By Peter McClelland
(Wenham) – All good things have to come to an end. Say goodbye to that seven game win streak and so long to that undefeated Commonwealth Coast Conference record.
Gordon ran into young and aggressive Colby-Sawyer and suffered a disappointing, 76-66, loss to the visitors from New London, New Hampshire at the Bennett Center on Tuesday evening. The Scots are now, 13-3, overall and, 6-1, in the CCC. C-S increases its overall record to, 10-5, and is, 5-2, in the CCC. The teams will meet again on February 6th.
The Scots had never beaten Colby-Sawyer in CCC play before and this appeared to be a golden opportunity to end that nonsense. The Chargers had already lost a couple of CCC games this season and were young and on the road.
And when Gordon had a first half where the crowd was chanting, “We got Beebee,” you had to be optimistic. Scott (Beebee) was a sizzling 6 of 7 from long range and had 21 points in only the first half. Gordon left with a, 35-23, advantage.
But this game was far from over. “That first half was real frustrating,” explained Charger coach Bill Foti after the game. “We had plenty of good looks but couldn’t knock down any shots.” The visitors hit only 7 of 32 shots (21.9%) including 2 of 10 from beyond the arc in the first half.
In the second half the Chargers found ways to contain Scott Beebe. “He’s a great player and we wanted to switch out on him as much as possible.” It worked. Scott didn’t get a field goal in the second half. And with Scott contained C-S made a run (17-2) and tied the score at 42 with 12 minutes left.
“We had trouble getting Scott shots in the second half,” said Gordon coach Mike Schauer. “We needed other players to step up but it just didn’t happen.”
Colby-Sawyer, meanwhile, took command inside and out rebounded Gordon, 22-12, in the second half. Six of their second half baskets came after offensive rebounds. “We were real aggressive throughout the game and it paid off in the second half,” added coach Foti.
Between the Gordon turnovers (12 in the second half) and the Charger dominance inside, this game started to slip away from the Scots. A 10-1 run put the visitors up, 53-47, with eight minutes left and Gordon just didn’t have the offensive firepower to make things interesting down the stretch.
But it wasn’t from a lack of effort. Joe Witherspoon poured in nine points in the last two minutes, including one three-pointer from somewhere on Hull Street, but C-S handled the ball skillfully and could make foul shots in crunch time.
“This was a good win for us,” said coach Foti. “We hadn’t beaten a team of this caliber on the road this season.”
“I was disappointed in two things,” explained coach Schauer. “We shot 58% from the foul line and we turned the ball over 22 times. No way you win doing that.”
Colby-Sawyer was determined to try and wear Gordon’s shooters down by frequently substituting a lot especially in the first half. “The teams that have beaten us have been able to wear us down,” added coach Schauer. “Other teams have tried it and not been successful. We have players used to playing long minutes.”
Chris Condon held the Chargers together with 16 points in the first half and led all scorers with 25. Ethan Betts added 16 including 13 in the second half to go with 12 rebounds.
Scott Beebe paced Gordon with 23 points while Joe Witherspoon totaled 18 including 16 in the second half.
Next up for Gordon is a home game versus the University of New England on Saturday afternoon.