by Peter McClelland
(Milton) – Hey, didn’t we beat them convincingly in the first game? Right you are. The final then was 79-62 at the Bennett Center back in December.
This time? Wentworth executed basic basketball plays to perfection and exposed the aspect of his team’s game that worries Gordon Coach Mike Schauer the most – defense, or should I say, lack of same.
The final score in this one was Wentworth 76, Gordon 63 in a game played Thursday night at Curry because Wentworth is getting a new gymnasium floor put in.
This was a big night in the Commonwealth Coast Conference because the Wentworth victory puts them in a tie for second in the CCC North with Gordon and Colby-Sawyer, all of whom now have two losses. Endicott sits in first with no losses but just ahead for them are road games with Colby-Sawyer and Gordon. A week from now they face Wentworth at home. Endicott could have three losses by next Thursday night. Also tonight in the CCC Roger Williams picked up its first loss at home to Curry. Let’s just say that the CCC is far from decided.
In the loss to Wentworth the Scots got burned defensively on well-executed plays all game long. “They ran basic plays,” explained Coach Schauer afterwards. “We couldn’t get over ball screens very well.”
Coach Schauer refused to take anything away from Wentworth. “They won and deserved to. This is a very good team.”
For years though (I wish I had the stat for how long) Gordon has defeated the Leopards twice a year. Some games have been close but the end result has been a Wentworth loss.
“As the game wound down and it was still close I kept waiting for Gordon to find a way to take over,” said Wentworth Coach Tom Devitt afterwards.
“This was a sweet win,” he added, “because we beat the class act of the league.”
Coach Devitt admitted that this was “the biggest win of his coaching career,” but added, “That’s only because I respect Gordon so much.”
The Leopards have now won five straight and are 8-6 overall. The Scots should be thankful that they don’t have to play them again in the regular season.
Gordon drops to 10-4. Ahead for them is winless Eastern Nazarene on Saturday at the Bennett Center. They’ll bring the Red Sea. Hopefully the Blue Sea will be out in force.
One of the reasons I cover these games is so you folks out there won’t be misled by final scores and box scores. Despite the final score this game was a back-and-forth event with nine lead changes.
A glance at the box score and you can see that Gordon shot poorly in the second half. However, factor in that they missed their last six shots of the game.
With nearly five minutes left senior Jerry Logan (Marietta, GA) put in a layup after getting a nice pass from junior Jon Marstaller (Naples, ME). This made the score, 64-62, and those of us connected to the fortunes of Gordon anticipated a strong finish and quite possibly a victory.
Instead we witnessed a collapse of significant proportions as the Scots tallied only one point the rest of the way.
The Leopards got a second and a third shot on one possession that led to a score. Later a brilliant drive to the basket by junior Sherrad Prezzie-Blue kicked in with a foul added. That “foul added” started out belonging to Jerry Logan but by the time the referee got to the scorer’s table it somehow went instead to Jon Marstaller giving him his 5th foul. That didn’t settle well with the Gordon coaching staff and a technical foul was added to the mix and two made technical foul shots were soon added to the Wentworth score. Prezzie-Blue then made the free throw that went with the original layup. When the dust cleared Wentworth had a comfortable 72-62 lead on their way to a well-earned victory.
Jerry Logan has his highest point total of the season leading all scorers with 23 points. His 16 second-half points were nearly half of the team’s 33-point total. In one short segment with about eight minutes left he almost single-handedly gave Gordon its last lead. First he made an unusual 4-point play when he got fouled while making a shot from beyond the arc. Then when Wentworth missed a shot Jerry got fouled getting the rebound and made two more foul shots. This good work put the Scots ahead 58-57.
“My team wins and I keep wanting to talk about Jerry Logan,” said Coach Devitt. “He’s my all-time favorite CCC player.”
A big contributor in more ways than one was sophomore Weonard Bynes. The 6’3” sophomore gave the Leopards a scoring threat inside even though he only tallied 8 points. More damaging were his 9 rebounds and 4 blocks. He didn’t play in the first game.
“Weonard Bynes made a difference,” explained Coach Schauer. “He enabled Wentworth to have five scorers on the floor at the same time. When that happens we run into trouble because we’re not there defensively. We’re a lot younger than teams think and have at least one freshman on the court at all times. Usually the best teams don’t do that.”
Prezzie-Blue had his best game ever against Gordon netting 22 points. The difference, as far as I could tell, was that he didn’t just float around the perimeter hoping for open 3’s but instead got in close to the basket at times and used his quickness to score points.
Coach Devitt said that the win was especially satisfying for senior Bryan Gaine who got 17 points even though he came in averaging 10 points per game. “Before the game he said that he wanted to make up for all the times he sat in classrooms after big losses and close losses to Gordon. He’s persevered despite all sorts of troubles and I’m glad for him.”
Weonard Bynes had 25 points and 12 rebounds in one of the losses to Gordon last year……….I have never seen Gordon win a game at Curry. They do play there again in February…………The Gordon women played extremely well in their win over Wentworth……Senior Mike Herr (Lampeter, PA) has struggled from long range (2-for-14) since his 26-point game against Colby-Sawyer………………Junior Justin Kaufman (Redding, CT) seems to have re-injured his leg although he tried to play through it. He needs to be at full-speed to be effective on both ends of the court…………………Freshman Brady Bajema logged his most minutes (26) and contributed his most points (10) and most assists (5). What will it take for him to be CCC rookie-of-the-week?……….ENC is Gordon’s oldest rival. Only in recent years have we had much success with them. On Saturday their very vocal fans will not care that their team is winless. Let’s hope that the Blue Sea can at least outnumber them if not “out-noise” them.