By Peter McClelland
(Wenham) – “It was an easy game to walk away from disappointed but we did win by 17,” said Gordon Coach Mike Schauer afterwards trying to put a positive spin on a game that was outright ugly.
The Scots defeated Anna Maria 71-54 at the Bennett Center on Thursday evening in Commonwealth Coast Conference play. The win puts Gordon at 12-7 overall and 6-4 in the CCC. The visiting Amcats drop to 3-16 and 1-11 in the CCC.
If this game had been a car/truck then it was time to report to the nearest garage for a tune-up. I mean it even affected Gordon’s dance squad. You should have seen them starting their halftime routine to the wrong CD!
Both teams were coming off of emotional games just two days ago. Gordon suffered a significant setback down the street before many witnesses while Anna Maria was ending a 10-game losing streak with a one-point win on the road at New England College.
Prior to the Endicott game the Scots had three straight games in which they jumped on their opponents in the first halves and cruised in the second half. Against a team with 10 losses in their last 11 games you had to think that this one might go that way. “I kept waiting for us to build up a 20-25 point lead so that I could sub everyone in but we just never got there,” said Coach Schauer.
The Scots ended the first half with two Jon Marstaller (freshman-Naples ME) free throws and continued the run with seven straight at the start of the second half thanks to a Jon Marstaller tip-in, a Jerry Logan (sophomore-Marietta GA) three, and two Aaron Vogelzang (junior-Jericho VT) free throws. That quick second half start pushed Gordon’s 32-25 halftime lead up to 39-25. The Amcats did not have the firepower to cut the deficit to less than double-digits the rest of the way.
What kept Anna Maria relatively close throughout was their style of play. This team starts three players under six feet tall. They are constantly in an attack mode whether they’re on offense or defense.
The Scots tried to run set offenses but the Amcat defense didn’t always cooperate. There were traps and switches all over the place. “The way they play defense makes you stand a little bit because you’re not quite sure what to run against them,” added Coach Schauer. That uncertainty spelled a whole bunch of turnovers in close to the basket.
Coach Schauer was very pleased with the play of Justin Kaufman (freshman-Redding CT) and Jerry Logan. “Justin had nice numbers (10 points/7 rebounds/6 assists) tonight,” said Coach Schauer. “I’ve been real hard on him the last 15-30 days and to see him play like this way makes me feel as if we’re getting through to him. And Jerry (Logan) was just Jerry (16 points/0 turnovers) and he’s been good for a long time.”
Jon Marstaller (14 points/12 rebounds) and Mike Herr (20 points/6 rebounds) got mixed reviews. “I was pleased that they both found ways to be productive in games in which they didn’t play very well,” explained Coach Schauer. “Great players find a way to contribute. At this point, however, they’re not good defensively and if we’re going to be very good at least one of them has to get much, much better.”
The best player in the game, in my opinion was the Amcat’s Quincy Nunnally (sophomore-Westboro MA). At 6’3” he isn’t the tallest player Gordon’s seen but he was an intimidating presence on defense. It seemed as if he was always lurking when various Gordon drivers headed to the hoop. On offense he collected 21 points on 10-for-13 shooting. “We didn’t have any answers for him,” said Coach Schauer. “He’s a great one.”
Gordon’s next game is Saturday afternoon at the Bennett Center against undefeated (in the CCC) Colby-Sawyer. The Scots beat them here last year. However, Gordon will be at the end of a 7-games-in-14-days stretch and will certainly need the home crowd to give them some energy.
Matt O’Malley (Amcat’s high scorer) meets Jerry Logan (Gordon’s best defender) – Matt tallied 10 points but Jerry’s smiling about the 9 turnovers he had a hand in.
Was it a dunk or not? – Nick Marino got his own rebound late in the game and, in my opinion, had a near-dunk. The shot went in but was he over the rim? I guess you had to be there!
Anna Maria actually had an 11-4 lead early but Gordon ran 10 straight to do away with the deficit.
This game featured the two weakest rebounding teams in the CCC. And Gordon won the battle of the boards, 42 to 29.
Let me take him inside, coach – There was Aaron Vogelzang in the second half trying to post up one of the sub-six footers.