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.