(Wenham) Gordon’s inexplicable woes at home continued as they were beaten like a drum in almost every statistical category by Colby-Sawyer, 90-64, in league play at the Bennett Center on Tuesday night.
The final score pretty well sums up the difference between the two teams on this night. Colby-Sawyer (17-4 overall/ 9-1 in the CCC) was picked to win the Commonwealth Coast Conference in the preseason coaches poll and now we know why – they can shoot and they can defend.
Gordon (15-6 overall/ 6-4 in the CCC) on the other hand, continues to be a hard team to figure on most counts. However, we do know for sure that recent games at home (4-4) have been difficult.
After delighting in watching Greg Walker and Brady Bajema carry the team in the last two games, it was our turn to be on the receiving end of a career performance. Jon Chaloux (6-6/junior) of Colby-Sawyer was just plain unstoppable on offense (5-for-6 on 3’s totaling 29 points) and a nuisance on defense with six steals.
Similar to Brady’s game at Nichols (37 points), you didn’t see a game such as this coming from Jon. After all, he was averaging 12 ppg. He was 0-for-3 shooting three’s with just seven points in his last game against Salve Regina. However, in this one he seldom missed (12-for-17) despite the Scots giving numerous players a shot at guarding him.
The Bennett Center blues defy explanation. For six seasons visiting teams have come to Wenham expecting to lose or possibly to steal one with a great performance. A big crowd would be expected and it would be noisy. This year, since the William Paterson game in November, the Scots have lost an unheard of 4-of-5 at home. What’s with that?
One way to lose at home, or anywhere for that matter, is to start slowly on both ends against a good team. That’s what happened in this one. The Chargers made their first five shots before missing. James Tobin, however, converted the missed shot. Therefore, 3 ½ minutes into the game, Gordon trailed, 14-2, and Coach Mike Schauer had already burned a timeout early to stop the bleeding.
Brady hit a three to narrow the lead to 22-11 with 11:10 left and thoughts of a comeback danced in some of our heads. Enter Jon Chaloux. He dominated the next 4 ½ minutes collecting nine points as C-S went on a 14-point run to put this one out of reach early (36-11).
In this disastrous segment, Coach Schauer used another timeout and then watched his team commit turnovers in five of the next six possessions. The top three scorers on the team found themselves on the bench in the middle of this nightmare.
Later Brady hit a couple more three’s in the last minute before Chris Cox was left all alone for a buzzer-beating layup. C-S led 48-26 at the half.
The Scots had a run of eight in the second half as Jon Chaloux finally missed a shot. A couple of converted rebounds by Ben Gaskill highlighted that run. This put the score at 71-52 with 7:20 left but that was as close as Gordon would get.
The good news is that Gordon has another game on Thursday. The sting of the C-S loss will fade as they take on non-league Bates at 7PM at the Bennett Center. Tough game? Gordon has never beaten Bates and, I’m shocked to be saying this as a negative, the game is at home.
The CCC game of the year will certainly be Saturday at Colby-Sawyer (9-1) when UNE (10-0) visits New London. Gordon gets UNE at home on February 18th. That one scares me already.
This was the first non-crowd I’ve seen at home in years. The Pit was numerically pitiful. Have the students jumped off the team bandwagon? I would hope not. This is a good team and almost all the players are underclassmen. Come out and give them some support. (Hints to the team: Get off to a good start next game so that the fans have a reason to get involved and afterwards make it very obvious to the crowd that you appreciate their being there.)
A couple of bright spots in recent games have been freshmen JT Himmelstein and Jon Himottu. Coach Schauer has used them early which is a sure sign of his confidence in them.