(Brookline) How hot is red hot? I’m not sure but Jeff Derr might know.
This kid had a career game (23 points on eight-for-ten shooting) against nonleague Newbury on Tuesday night leading Gordon to an 84-66 win at Hellenic College in Brookline.
The 6-8 junior surpassed his previous point high of 17 (Wentworth last year) in just 18 minutes of playing time.
The Scots (12-4) took a double-digit lead (25-14) for good on a Ben Gaskill layup on a feed from Brady Bajema (eight assists) with eight minutes left in the first half. Gordon approached a 20-point lead a couple of times in the second half but explosive Nighthawk guard John Rowley (14 in the second half) kept that from happening.
Coach Schauer told me last season after a similar scoring feast, “When you shoot like that, the game gets real easy.”
I’d say that Newbury contributed to Gordon’s scoring looks by trying at times to zone the Scots. There were plenty of clear shots available most of the time.
Jeff led the way in this one but he was surrounded by teammates who were hot in their own right. The Scots had their best game of the season from long range – 12 for 17. Brady (3), Aaron Trigg (4), Austin Bentson (1), and Jeff (4) all dialed in successfully from long distance.
What led to many of the successful shots was Gordon’s willingness to pass, and pass, and pass around the perimeter looking to turn up wide open outside shots or to get the ball inside to Greg Walker. This sort of patience led to a season-high 26 assists.
The Nighthawks (5-9) had just nine assists, which signals to me that the Gordon defense was tough enough to force them into one-on-one basketball. Nighthawk sophomore John Rowley put on quite an impressive display of that type of basketball in the second half by getting to the rim and either making his shot or going to the foul line.
I continue to be impressed with the defensive efforts of Timmy MacDonnell and Austin. They appear to take defending seriously every time they play. Anyone heading to the basket with a head of steam up runs the risk of getting set up for a charging foul by either one of them.
The only flip side from this game is the avalanche of turnovers (21 in this one) that the Scots continue to commit. In a game that saw numerous terrific passes for baskets there were plenty others that were intercepted. Handling double-teams without panicking is a work in progress. Arguably, the best team in the CCC, UNE, presses relentlessly. They are the February 18th opponent at Gordon. They turned New England over 30 times.
There was a “crowd” of about 15, not counting the players and statisticians, when the game started at 5PM. The numbers increased as players for the 7 o’clock women’s game arrived.
Newbury AD Peter Centola told me afterwards that Hellenic had put down the new floor, which is beautiful, in the summer. A very long time ago, the Celtics used Hellenic for their preseason workouts.
The Scots are scheduled to be in Henniker (NH) on Thursday night – weather permitting – to face the Pilgrims at 7:30 in a Commonwealth Coast Conference game.
Plenty of skiing is available nearby, so why not come early and make a day of it.