The Scots lost 72-54 exiting from the Commonwealth Coast Conference tournament in the semifinals for the fourth straight season as a result. Gordon was the lone returnee from last season’s Final Four.
Meanwhile, Colby-Sawyer moves on to the finals at UNE on Saturday night. The UNE pressure gave the Chargers trouble in a regular season loss.
The Gordon/CS game was played Thursday night in New Hampshire before a crowd that included a busload of Gordon students. The kids came and made plenty of supportive noise throughout but the team just didn’t respond.
Jon Chaloux (23 points /7 rebounds) and Matt Lemieux (18 points /7 assists) led the (20-6) Chargers. Jon, the 6-6 junior, caused similar damage (26 points) in the first meeting at the Bennett Center. Someone needs to figure out how to guard him before next year’s game.
The Scots were cold early and it was four minutes in before Ben Gaskill took his only shot of the game and scored after receiving a nice pass from Brady Bajema. Meanwhile, the Chargers already had six points thanks to Jon Chaloux. He took one of Matt Lemieux’s seven assists and dunked and also hit a couple of jump shots. This was a game in which we had trouble scoring and they didn’t, most of the time.
Before the half was over the Chargers had put together a run of seven straight, and three runs of six and led 33-17 at halftime. An optimist at halftime could certainly note that we weren’t down 48-26 as we were at halftime in the 90-64 loss and that this time around Aaron Trigg hadn’t scored yet.
Gordon got off to a much better start in the second half. After a couple of Ben Gaskill free throws, the Scots made their next five shots and cut the deficit to 39-30 after 3 ½ minutes played. Plenty of time left.
But Matt Lemieux (5-8 senior) put a damper on the optimism with his own personal run of seven points and in a little over a minute the Chargers were up by sixteen (46-30).
CS, wisely kept the ball in Matt’s hands most of the second half and spread the floor to give him plenty of room to show his ball-handling skills.
CS never let go of that double-figures lead the rest of the way, using the clock and ending most of their lengthy possessions with points.
In the twenty wins Gordon ended up with this season, we’ve seen them do the same thing with a lead. It sure is a helpless feeling to see your team on the wrong side of that strategy especially when your team’s defensive arsenal doesn’t include trapping or pressing.
Even in the loss, we did see quite a second half, shooting show from Brady. He tossed in seventeen second half points and ended up with 24 points for the game.
Brady became the go-to guy in that second half as Aaron never got untracked and for the first time in 53 games didn’t make at least one three. The defense was good but not that good. This was truly one of those rare outings when the talented junior from Kansas had his shooting touch nearly abandon him entirely. But again, let me repeat, no one player ever loses a team game!
Closer to the basket things didn’t go that well either. Greg (6 points) had trouble getting the ball, and when he did get it was faced with extra defenders. Ben (4 points) took only ONE shot the entire game (He had 14 points on Tuesday night) and because of foul trouble watched 18 minutes of the game from the bench.
Enough of that negative stuff. Gordon ends with twenty wins and a lone graduate (David Flight) whom we wish well. Trust me, the 2009-10 team will be favored in the preseason CCC poll. The target will be on their backs with so much experience returning. We are destined for another season of very good basketball I suspect. I would like to believe that next year’s team is capable of winning the conference and securing homecourt throughout the playoffs in 2010. Can they (finally) win the tournament? Why not?
A closing thanks to the friends we’ve renewed with this season and to those added along the way. The tremendous sacrifices that parents of players make just to attend games always amazes me. Any player reading this article needs to remind their parents repeatedly that they are appreciative of their support.
I am thankful for the opportunity that God has given me to cover seven seasons of Gordon games. My wife, Julie, has been a wonderful source of encouragement and I thank her for that.
Lord willing, I expect to follow the team during the 2009-10 season.
Thanks for being part of the readership.