(Wenham) Remember the long prayer Aaron let fly up from the corner at Endicott to win that game in December?
He was at it again tonight at the lively Bennett Center against Roger Williams with a shorter prayer but, like the Endicott shot, it was a game-winner.
This time the stakes were higher as the 50-48 victory that resulted advanced the Scots to the semifinals of the CCC tournament at Colby-Sawyer (defeated Wentworth 83-71) on Thursday night at 7PM.
You could never relax no matter which side you were rooting for in this game. No lead provided comfort because the defense was so intense that scoring droughts were out there just waiting to happen.
Fortunately, for Gordon it was the visitors who ran into a game-deciding, 2 ½ minute scoring drought at the end of this one that opened the door for a GC rally.
Corey Fava’s two free throws had given RW a 48-44 advantage with those 2 ½ minutes to go.
Greg Walker (12 points/6 rebounds) followed with a jumper. Pat Flanagan had a shot rim out down the other end.
Aaron missed a layup in traffic but Ben Gaskill (14 points/7 rebounds) collected one of those rebounds and tied the score at 48-48 with 1:19 left.
Aaron fouled Taylor Petruccelli but the 6-4 sophomore came up empty on the front end of a one-and-one. You’d like to think that the nearby Pit might have had something to do with it. But Hawk Ryan McGinn turned up with the rebound with inside a minute left.
The Hawks went into a very deliberate style as they passed and dribbled on the perimeter letting the clock wind down. Finally, Corey Fava, with JT Himmelstein covering, went up with a jumper that rimmed out. JT got the rebound with 31 seconds left.
Now it was Gordon’s turn to use the clock. The ball was in Aaron’s hands most of the time with Taylor Petruccelli tight on him. With eight seconds left, Aaron gave up the ball to Brady who headed for the basket only to see multiple defenders ahead. He passed back to Greg who quickly found Aaron on the right baseline. Aaron ended up spinning right for a fall away in and over traffic. Swish with .2 seconds left.
After a timeout, and an itchy trigger finger on the score clock, Ryan McGinn tried a fullcourt pass over 6-9 Jon Himottu that Aaron deflected away. Whew!
The win gives Gordon a 20-6 overall record. It ends a four-game win streak the Hawks had going against the Scots. Maybe it even avenges RW’s ouster of Gordon in the CCC tournament semifinals last season.
Whatever, the Scots move on to face Colby-Sawyer. A mere two weeks ago, the visiting Chargers abused Gordon from beginning to end in a 90-64 blowout. Since then the Scots have won five straight. This may be the time they win their first CCC tournament semifinal game.
This was the day in which the top 15 players in the CCC were announced as well as the MVP. I suggested last article that Aaron was the MVP but no, they wouldn’t listen.
One thing I didn’t understand in this game was the limited playing time of the Hawk’s third-team, all-league freshman Pat Flanagan. He was averaging nearly 12 PPG but had time for only one point this time. The 6-9 inside threat played only 13 minutes and in my opinion that kept our 6-9 Ben Gaskill out of the foul trouble he got into in the January loss to RW.
Ben, maybe motivated by his omission from the all-league team, had his second best point game of the season and the rebound he converted into points in the last two minutes was huge.
Ben and Aaron had 22 of Gordon’s 28 second half points.