By Peter McClelland
(Wenham) Gordon built up a nice cushion midway through the second half and it was enough to hold off the fast-closing Roger Williams Hawks 65-58 in Commonwealth Coast Conference play on Saturday afternoon at the Bennett Center.
The Scots have now won two in a row and are securely in 3rd place in the CCC North at 7-4. Gordon’s overall record is now 10-10.
Roger Williams is on a two game losing streak and has fallen to 6-5 in the CCC and 11-8 overall.
The Scots pulled away from a 15-15 tie with a little less than nine minutes left in the first half with a spurt of deadly long-range shooting. Hayes Murray and Scott Allenby connected on two treys apiece as Gordon went on a 16-2 run on their way to a 33-21 halftime lead.
“Our shooting was great but our defense in that half was the best it has been all year,” explained Gordon coach Mike Schauer afterwards. “The team began to finally realize, out of desperation, a couple of games ago that we aren’t going to do very well if we don’t compete hard the whole game.”
That accurate shooting persisted throughout half of the second half and the Scots were sporting a 59-42 spread with 9 ½ minutes left. “I didn’t think that kind of scoring would last because they’re too good on defense,” said coach Schauer. The Hawks, in fact, are 2nd in the CCC in scoring defense allowing just 61 points a game.
“We played with the intensity we’re capable of in the last ten minutes,” recalled coach Tully. “We just needed to make a few more shots and add some time on the clock and we’d have been right there at the end.”
The Hawks ran off seven unanswered points before Hayes Murray’s jumper put Gordon up 61-49 with 6 ½ to go. That would be the last field goal the Scots would get.
“With the lead we were going to use the clock,” said coach Schauer. “They weren’t scoring points very fast and I told the team that we only needed to make a couple of shots to win.” Those shots turned out to be foul shots by Hayes Murray and Scott Allenby in the last minutes after Roger Williams had closed the gap to 61-56 with 30 seconds left.
Coach Tully was disappointed with his team. “Our intensity level was okay for only 10 of 40 minutes. You’re not going to beat too many teams if you let them shoot 49%.”
Hayes Murray had a monster game for Gordon netting 25 points including 17 in the second half. There is no justice if he’s not on the CCC first-team All-Star team. Scott Allenby added 13 and picked up 11 of them in the first half.
Brian Scharrenweber paced the Hawks with 17 points. He was 8 for 14 which didn’t hurt his CCC leading field goal shooting percentage which is 61%. Brandon Parrish also reached double figures with 10.
Next up for Gordon is a rematch neighborhood war with Endicott at Endicott on Tuesday evening. The Gulls won 62-56 in the first meeting at Gordon. Endicott has only two CCC losses (both to Colby-Sawyer) while the Scots have dropped four. It promises to be loud.
Roger Williams has Coast Guard ahead before returning to CCC action. The Hawks are in a dogfight in the CCC South and will be part of a serious struggle in that division to finish in the top four and make the playoffs.