(Beverly) Probably a first.
Gordon (16-6) swept the season series with Endicott (9-13) defeating the Gulls, 72-59, on Wednesday night in Commonwealth Coast Conference action.
Hans Miersma (20 points and 13 rebounds) was the dominating player in the game. The 6-9 sophomore was able to get the ball in the sweet spot down near the block many times and made Endicott pay.
Hans had thirteen points in the second half and teammate David Dempsey had twelve points. Both those contributions were needed as the Gulls made things interesting late.
I guarantee you that anyone at the game will tell you that Hans and David had a hand in making things “interesting” by combining to miss eight free throws. Then there was Hans’ air ball from the line…
But that scary free throw shooting aside, Gordon had the right answers when EC came close a couple of times in the second half.
In one such instance, the Scots had a fifteen point lead (40-25) with 14 ½ minutes left but the Gulls ran ten straight points (two Nick Mazzotta free throws, Lance Greene layup, Bennett Knowlton three, and Dan Powers three) to sprint to within five (40-35) with 12 minutes left.
Another time, Endicott trailed only, 58-52, with 4 minutes left. Let’s face it, the Gulls were a couple of made shots away from pulling even.
However, in the next minute a Hans Miersma jumper and a David Dempsey old-fashioned three hoisted the lead back to, 63-52, and finished the Gulls.
David Dempsey (18 points and 6 rebounds) had a strong game. His exit with his 4th foul with eight minutes left, and a six-point GC lead, was of concern but his teammates picked up the lack. When the 6-5 senior returned to action 2 ½ minutes later the Gordon lead had grown to ten (58-48).
Endicott was done in by poor shooting. They missed forty-two shots and ended up at 32.3%. Good defense by Gordon? Maybe, but the Gulls appeared to be intimidated by the Gordon shot blockers and settled often for low-percentage outside shots rather than driving.
One particular segment of poor shooting put Endicott in a hole they never recovered from. This segment stretched from 2:59 of the first half to 18:30 of the second half. Let’s call it 4 ½ minutes. The Gulls came into those 4 ½ minutes leading, 20-17. When it was over they were down 32-22. That’s a 15-2 run for those of you keeping track at home.
The Gulls made just one-of-nine shot attempts during those unproductive minutes. Luke Hamilton nailed two 3’s in the breakout time frame.
The Gordon victory (11-4 in the CCC) enables the Scots to keep pace with Wentworth in second place in the CCC. Curry continues to win. They have only two CCC losses with three games left. They also hold the tie-breaker over GC because they defeated Gordon twice.
Meanwhile, Endicott (4-11 in the CCC) is in trouble at the other end of the standings. They are currently in 9th place and out of the post-season tournament. It will be difficult to imagine last year’s CCC champions, and the preseason pick to win the CCC this year, not making the tournament.
The Scots are back to rolling again. They’ve won four straight and nine of their last ten. They are 15-2 since the loss to Lynchburg in December.
Ahead, weather permitting, is a Saturday game with Salve Regina at the Bennett Center. That matchup will be followed with a trip to Wentworth on Tuesday night and the regular season finisher at home on Saturday against Nichols. Where did the season go?
It was great to witness yet another game in which the opponent made a strong second-half run yet the Scots found ways to persevere and get a win. The best part is that no individual player stands out in these crunch-time responses game after game.
Who can forget the sixteen points Shaun Roach had in the first Endicott game to hold off the Gulls? Shaun played just a few minutes in the rematch but up stepped Hans and David and Park Thomas (14 points and 5 assists) to carry home the win in the second half.
Lance Greene (13 points) and Lachlan Magee (12 points) paced Endicott. John Henault (9 points) had an off night hitting just 3-of-14 shots. John is 4th in the CCC in scoring averaging 16 points per game.
I was impressed with the precision of the Endicott dance team. The Gulls also had a pretty good band.
The Scots shot 58% in the second half.
Top Five Players in this game in efficiency:
Hans Miersma +27
David Dempsey +17
Park Thomas +17
Andre Makris +13
Lance Greene +11
Team stats for this game in efficiency:
Efficiency is arrived at by subtracting the bad stats (missed field goals, missed free throws, turnovers) from the good stats (rebounds, points, assists, blocks, steals).
(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge if you click on them.)