by Peter McClelland
(Langhorne Pennsylvania) Gordon spoiled Philadelphia Biblical University’s home opener with an exciting, 79-76, overtime win on the road on Tuesday night.
The game started with prayer and went into overtime on a prayer. In overtime it took a Jerry Logan (6′ senior – 15 points) three in the last minute to give Gordon its first lead. That lead would hold up because of solid defense, free throws, and some poor judgment on PBU’s part.
Neither coach was thrilled with his team’s play:
“We’ve got some guys here that are 50-50 players – they’re strong on the offensive end and weak on the defensive end,” explained Eagle coach Dick Beach.
“I told our team and Coach Beach that I thought the wrong team won tonight,” said Coach Schauer afterwards. “Not to say that I didn’t want to win or that I’m disappointed to have won. They were just more deserving.”
The shot that folks will remember for a long time was the prayer that Dan O’Brien (5’8″ sophomore – 6 points) connected on from over half-court to send this one into overtime. Just before the miracle shot at the buzzer Jon Marstaller was at the line shooting one-and-one with Gordon leading by three points. He missed and O’Brien brought the crowd out of their seats with his successful long one.
Gordon (3-0) continues undefeated and even though the style points aren’t high the wins continue to pile up. So far subpar play hasn’t caught up with them. Next game is at home against Mitchell on November 29th at 6PM.
PBU(1-2) used the home opener to break in a new stat crew. Being alerted to that fact started to worry me at halftime when they had Jerry Logan with no points and I had him with nine points. As you might guess, when the first half stats are in trouble there’s no hope for the final stats. That forces you readers to rely on my “unofficial” stats.
Jon Marstaller (6’5″ junior – 26 points) had a huge second half and overtime collecting 20 points. They went along with the 6 points he had in the first half. The 26 points was more than the team’s top scorer from last year had in his two previous games. Once PBU’s top inside defender Tom Arthur (6’5″ soph – 20 points) picked up his 4th foul the opportunity door swung wide open for Jon. He delivered big-time on possession after possession down the stretch.
PBU outdid the Scots 12-4 on 3-point shots and they nearly rode that skill to the win. My research told me that senior guard Chase Byler (first-team all-league/league’s top scorer) had outside potential. He hit three long ones in the second half and one in overtime. The big surprise was Matthew Taylor (5’10 soph – 14 points). Unexpectedly he had four long ones including one in overtime.
The Eagles took their last lead, 74-72, on Matthew’s last three with 1:09 left in OT. Chase Byler followed with a steal but missed the front end of a one-and-one down the other end. Instead of a possible 4-point lead the Eagles had to watch Jerry Logan hit a three from in front of the Gordon bench with 40 seconds to go that gave Gordon a slim, 75-74, edge.
With a time-out to organize and plenty of time left the Eagles put the ball in Chase Byler’s hands. With time winding down he headed down the lane hoping for a basket or a foul but got neither. Mike Herr (senior – 4 points) corraled the rebound and after a timeout Justin Kaufman (junior – 13 points) got fouled. Justin made both free throws with 8 seconds left. Down by three points (77-74) PBU surprised a whole lot of people by passing up a potentially tying 3-point shot for a layup in the last second. Gordon said thanks, made a couple of last-second free throws and had an overtime win.
This was a back-and-forth affair in the first half with eight lead changes. Starting with Matthew Taylor’s three at the end of the first half the Eagles ran nine straight points and built up a, 43-33, advantage 3 minutes into the second half.
But style points aside Gordon has veterans and against a team like PBU with one senior the tide turned as the second half wore on. A Justin Kaufman three plus an unstoppable inside attack enabled Gordon to build up a lead that only a last-gasp miracle shot could offset. The Eagles ran out of miracles in the overtime.
The area Gordon families and friends may have outnumbered the PBU fans………Mike Schnackenberg (6’6″ soph – 10 points) led the Scots offensively in the first half…………….Aaron Trigg (6′ 2″ freshman – 9 points) found 4 points in close in overtime……..Nick Marino, Brady Bajema, and Keith Krass played valuable defensive minutes………Jon Marstaller would have been surprised to learn that the program listed him at 5′ 5″………”I can’t put my finger on what the problem with the team is,” said Coach Schauer. “I feel like at times I’m fighting with the team to be great and to do all the dirty work to be great.”………….One of the worst non-calls I have seen was one that Gordon got away with against Matthew Taylor near the end of regulation. It seemed only fitting that PBU would respond with a miracle three…………On the crucial judgment play near the end of OT – “We tried to run a play but it broke down,” said Coach Beach. “These things happen against a good team……….God has been so good to each of us. Thanksgiving ought to be a continuous event
by Peter McClelland