By Peter McClelland
(Wenham) – The Gordon men’s basketball team defeated Framingham State, 93-71, on Friday night to reach the finals of the Tip-Off Tournament. They will be facing a quick Westfield State team in the championship game Saturday night at 8 o’clock at the Bennett Center.
You look at the score and you’re thinking “blowout.” However, eight minutes into the second half the Scots had a very narrow 61-60 edge.
Framingham State coach Don Spellman, however, had a premonition. “We knew going in that Gordon was one of the better shooting teams in New England. We knew they’d make a run and we just hoped that our defense could stem the tide.”
Unfortunately for the visitors Gordon went off for 17 straight points while the Rams were held scoreless for those three minutes. When the onslaught ended it was 78-60 and the Rams did not have the firepower to do much to that lead over the final nine minutes.
“We pride ourselves in our defense,” explained Coach Spellman. “However, we have a lot of new players and they aren’t as good on defense as they will be as the season goes along. We have never had that many points scored against us before.”
For Gordon coach Mike Schauer this was a game he liked a lot better as it went along. “In that run we made in the second half most of our points came on the inside. That’s something we can finally do.” Actually, 10 of the 17 points came from the foul line but the Scots got to the foul line because they kept pounding the ball inside drawing the fouls.
Sophomore Jon Marstaller (Naples ME) had a big game on offense and defense. He is still able to get to the basket against one-on-one coverage inside and in this one he led all scorers with 19 points. His defense was even better as he had four blocks and four steals.
Gordon’s defense impressed Coach Spellman. “Their perimeter defense was much better than I expected. I think that our big guys got a little frustrated during that second half run because Gordon’s defense made it hard to get the ball inside where they wanted it.”
The Scots had five players in double figures. The usual suspects, Jon Marstaller(19), Mike Herr(18), Jerry Logan(15), and Justin Kaufman(10) were there as well as surprise entry John Beebe(13). John connected on four 3’s in the first half to keep the Scots close at half – down 43-42.
Junior Mike Herr (Lampeter PA) had what I thought was a quiet 18 points but a very loud 11 rebounds. To say that Gordon has been a weak rebounding team in the past is a serious understatement. At least in this game they held their own.
Junior Derek Wigman (Pembroke MA) had a monster first half for the Rams making 6 of 7 shots on his way to 18 points for the game. Ryan Dacey(16) and Joe Faradie(14) also reached double figures.
Nick Marino’s dunk was the capper on the 17-point run……The Gordon cheering section was active with plenty to cheer about……With the possible emergence of an inside game you have to think that some of Gordon’s 3-point shooters could be seeing some open looks against sagging defenses………Justin Kaufman wasn’t happy with the six turnovers but what about those six assists?………Mark Beebe miss seven 3’s? Don’t expect that to happen again………Jerry Logan found the floor a few times because of his tenacity. He was Gordon’s best defender last year……….It was nice to see Keith Krass healthy and banking in a basket…….Newcomer Tim DeLuca began his Gordon career by standing in and taking a charge……………Emily Sydow may have graduated but she was back doing the stats and rendering the National Anthem and God Bless America. What a voice!………..Westfield State can fly and against Southern Maine they run themselves into open shots. The championship game should be a high-scoring affair.