(Wenham) Gordon finished a 19-6 regular season with a narrow, 86-83, win over Nichols on Senior Day on Saturday afternoon at the Bennett Center.
Seniors David Dempsey and Jordan Kelly and their families were honored before the game.
The Scots 14-4 Commonwealth Coast Conference record earned them the #2 seed in the post-season tournament. They will host #7 seed Roger Williams (7-11) on Tuesday night (7PM) at the Bennett Center.
Gordon defeated RWU twice during the regular season. In one of those victories Alex Carnes went off for thirty-nine points.
However, those previous stats versus the Hawks should be disregarded.
In most tourney games, the defense gets a lot tighter and the pressure builds.
Meanwhile, back to the game you thought you would read about, the Scots led from start to finish but nearly gave this one away after having a twenty-point (74-54) lead with 9 ½ minutes left.
The Bison (13-12) got to within one point (84-83) with nine seconds left after a Christian Horton three.
Gordon called a timeout and Coach Tod Murphy put Taylor Bajema into the game. That move paid off big-time. Taylor received the inbounds pass, got fouled, and swished both free throws to get Gordon a three-point cushion. Freshman Irving Eggleston’s good-look, 3-point attempt, from the top of the key with two seconds left, missed. Overtime was avoided and the Scots had win #19.
Gordon has won seven straight and twelve of thirteen. Those wins sure are nice but my most recent memory of the 2012-13 team will be of them getting outscored, 29-12, in the last 9 ½ minutes of the Nichols game.
Chief culprit in the shaky finish? Turnovers. Seventeen in the second half. Three in a row to start the last 2:15.
Close second culprit? Late-game free throws. The Scots missed four-of-eight free throws in the last 2:45 of the game including the front-end of two one-and-one’s.
Despite those two downers, the Scots played a terrific first thirty minutes. The shots were falling and the passing was as good as I’ve seen all season.
Gordon led, 51-36, at the half.
Gordon was credited with twenty-eight assists which was a season high and maybe a school record. I went back five years and saw nothing better.
Park Thomas had eight assists which ties a season-high for him. He made a long bounce-pass down the lane to David Dempsey cutting in from the right that was a thing of beauty.
David Dempsey (23 points) led all scorers. He added six assists to offset six turnovers and ended up with an Efficiency Stat of +21. Part of the reason for that good number was eight rebounds, two blocks, and a steal.
David had his sixth twenty-point game of the season. He had two dunks in this game.
Luke Hamilton (15 points) had a season-high in points, making five 3’s.
James Ek had a career-high eight points including two 3-pointers. One of the long ones had NBA distance.
Alex Carnes ended up with thirteen points and a rolled ankle. The Gordon faithful will certainly be hoping that Alex is back to full speed on Tuesday night against Roger Williams.
The CCC’s top scorer (Ryan Sheehan) was limited to four points and had ice packs on his knees afterwards.
Nichols was paced in scoring by sophomore Matt Langadas (19 points) and freshman Irving Eggleston (18 points).
The Bison had thirteen players put up points. My sense was that the visitors went heavy into their reserves after going down by twenty and it was the reserves who responded to make things very, very interesting over the last 9 ½ minutes.
A nice reception was held afterwards where I had good food and learned the difference between “filtered” and “unfiltered.”
I noticed in the Bennett Center rafters that there is a nice space next to the 2009-10 CCC basketball championship banner.
Is the 2012-13 team ready to fill that space? I like their chances.
The teams that have defeated Gordon during the regular season (Curry twice and Western New England once) are in the other bracket.
The Scots have twice defeated the teams (Wentworth, Roger Williams, Nichols) that are in their bracket.
The 2009-10 championship team defeated Curry, 56-54, at the Bennett Center to win the title. A championship rematch with the same team would be in Milton since the Colonels are the #1 seed.
Top Five Players in this game in efficiency:
David Dempsey +21
Luke Hamilton +21
Matt Langadas +17
Irving Eggleston +16
Alex Carnes +14
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.)