(Wenham) Gordon enlarged a narrow lead down the stretch and defeated Wentworth, 66-53, for their first Commonwealth Coast Conference win and a nice ending to the 2012 part of their season.
The crowd at the Bennett Center had plenty to cheer about as Gordon took over late and won going away.
The victory may not remove the hurt of the last Gordon/Wentworth get together (loss in OT in the CCC quarterfinals at Wentworth) but it certainly showed off plenty of positives.
Park Thomas had a career-high twenty points and Hans Miersma had his fourth double/double to pace the Scots.
The final score, and its thirteen-point margin, are totally misleading in describing how this game went. It was a two-point game (47-45) with five minutes left with the ultimate winner far from determined.
But down that final five-minute stretch, the Scots (5-4) were terrific. They made a few outside shots but it was the foul shooting late (14-for-16) that carried Gordon to their third straight win.
What a difference a year makes! The 2011-12 team all too often ran into one sort of difficulty or another in that season and found losses where wins looked possible. This time around, with another year of experience, the ability to hang in under pressure has shown up late in second halves.
Within two (47-45), Wentworth had four straight empty possessions while Gordon was collecting seven points. That was where the game got away from the Leopards who had won five straight.
This was best game I have seen Park play and his efficiency stat (+22) backs me up. Park had twelve of his twenty points in the second half including 9-of-10 free throws. More impressive to me was his ZERO turnovers. Considering how the junior was hounded by denial defense most of the way, this was a major accomplishment.
Taylor Bajema (15 points) had eleven of his points in the second half. The sophomore made four straight free throws in the last five minutes.
The Leopards (5-3) struggled with their shooting in the second half. John-Michael Fragnoli was the lone bright light with eleven second-half points on 4-for-7 shooting. His teammates combined to shoot 4-for-20 in the second half.
Wentworth carried the lead through much of the first half and the game appeared to be heading for a down-the-stretch close one. The late, consistent shooting of the Scots, however, made for a different ending.
6-9 Hans Miersma had ten rebounds and twelve points. Those who suspect that basketball is a contact sport, after all, would see/hear plenty of evidence to back up that conclusion down in the low post where Hans hangs out.
Corey Therriault had twelve points for the Leopards.
Wentworth next plays in the NYU Holiday Classic on December 29th against Clark University.
The Scots will be off for nineteen days before facing Wheelock College on the road at 7:30PM on January 3rd.
Top Five Players in Efficiency in Wentworth/Gordon game:
Park Thomas +22
Taylor Bajema +17
John-Michael Fragnoli +17
Corey Therriault +17
Hans Miersma +12
Team Stat? Gordon +74 Wentworth +44
#1 – good stats (rebounds, points, assists, blocks, steals). #2 – bad stats (missed field goals, missed free throws, turnovers).
A player’s efficiency in a particular game is arrived at by subtracting the sum of the bad stats from the sum of good stats.
A special thanks to those of you showing us support regarding the tragedy in Newtown. Our daughter and son-in-law live there with our two granddaughters. Neither of the girls (Sarah/Maddie) are in the Newtown schools but they know students who have connections to victims. Julie and I will be traveling to Newtown next Sunday to be with Adam/Stephanie/Sarah/Maddie through Christmas. Your prayers will be greatly appreciated as we attempt to provide God’s comfort.
(The pictures above and below enlarge considerably if you click on them.)