(Wenham) Lance Greene hit a shot in the lane with three seconds left to give Endicott an exciting, 70-67, win over Gordon on Wednesday night at the Bennett Center.
The Scots looked cooked with three minutes left, down ten (67-57) but a Park Thomas three, followed by David Dempsey outside and then inside, and another Park Thomas three and Gordon was all the way back with twenty-seven seconds left.
But here was where Lance made the big play. (It was interesting that during the Gordon 10-point comeback Lance had missed all three of the Gulls’ shots.) The junior guard dribbled away the seconds as Alex Carnes defended. With less than ten seconds left Lance burst into the lane, felt contact, and put up a shot. The point was to draw foul shots. The fact that the shot went in was probably as big as surprise to Lance as it was to the rest of us. But it rattled in giving Endicott a 2-point lead with 3.9 seconds left. After a Gordon timeout, Lance stepped to the line and calmly sank the free throw giving the Gulls a 3-point lead. The Scots rushed down the floor and Park Thomas missed a very long three as the final buzzer went off.
Those of us who followed Gordon during their seven game losing streak were accustomed to this sort of ending as we sat through very late game-winners at the Bennett Center by Nichols and Curry.
With three league games left, if post-season panic hasn’t started to set in, let me show you why it should. Two teams do not make the tournament and ENC is already one of them. Another team will be eliminated. Gordon 7-8, UNE 6-9, and Western New England 5-10 are the candidates for elimination. The Scots have left on their schedule: #1 Salve Regina at Salve, #2 Wentworth at home, and Nichols (which beat them at the Bennett Center) at Nichols. If you see any easy ones there, let me know!
But, and this is important, Gordon has had realistic chances to win every one of their eight losses and so anything can happen the rest of the way. Somehow this team will find a way to make the post-season tournament.
David Dempsey had an awesome second half against Endicott collecting seventeen points on 7-for-9 shooting. In the first meeting Erik Callo (now off the team) limited David to thirteen points. There was no one around “limiting” David this time. He ended up with twenty-five points to go with twelve rebounds. The points matched a season high. The double/double was his seventh of the season.
David’s point total has now reached 956, by my figuring.
This game was tied at 41-41 seven minutes into the second half. The visitors built a ten-point lead (57-47) six minutes later and had that same secure-looking advantage four minutes later (67-57) with three minutes left before the ten-point Scot run set up the exciting finish.
Good crowd on hand. I have not been able to figure out if there is any organization to The Pit. I hear them after baskets but where are they in between? Wentworth on Tuesday night is the last home game. How about making an attempt to reach the 6th Man level at least once before the season is over??
Lance Greene had nineteen points including thirteen in the second half. Andre Makris tallied fourteen points and eight rebounds. Tyler Burkhart was 5-for-5 getting ten points.
Park Thomas continues to improve. His huge triples in the late game comeback was no surprise as he’s second in the CCC in 3-point percentage. The reduction in his turnovers has been noticeable – only a total of seven over the last four games.
Hans Miersma was well defended in close by a fellow freshman, Matt Kneece. Hans suffered through one-for-ten shooting but down the other end topped everyone with thirteen rebounds.
The halftime score was 31-25. Neither teams scored in the last 2 ½ minutes. During that dry spell, the Scots missed five shots and had two turnovers. In these close losses, those production lulls fall into the “if only” files.
Gordon is now 8-14 overall and 7-8 in the Commonwealth Coast Conference. Endicott is 14-8 overall and 9-6 in the CCC.