(Boston) Gordon squandered an 8-point lead in regulation with 2:10 to go and a 2-point lead with 2.4 seconds to go in regulation and then fell in overtime to Wentworth, 73-70, on Saturday afternoon.
No way to open the Commonwealth Coast Conference season. Now 0-1 in the season that counts the Scots (8-3 overall) will need to regroup Tuesday night on the road at Anna Maria in Paxton.
If there ever was a game that got away it was this one. It sure didn’t help that the Scots were minus Brady Bajema for the second straight game. Coach Schauer told me before the game that Brady was in the hospital. I had learned earlier that he had a knee infection. After the game, Coach Schauer told me that Brady should be back. He didn’t say when.
Minus Brady’s 12 points per game, the struggle in this one was scoring points. Things really got dicey in the overtime when Greg Walker fouled out with 2 ½ minutes left in OT and later Aaron Trigg departed for the same reason with 47 seconds left. The Scots trailed by just two, 71-69, when Aaron left. Those who know this team can see that the top three scorers on the team were unavailable in the last 47 seconds.
The way those last 47 seconds played out went something like this: Austin Bentson made one of two free throws and Brendan Monteiro followed with two of two putting the Leopards ahead 73-70 with 35 seconds left. The Scots needed a three and they launched three of them (Timmy MacDonnell, Jeff Derr, and David Flight) but came up empty.
The travesty for Gordon was that this game got to overtime. Wentworth ran six straight to get up 49-45 with 8 ½ left in the game. Then the Leopards went six possessions getting three turnovers and three misses. Meanwhile the Scots made baskets on five of their six possessions to run ten straight points to lead, 55-49, with 3:46 remaining. The last basket in this sequence had Aaron penetrating down the lane finding extra coverage and feeding Ben Gaskill for a layup. Pretty play.
Later it was a pass from Greg Walker that resulted in another Ben Gaskill layup and gave Gordon the 61-53 advantage with 2:10 left. If you were there, you would have thought that the Scots had this one wrapped up. Sorry, you would have thought wrong.
To lose a lead of that sort you have to turn the ball over. The Scots did that on the next three possessions (TMac, Aaron, Austin). And then you have to miss free throws. The Scots did that on the next two possessions. Both Austin and Greg missed the front end of one-and-one’s.
After a timeout, Aaron went to the foul line, calmly swished the first one, and rattled the second one in to give Gordon a 2-point lead. Before any of us could get started celebrating, Wentworth’s Shane West had taken the ball out of bounds and thrown a full-court pass. Not a very high percentage play, for sure, but when Ben Gaskill, who was playing in back of Matt Abbott, jumped in front of him when the ball was in the air, disaster struck. The ball was thrown just high enough to get over 6-9 Ben and into the hands of Matt Abbott. He went in alone for the game-tying layup at the buzzer. It reminded me of that Southwest Airlines ad, “You wanta get away?” May it long be remembered that no one person ever loses a team game!
The overtime loss negated a remarkable double/double turned in by Aaron. When was the last time you remember someone scoring double figures (24 points) and handing out double-digit (12) assists. Usually you get one or the other. Most double/doubles involve points and rebounds.
One of the best matchups was Aaron against another All-Conference guard (senior Todd Doyle). Both got their points – Todd had 23 and is the CCC’s third highest scorer. Both are tireless defenders.
I was impressed with the Wentworth big men – Shane West and Matt Abbott. There were some turnovers (nine between them) but there were numerous setups inside that produced layups. And also, of course, was the pass from Shane to Matt that gave Wentworth a chance to win in overtime.
TMac got the start for Brady and logged 38 minutes. Not surprisingly, he dove out of bounds chasing a ball and later required medical attention.
Wentworth (4-9) is still on break. The crowd was small but Tansey Gym is one in which sound seems louder. The place was rocking as Wentworth pulled even and later won the game.
After the road game with Anna Maria, the Scots return to the Bennett Center on Saturday (January 17th) for an afternoon contest with Eastern Nazarene. Make plans accordingly.