By Peter McClelland
(New London, NH) – Let Gordon coach Mike Schauer explain this one. “We did not show up tonight ready to give an effort consistent with the meaning of the game.”
Just six exits north of Tuesday night’s laugher with New England College the Scots fell flat on their collective faces at Colby-Sawyer, 54-44, and have dropped out of the top spot in the Commonwealth Coast Conference Northern Division.
Granted an 8-2 CCC record is awfully good and a 15-4 overall record isn’t too shabby either. However, any hope of winning the CCC playoffs, after the regular season, now looks bleak because as long as Colby-Sawyer is a potential opponent the Scots are in trouble. Maybe another opponent, like CCC North leader Endicott, will keep Gordon away from having to play C/S again in tournament play. After sitting through this game you’d have to hope that would be the case.
So many things went wrong for the Scots offensively in this one. The Charger defense had a lot to do with it. “I thought we did a nice job defensively,” understated C/S coach Bill Foti.
What the Chargers did was play the perimeter very aggressively and we all know how Gordon loves the 3-point shot. Unable to create comfortable offense seemed to throw Gordon’s normally reliable shooters into a tizzy. They were only able to hit 7 of 25 three’s. The Scots had by far their lowest point output (previous low was 51 against Roger Williams) of the season.
Gordon’s two big guns (Scott Beebe and Joe Witherspoon) weren’t much help in this one. Scott came up empty on all ten attempts while Joe was into foul trouble early and often and contributed a mere four points. Gordon won’t win many more games with performances like that.
To say that C/S jumped on Gordon early is putting it mildly. Seven minutes into the game the Chargers were ahead, 15-2. “We acted as if we weren’t sure we were supposed to be playing against Colby-Sawyer in a first place game,” said coach Schauer.
As it turned out that early cushion was what the Chargers carried the rest of the way to victory. “We’ve got a nice club defensively and we really set the tone early,” explained coach Foti.
Gordon fell further behind (38-19) early in the second half but rode Hayes Murray’s long-range shooting to close to 48-38 with nine minutes left. You sensed that if others heated up this one might get interesting but nothing materialized. “We had looks but didn’t make shots,” added coach Schauer.
Hayes Murray led all scorers with 20 points. That was his highest scoring total of this season. Outside threat Collin Bray paced the Chargers with 14 while senior Ethan Betts added 10 points and was a dominating presence on the boards with nine rebounds.
Ahead for Gordon is ENC at home on Saturday night. Expect the Bennett Center to be rocking with lots of crowd involvement no matter how the games go. Gordon squeaked by the Crusaders in the season opener back in November. The Scots need to turn things around in a hurry because after ENC they visit Endicott on Tuesday evening.
The Chargers, on the other hand, look like a team that will be hard to stop the rest of the way. They have won the CCC tournament the last two seasons.
Just a parting whine about New Hampshire. Gordon was at New England College on Tuesday and at Colby-Sawyer on Thursday. Is there some reason why neither school played the national anthem before our basketball games with them?