By Peter McClelland
(Brookline MA) – When I travel with this team I now expect the unexpected to occur.
We arrive at Newbury College after getting an extended look at every traffic light in downtown Boston. The driver of the bus asks the first student he sees, “Where’s the gym?” To which the Newbury student replies, “We don’t have a gym!”
And it’s true. They don’t have their own gym. They play at nearby Hellenic College. Needless to say we arrive there a little late and a bit frazzled.
“I was pleased to win because it was a bit chaotic getting here,” said Gordon Coach Mike Schauer after seeing his team overpower the Newbury Nighthawks, 74-43, on Thursday evening. “I wondered if the trip in would have led to a slow start but it didn’t.”
The Scots clamped a tight man-to-man defense on the young (3 juniors/1 sophomore/6 freshmen) Hawks and never gave them much of a chance.
“It was brutal,” said Hawk Coach Adam Nelson afterwards. “We’re just not physically as strong as Gordon is. They must lift weights all the time. They manhandled us. They fronted the post anytime they wanted to. It was like men against boys.”
There were no Gordon spectators on hand but if they had been they would have left saying two words – “Mark Beebe” (freshman-Clive Iowa). In this one we got a taste of what all the excitement was about when he decided to join his brothers (Scott & John) at Gordon. We saw the long ones fall and a slash to the basket as well. He ended up being the top scorer (18 points) in the game.
“I was really excited with the play of Mark Beebe tonight. I’d been saying for a long time, when people talk about our fine freshmen, that Mark’s going to be as good as any of them.
“We have relegated him so far this season to being a 3-point shooter because of necessity. He scored a lot of points in high school against defenses that were geared to only stopping him. So he can post. He can score off the dribble and he’s a good passer. He just needs defensive seasoning. He’s going to be a great player.”
While Mark was nailing three’s Jon Marstaller (freshman- Naples ME) owned the inside in the first half. According to the Gordon scorebook Jon had 15 in the first half and Mark had 9. The Scots built a lead to 21-12 with 8 ½ to go and then outscored the Hawks 17-6 the rest of the way to take complete control 38-18 at the half.
The second half reminded me of the recent New England game. The outcome had been decided but in college ball you have to play the second half anyhow! Coach Schauer found plenty of minutes for his bench players and rest for his starters. According to the Newbury statisticians Keith Krass played and actually fired one up although I was sure that I saw him wearing a suit and tie and filming the game!
Mike Herr (sophomore-Lampeter PA) and Jon Marstaller had double/doubles. Matthew Stanton (junior-Lynnfield MA) did likewise for Newbury. I was impressed with his tenacity.
The Scots are now 10-6 overall and get back to Commonwealth Coast Conference play for the rest of the schedule. They face Wentworth on the road at 1 o’clock on Saturday.
Newbury drops to 2-13 and with Framingham State, MIT, and Elms coming up I’m suspecting that their 6-game losing streak could get extended.
I tried to use a stat program instead of scripting the game like I usually do. Big mistake. The result was that I lost when the runs took place and who fueled those runs. Back to scripting for me.
Pete Hassler forced Assistant Coach Ryan Smith to take his first charge of the season.
Newbury used a zone on occasion. Gordon passed the ball around and through it but missed some open shots. Fortunately, they had a 20+-point cushion for most of the zone attempts.
The gym at Hellenic College was used many years ago by the Celtics for training camp. However, unlike the Boston Garden it still exists.