(Paxton MA) The Scots got into a shootout with weapon’s rich Anna Maria and exited from the Commonwealth Coast Conference tournament in the first round on Tuesday night.
The final was 93-79 and the lack of defense by both teams was noticeable.
#1 seed Anna Maria (18-8) gets Salve Regina on Thursday night. Good luck to the Seahawks trying to contain the Amcats offense.
You face Anna Maria and hope that you can minimize the scoring of Anthony Click (CCC Player-of-the-Year) and Chris Pinsonault (put up 30+ at the Bennett Center). You succeed except that Anthony turns into the passer-of-the-year with seven assists while 5’11” Chris hauls in seven rebounds.
How do you stop an attack like that? In this one, the Scots tried to score with them and got off to a stunning 13-5 start in the first four minutes. Austin Bentson nailed a three, David Dempsey hit two layups, and Greg Walker made a jump shot and a pair of layups.
The Scots came up empty on the next four possessions and Anna Maria took the lead 15-13 with 13+ minutes left. A few minutes later Joe Barillo hit his first of a trio of first-half, long ones to give the Amcats an 18-17 advantage that would hold up the rest of the way.
Every time Joe scored the super home crowd reminded everyone that he was a freshman. I was more impressed by the fact that every time he connected on a three he made his per game average.
Later in the half Anna Maria ran nine straight and pushed the lead to double digits (37-27) for the first time. The Scots hit the last five points of the half (Austin-3, David-2) and trailed, 48-39.
A Gordon optimist would suggest that when Anna Maria cooled off in the second half (they shot 54.5% in the first half) the Scots might be able to make a run. The Amcats shot 59.1% in the second half! There was just no stopping them.
The Scots were able to keep the deficit under ten for 2+ minutes before a 10-2 spurt by the home team put Gordon in trouble, 62-45, with 14:25 left.
Gordon would outscore the Amcats, 34-31, the rest of the way but the Scots needed stops and on this night just didn’t get that job done.
Greg Walker went wild (26 points) in the meeting with Anna Maria at the Bennett Center. This time it was David Dempsey’s turn to score big. The 3rd team all-conference sophomore clicked on fourteen baskets that led to a career-high 32 points. An interesting stat (to me) is that Greg and David combined for forty points in both games.
As I referenced earlier, points weren’t the issue. Stops were. Both Brad Peterson and Joe Barillo were fifteen points above their normal averages.
Park Thomas had eighteen of his nineteen points in the second half. For fifteen minutes of the second half the Scots collected thirty-one points and Park and David scored all of them.
Gordon finishes 11-15 and loses Greg and Austin in the process. Greg made 2nd team all-conference for his productive season. Austin finished with a career game in assists and certainly earned a place every season on the all-effort team. I’ll miss the interaction with the Walkers and the Bentsons next season.
It will be interesting to see what the 2011-12 team looks like. Rumors of players coming in are just that until we see them in our uniform in November.
The Commonwealth Coast Conference will be different next season with just ten (of fourteen) teams remaining. Regis, Colby-Sawyer, New England, and Anna Maria are joining other conferences. CCC teams will play each other twice (that’s eighteen games) and have seven nonleague games.
This completes nine seasons of following the team for me. I thank God for the opportunity. I also thank my wife (Julie) for her support and encouragement. It has been a blessing to be part of the Gordon family. In nine months we’re already underway with the 2011-12 season. Enjoy the off-season!