By Peter McClelland
(Wenham) For the last 3:14 of the first half the Scots didn’t score. There, I’ve got the bad news out of the way! The rest of the game was good, very good.
Gordon picked right up where they left off against Roger Williams Saturday afternoon (11 for 15 in 3-point attempts) and dazzled visiting New England College with 10 for 14 threes in the first half! The unfortunate visitors never made a three during the entire game and their shooting from inside the arc in the first half (8 for 32) was nothing to write home about either.
So, on Tuesday evening at the Bennett Center Gordon defeated New England College (Henniker NH) 79-46 in Commonwealth Coast Conference play. Gordon has now won three in a row and are 9-6 overall and 3-3 in the CCC. The visiting Pilgrims have now lost three in a row and are 9-5 overall and 2-4 in the CCC.
“I was pleased because we got on them quickly and never let them get going,” said Gordon Coach Mike Schauer understating afterwards. I say, “understated” because when a team scores the first 15 points of the game in the first 3 ½ minutes you see size of the trouble the Pilgrims got themselves into in a hurry.
“They took away our shots,” concluded Pilgrim Coach Charlie Mason. “It was a credit to their defense.” New England came into this one near the top in field goal percentage (47%) and points scored (76). They came nowhere near those numbers this time around.
Pat Quinn’s (sophomore-Holbrook NY) driving lay-up ended the early famine but off went the Scots again. This time it was an 8-point run and now it’s 23-2 with 13:30 remaining. Eric Sliney (sophomore-Lincoln RI) and Kingsley Onyechi (freshman-Lowell MA) led the Pilgrims on an 8-3 spurt and the score was 26-10 with 10 ½ minutes left. The Scots answered with another highlight reel streak of 11 unanswered points and flew to a 37-10 advantage with 7 minutes to go. This game was over and it was over early.
The Scots were up 46-20 at the half. That lead would get up into the 30’s in the second half. Coach Schauer used his entire bench (as did Coach Mason) and insisted on a very deliberate approach on offense. “It’s always nice to give everyone plenty of playing time,” said Coach Schauer. Gordon has games on Thursday (Newbury) and Saturday (Wentworth) so resting starters could pay off in those games.
Jon Marstaller (freshman-Naples ME) and Scott Allenby (senior-Proctor VT) came up big on the score sheet with 18 points each.
When Jon nailed a three on the first shot of the game you knew the Pilgrims were in trouble. And when the rest of the team began draining treys, as well, you knew that Jon would find some room to operate inside and he did damage there as well.
Scott was just plain on fire. When that long left-handed shot is on target there’s little that can be done to stop it. He gets it off quickly and length doesn’t seem to matter. The injury bug has really limited Scott. “Scott isn’t practicing anymore,” reported Coach Schauer. “He’s just going to play the games. His body is absolutely quitting on him. He’s realized that as a senior he’s got nothing left to save his body for in sports so he goes all out every time.
“Scott’s a great defender when he’s healthy. The thing I love about him is that he never complains. He just works as hard as he can. He is one of the best young men I’ve ever coached.”
Mike Herr (sophomore-Lampeter PA) added 12 points and Jerry Logan (sophomore-Marietta GA) contributed 11 points.
Promising freshman Kinglsey Onyechi was the top man for the Pilgrims with 14 points to go along with 8 rebounds.
Coach Mason used 14 players in the first half trying to find some offense.
It doesn’t happen very often but Nick Marino (freshman-Wellington FL) rebounded his own foul shot.
I’m imagining the 2-on-2 basketball games in the Beebe backyard. John and Mark are on the same side. Is there any doubt about who would be passing the ball inbounds and who would be taking most of the shots??
Jesse, before this season is over I predict that your name will be on a score sheet with a number in a place other than minutes.