(Wenham) Gordon coach Tod Murphy opted to start his five seniors on Senior Night and boy did it pay off.
The seniors made their first five shots and when they left after five minutes the Scots had a 13-12 lead. Gordon never trailed the rest of the way and defeated Wentworth, 80-57, on Tuesday night at the Bennett Center.
Basketball is an easy game when you make shots and take care of the ball and that is exactly the way it went for the home team on this special night. Gordon shot a sizzling 59.6% from the floor and limited their turnovers to fourteen.
Jon Himottu, JT Himmelstein, Stephen Herod, Adam Herod, and Garrett Harden were all recognized prior to the game as were their parents. You can imagine the reaction of the Bennett Center crowd when not only were these players recognized but then they all started. And then to have them make shots and play 15-8 Wentworth even for five minutes revved up the home support even more.
Gordon’s normal starters came on and surprised more than a few of us by running sixteen unanswered points over the next 6+ minutes and opening up a 29-12 gap between themselves and the Leopards. Wentworth struggled to overcome that deficit the rest of the way with little success.
This key run of points was sparked by Park Thomas. The sophomore had two triples and two free throws. Hans Miersma had two layups while JT Himmelstein and David Dempsey added layups.
By halftime Wentworth had the lead down to twelve (39-27). For those of us who have followed the Scots that lead was large but nine times this season the second half had played out into a bad ending. But let’s go back to what makes a game easy – good shooting and few turnovers. Those two pluses kept right on rolling in the second half.
The lead got to twenty (49-29) after 4 ½ minutes and the rest of the way was actually relaxing to watch. Things went well enough so that back came the seniors to finish out the game. The Gordon faithful couldn’t have scripted this game any better than it actually went!
Gordon (9-15 overall / 8-9 in the Commonwealth Coast Conference) had lost two straight and nine of their last eleven. This was a clear look at how good the Scots can be and why they have as good a chance as anyone in the CCC tournament starting next Tuesday.
Wentworth (15-8/11-6) had won six of seven. Gordon may be playing them in the first round of the tournament.
Park Thomas (18 points) led all scorers. In my opinion, this was the best game he’s played for the Scots. He’s had more points in a game (19 last year) but when you add seven assists (all in the second half) with the points and three steals you’ve got something special.
Garrett Harden (12 points) has missed most of the season with a thumb injury. He can score points and could be a difference maker in the games ahead.
David Dempsey added eleven to his career total. Will he score fifteen points at Nichols (Saturday) and reach 1000 points?
Corey Therriault (15) and Adam Dombrowski (12) were the top point getters for the Leopards. Wentworth hosts Southern Maine on Thursday.
Gordon matched their season-high in steals (10). Their eighty points were the second highest of the season.
The Scots end their regular season at Nichols on Saturday afternoon. It is painful to recall the late Bison three that did in Gordon on January 21st at the Bennett Center.
After the Nichols game it will be possible to shake out the pairings for the CCC tournament. Gordon will definitely be on the road in Round One on Tuesday.
(Be sure to click on the underlined words to see the senior pictures. All the pictures enlarge if you click on them.)