(Wenham) Brady Bajema tallied 23 points, including the three that put him over 1000 career points, as the Scots (17-3/9-0) defeated Nichols (10-10/3-6) at the Bennett Center, 62-49, on Saturday afternoon. That’s thirteen straight and counting in this remarkable season.
Before the game, Aaron Trigg was given a basketball commemorating him getting to 1000 points in a game played last February 10th. Aaron’s parents joined him as Coach Tod Murphy presented the special basketball. My picture-taking abilities fall off considerably when the subjects don’t cooperate.
Young and old from Whitinsville Christian (Brady’s high school) were on hand hoping to see Brady get the three points he needed. He did not disappoint as he nailed a long one on his first shot 1 ½ minutes into the game.
Fortunately, for Gordon, that wasn’t the end of his scoring because Nichols defended the Scots other two top scorers (Greg Walker 5-for-15 and Aaron 2-for-12) into lower than usual production.
However, good teams have other options and on this afternoon, it was Brady, who actually was caught smiling afterwards. I was told that a picture catching this would be a rarity.
While Brady had fourteen in the first half, the Bison had Pete Atkin’s 16 over the same half and the teams were tied at halftime, 25-25.
Freshman Justin Kuntz gave Nichols its last lead, 31-30, with a jumper at 14:49. The next 3+ minutes the Scots put together an eight-point run. David Dempsey hit a couple of shots and Brady added a jumper in the lane. It was, however, Jeff Derr’s offensive rebound conversion that excited the lively home crowd the most.
The lead grew to ten (50-40) with five minutes left on another David Dempsey inside move. Have I mentioned that he is a tough matchup for most teams – too big for fast defenders and too fast for big defenders?
The Scots then hit eight of eleven free throws in the last two minutes of the game to keep Nichols from getting closer than nine points in the end game.
The Bison struggled mightily to find any kind of offense in the second half. Credit the Gordon defense for a lot of that. Good defense always forces a team into one-on-one offense with few assists. Imagine this: Nichols had zero assists in the second half!
Pete Atkins paced Nichols with 18 points but had just two of them in the second half. He did take a hard fall midway through the second half but returned to play some more. Ben Gaskill (6’9”) did a nice defensive job on the 6’3” sophomore.
I am getting more and more comfortable with Gordon’s ability to handle fullcourt pressure. The Bison pressed some but never got a backcourt turnover doing it.
Gordon’s next three games are on the road and what a road trip it will be. New London(NH) on Tuesday, Lewiston(ME) on Thursday, and Chicopee(MA) on Saturday afternoon. That’s a lot of miles over a five-day stretch against very good teams in Colby-Sawyer, Bates, and Western New England on their home courts.
That schedule means some early AMs for those of us planning, Lord willing, on being in the audience, but after thirteen straight who wants to miss any part of this extraordinary season by not being there. Not I!