-1 by outgunning visiting Massachusetts College, 99-84, on Thursday night at the Bennett Center.  The Scots return to action after the Christmas vacation on January 6th at home versus Eastern College.

This game was a “schoolyard special” with all sorts of offense but only occasional defense.  “Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad to be 5-1 at the break but we played horrible defense most of the time in this one,” said Gordon coach Mike Schauer afterwards.  “We seemed to lack the energy and purpose on defense.”

However, if the defenses were porous the offenses more than made up for it.  If a team could put together two or three good passes in their own end they could usually turn up an inside shot.  Fortunately for the home team the Trailblazers from North Adams were slow to cash in consistently on the opportunities in the first half.  They missed a raft of easy ones hitting only 11 of 32.  “We dug ourselves a big hole in the first half, “explained Trailblazer coach Darrell Skeeter after the game was over.

The Scots, however, suffered no such lapse.  Lay-ups were the order of the day and as a result the shooting percentages (20/34 – 58.8% in the first half and 17/28 – 60.7% in the second half) were phenomenal.  “Gordon was very efficient with the ball and ended up with a lot of high percentage shots,” said coach Skeeter.

The winless visitors never led in this game but got close, 15-14,  with 12 ½ minutes to go in the first half after Glenn Mills canned a technical foul shot assessed to over-exuberant Coach Schauer.  The Scots followed with a, 15-2, run with Elliott Blackstone running things from the point against a leaky Trailblazer defense.  “Their 1-4 hurt us because when our big men tried to help out it turned into lay-ups for Gordon,” said Skeeter.  That surge gave Gordon a, 30-16, advantage with 7 minutes left.  That lead was lengthened to, 47-32, by halftime.

The Scots continued lay-up drills right into the second half and put this one out of reach, 65-40, at the 13-minute mark.  The visitors feasted on the faulty Scot’s defense the rest of the way and even narrowed the lead to, 90-80, with two minutes to go but time was against them. 

Hayes Murray helped with ten points and his hustle got him tangled up with the Massachusetts College water supply.

Elliott Blackstone ran through the visitor’s bench, rattled a few teeth charging into a Trailblazer, and was on the receiving end of a hard foul on a breakaway lay-up.

Scott Beebe’s 3-point touch has been on a two-game vacation.  However, with inside shots readily available most of the night he was still able to contribute 19 points.  He’ll need to regain that long-range touch if the Scots are to be successful in the tough conference games ahead. 

Coach Schauer was quick to admit that the game was important but the birth of his second son (Kyle Joseph) the night before made the game seem like nothing.  The young man and his mother (Elissa) were doing fine.
Josh Sylvester (23 points/10 rebounds) and Scott Allenby (22 points/7 rebounds) came up big for Gordon.  “They gave us a pretty good level of energy on offense to help make up for what we lacked on defense,” said Coach Schauer.

Bret Lamboley (20 points/13 rebounds) and Ben Howard (24 points/7 rebounds) paced the visitors.

Leave a comment

Filed under Gordon Men's Basketball 2002-03, Massachusetts College

(Game #5 – Salem State) Gordon Falters Down the Stretch and Loses to Salem State as Win Streak Ends

By Peter McClelland

(Wenham) Salem State came to the Bennett Center intent on wearing down the Fighting Scots and succeeded, 82-69, on Tuesday evening before a very enthusiastic home gathering.  The loss snapped Gordon’s four-game winning streak.

The final score is no in way indicative of how this one went because it was a 4-point game (73-69) with three minutes left.  At this point an Allen Reid trey seemed to take the heart out of the Scots.  Salem State scored the last seven points of the game from the foul line to seal the win.

The Vikings pressed full court from beginning to end.  “We hoped to get them running because they’re not as deep as we are at the guard position,” explain Salem State coach Brian Meehan afterwards.  “We knew that (Scott) Beebe was a great shooter and we hoped to give him and their other shooters tired legs down the stretch, and it worked.  Gordon didn’t turn the ball over late in the game or take bad shots, their shots just weren’t falling.”

The Scots were an uncharacteristic 2-for-13 from three-point land in the second half.  And when Scott Beebe is 3-for-9 for the game from out there Gordon is in trouble.  “Anytime we shoot 7 for 25 as a team from the 3-point area and give up 16 offensive rebounds we won’t beat anybody,” lamented Gordon coach Mike Schauer after the game.  But by playing hard and getting a lift from a raucous home crowd the Scots made a game of it.

“They are a really good team and Mike is obviously doing a nice job coaching,” added Meehan.  “It was great basketball to watch.  It was physical but it was clean.  Kids were helping each other up and I like that.”

“We put in the effort but our lack of depth was exposed,” said Schauer.  “We had four players in double figures and they had six.  We will have to find more scoring from somewhere to be successful.”

The visitors built up a 25-19 edge 12 minutes into the first half but a late surge sparked by a Ryan Smith 3-pointer sent the home team off a halftime with a promising, 40-36, advantage.

Gordon hung onto the lead (46-44) in the first five minutes of the second half but Salem State rolled off ten straight, keyed by two treys from Ray Williams, to surge ahead, 54-46, with 12 minutes left.  A good time to quit but these are the “fighting” Scots and using an assortment of shots, including an Alex Yeats tip-in, they evened the score at 64 with six minutes to go.  But fatigue caught up to Gordon the rest of the way.  “We just ran out of answers on offense,” added coach Schauer.

Ray Williams (18) and Tom Sullivan (17) paced the winners.  Bobby Michalczyk (12 rebounds/10 points) contributed a double/double.

Scott Beebe topped the home team with 19 points but had little breathing room all night thanks to a smothering Viking defense.  Josh Sylvester added 11 rebounds and 14 points for a double/double

The Scots next opponent is Mass College of Liberal Arts on Thursday evening at 7 at home.  MCLA comes in winless thus far but they did defeat Gordon at North Adams last season.  This will be the last game before the winter break.

Leave a comment

Filed under Gordon Men's Basketball 2002-03, Salem State

(Game #4 – Nichols) Undefeated Scots Streak to CCC Win Over Nichols

By Peter McClelland 

(Wenham) The Gordon men’s team poured in 15 straight points in the last 5 ½ minutes of the first half against the visiting Nichols Bisons (2-3) and cruised to an, 82-62, win in Commonwealth Coast Conference action on Saturday afternoon at the Bennett Center.  The Scots are off to a nice start (4-0), ” but it’s early,” cautioned Gordon coach Mike Schauer.

“They beat us in every aspect of the game,” said Nichols’ coach Dave Sokolnicki afterwards.  “Getting down by 20 at the half took the pressure off of them to have to make plays later.  Our defenses just couldn’t cool them off for long enough for us to get back into this one.”

Senior Scott Beebe continued his high-scoring ways totaling 23 points.  He showed his usual long-range accuracy (5 for 9 on 3’s) but he also found space inside for drives and jumpers.  Teams ahead will be spending practice time trying to figure out how to contain him.

Joe Witherspoon paced all rebounders with nine and tossed in two rally-stopping threes in a two-minute span when Nichols had narrowed the gap to 17 points early in the second half.  The second trey just beat the shot clock.

“We expect big things from Scott and Joe,” said coach Schauer.  “In order for us to be tough to guard we have to get help on offense from other.  Today Elliott Blackstone (12 points/6 rebounds/4 assists) and Scott Allenby (13 points/6 rebounds/3 assists) were there for us.  They made good decisions and defended well.”

On paper both teams matched up evenly with neither team having a true center and both having a number of shooters.  Nichols was shooting 44% from long-range coming in and kept that pace (22/51) in this game.  However, Gordon started hot and never cooled down (32/57). 

In the early going Gordon rained down 3’s (first 18 points were on three’s) while the Bisons found openings inside.  The Scots built their edge to 28-18 with seven minutes left in the half but the visitors from Dudley narrowed things to 30-24 with 5 ½ remaining. 

Then Gordon went on a 15-point run that Nichols had no answers for.  Most of the damage was done inside on lay-ups by Elliott Blackstone and Ryan Smith.  Joe Witherspoon closed the half by getting open under the basket on an inbounds play as the half ended.

Nichols played with more energy in the second half after coach Sololnicki yanked his starting five two minutes in but Gordon had enough scorers to assure a comfortable win.  Nichols 10-1 run in the last 2 ½ minutes made the score seem closer than it actually was.

Next up for Gordon is Salem State on Tuesday night.

In addition:

Nichols best player (Brian Cardozo) was held scoreless.  “He has a bad leg but insisted on playing” – Sokolnicki

Gordon handled pressure (Nichols pressed after made baskets) very well.  They never tried to score after breaking the press but were content to get everyone involved with passes.

Scott Allenby was 3 for 3 from long range.

A Josh Sylvester dunk was a major crowd pleaser.

Tim Shaw found someone his own size to guard.

Ryan Smith made a great up-fake and found a way to put the ball in when the defender landed on him.

The Gordon Dance Squad put on a nice show at halftime.

Leave a comment

Filed under Gordon Men's Basketball 2002-03, Nichols

(Game #3 – Castleton State) Gordon Win Streak Reaches Three in Home Opener Victory

By Peter McClelland

(Wenham) The Gordon Fighting Scots won their home opener, 86-61, with an effective combination of pressure defense and accurate first-half shooting against the visiting Castleton State Spartans on Thursday night at the Bennett Center. 

The win extends the Scots victory streak to three as they brace for the start of Commonwealth Coast Conference action against Nichols on Saturday at home.

Castleton coach Ted Shipley was impressed with Gordon.  “Their pressure defense was very good and that set up a lot of other things for them.  We couldn’t run our offense the way we would have liked as a result.  They also set good screens and had way too many open shots.”  Credit the Vermont visitors for playing hard even after trailing 46-27 at halftime.

It was the intensity level that seemed to please Gordon coach Mike Schauer the most.  “We came out a little over-excited and feeling the effects of a 12-day layoff but we played hard the whole game and it paid off.”

And pay off it did once the shots started to fall.  The visitors even had a 4-2 lead after 3+ minutes of ugly shooting by both sides.   But then Gordon began to find the range from down town.  Over the next ten minutes that 2-point deficit turned into a 36-15 advantage and the Scots never looked back.  The most devastating surge had the Scots reeling off eleven unanswered point with threes by Scott Beebe (2) and Ryan Smith (1) followed by a breakaway lay-up by Joe Witherspoon off of a steal that had dunk possibilities.

Leading the scoring for Gordon in this game was senior Scott Beebe with a nifty 8-for-13 from long range and a total of 29 points.  “We made a lot of shots tonight and Scott led the way in that category,” stated coach Schauer after his first win at home.  “Players did their roles and although they don’t all figure prominently on the score sheet they were all an important part of our success tonight.”

Coach Schauer thought the game was special to newcomer Scott Allenby.  “He’s lives about 20 minutes (Proctor) from the Castleton campus.”  The Gordon sophomore had nine points in thirty minutes of action.

And in addition there were some things that the wintry home crowd and I enjoyed: the way Elliott Blackstone recovered from a turnover by hustling back on defense and picking a Spartan player clean, the way Ryan Smith lit it up from the outside to prevent Castleton and future opponents from concentrating only on Scott Beebe,  the beautiful pass from Scott Beebe that found Joe Witherspoon all alone for a lay-up as the first half ended, the ability of the defense to force 22 turnovers, playing time for fan favorite Tim Shaw, the ability of one young lady to sing the national anthem and fix a printer without worrying.

Leave a comment

Filed under Castleton State, Gordon Men's Basketball 2002-03