(Beverly) Gordon 64 Endicott 55
That’s three straight at Endicott and this time it didn’t take a long-range prayer to do the trick, as it had required in the previous two matchups at Beverly.
What is took, was a collection of Gordon senior moments over the last 2:41 that turned into a tie-breaking, game-winning 12-3 run.
Gordon (15-3/7-0) has now won eleven straight. Next is Regis at home on Wednesday night (8PM). The Pride (8-11/4-3) has lost three straight but have a win in January over Colby-Sawyer. Not to be taken lightly!
The crowd was incredible on both sides (estimated at over 1200) and loud music wasn’t required to simulate noise, which is the way it should be.
The win by Gordon avenged a 71-68 loss at the Bennett Center in early December. In that one, the Scots trailed early, rallied all the way back from a 17-point deficit to tie, and then couldn’t finish the job in the last 1:10.
This time around the Scots once again trailed early (27-13) after six minutes, battled all the way back taking their first lead (43-42) after nine minutes of the second half on two David Dempsey free throws. The teams traded baskets until Bobby Montrond notched two free throws to tie things with 2:41 to go.
After that………..it was one Gordon wonderful senior moment after another carrying the Scots to the win. Aaron Trigg (26 points) collected nine straight points from every location – three free throws, two layups, and a three. Ben Gaskill (7 points/11 rebounds) had a steal and a block. Jeff Derr (9 points/12 rebounds) had an assist and a rebound. Brady Bajema (9 points/3 assists) had an assist and two free throws.
No wonder the Gordon crowd was chanting, “It’s all over,” as the game-clock wound down with the Scot lead getting larger and larger after each possession.
Endicott (8-10/3-4) seemed convinced that they could win this game from long range despite the accumulating stats indicating otherwise. The Gulls were 3-for-16 from downtown in the first half and added 2-for-10 onto that in the second half. In fact, in the second half they went eighteen minutes between made 3’s. You can live by the three’s and, well you know the rest – Lance Greene (1-7), Aaron Karkow (1-6) and Kevin McGuire (0-3).
I came away impressed with the play of Justin Martin (6-8 junior). He led the Gulls with ten points and had eight of them in the second half in a row when the outcome was in the balance and his teammates put away the 3-ball. Probably more impressive was the job he did on Greg Walker (13.2 ppg). He muscled Greg away from his comfort spots in close to the basket and held him to just three points.
But Gordon had other players pick up the scoring slack. David Dempsey had all of his ten points in the second half. Add Endicott to the list of teams trying to cover him with a smaller player and paying the price.
Jeff matched a career high in rebounds (12). Last time? A blowout win versus Wheelock when he was a sophomore.
I was not surprised when Timmy MacDonnell got the “Goggles” chant from the Endicott side. At Colby-Sawyer, someone yelled, “Hey 33, the pool is down the hall.”
During this game, however, Ben got the, “Shave your moustache,” chant which not everyone would disagree with.
During warm-ups, I had a file for the never-seen-that-before drawer, as Coach Tod Murphy signed autographs for Endicott students in front of the team bench.
A conspiracy theorist from Kansas noted that Endicott opted to use the bench that Gordon normally uses. Why? So, according to the theorist, any last-minute 3’s that Gordon attempted (they won the last two years on such shots) would be taken from in front of the Gull cheering section.
However, by switching benches the Gull team ended up in front of the vociferous Gordon cheering section that really turned up the volume during timeouts. Maybe next time Endicott will relocate their cheering section.
Another significant second half plus was rebounding. Close in the first half (21-19) but the Scots turned dominating (26-14) in the second half. It sure helps when both Ben and Jeff reach double figures.
Another noticeable stat was free throws. Gordon usually shoots from the outside unless Greg is open inside. In this game, though, a tight exterior Endicott defense forced Gordon players to create their own openings – there were only nine assists. The result was foul after foul by the Gulls and Gordon getting into the bonus early. The Scots took full advantage connecting on 27 of 32.
The Brady 1000-point watch is now at 994. Another reason to show up at the Bennett Center on Wednesday night for the Regis game.