(Wenham) On to the finals.
Gordon (21-6) overpowered Wentworth, 73-54, on Thursday night at the Bennett Center and earned the right to a third try at the Curry Colonels.
The winner at Curry on Saturday (game time – 2PM) becomes the Commonwealth Coast Conference champion.
This will be the first time the Scots have been to the CCC finals since 2010. Gordon won its first conference basketball title on February 27, 2010 against Curry (56-54) in arguably the most exciting game ever played at the Bennett Center. Ask anyone who was there!
In tonight’s game, Wentworth had trouble scoring points (16 points in the first half). The Leopards went down by double digits (23-13) with 7 ½ minutes left in the first half and never could never get inside of ten points the rest of the way.
The best the #3 seed could do in the second half was a fourteen point deficit (45-31).
Shots were falling for the Scots and for the second playoff game in a row the concern about a loss was missing for most of the second half.
Hans Miersma was the dominant player in the game. He had an offensive efficiency rating of +29 because of a stat line that included: 14 points, 10 rebounds, 4 blocks, and 2 assist. The CCC’s Defensive Player of the Year had no turnovers.
The Scots broke open a close game (15-13) with a run of eleven straight over 4 ½ minutes. The catalyst was James Ek coming off the bench and nailing two 3’s in less than a minute. Also contributing points was Hans with an old-fashioned three and a jump shot.
That surge gave Gordon a, 26-13, spread at 6:18 of the first half and Wentworth, on this night, couldn’t muster the firepower to put a collection of points together to get inside ten points afterwards.
In the second half, the Scots turned a 45-31 advantage into a twenty-one point lead (52-31 at 10:21) with a run of seven straight points. The damage was done by Jason Dempsey (jump shot), Alex Carnes (free throw), Taylor Bajema (jump shot), and Hans Miersma (layup).
Gordon had things working inside and outside. Nothing in either area was easy but patience often produced high percentage attempts. The Scots shot 54.9% for the game. That’s the sixth straight game they’ve shot over 50%.
In double figures for Wentworth were: Derek Mayo (13), Colin Johnson (11), Nico Donato (10), and JohnMichael Fragnoli (10).
JohnMichael and Colin had dunks during the game.
The Scots have won nine straight and fourteen of their last fifteen games. Last loss was to Curry and Saturday they have a chance to avenge the defeat and take the title.
Jason Dempsey (10 points) had a season high in offensive rebounds (5).
James Ek’s nine points are a career high. Nice to have players come off the bench and make positive contributions.
Luke Hamilton, with his folks from NC in the stands, tallied thirteen points all in the second half. The junior has been in double figures in four straight games.
This was Hans Miersma’s eleventh double/double. Talk about hot, in the last seven games the sophomore has made 28-of-36 shot attempts. He was 6-for-6 in this game.
Park Thomas (11 points) tied a season high in rebounds (7).
David Dempsey was held to a quiet (for him) seven points. The beauty of the 2012-13 team is that one player doesn’t have to carry the scoring load in every game in order for the Scots to win.
The Bennett Center crowd was large and noisy. They filled the sixth man role very nicely. I wonder how many of them will take the trip to Milton on Saturday to look in at a possible Gordon championship? Having seen the title game at the Bennett Center in 2010 I can tell you that there’s nothing quite like it.
Special thanks to Gordon SID Bess Watson and her staff for taking care of my stat needs.
Scott Allenby and wife Lindsey were in the house. They are expecting their third child.
Top five in Offensive Efficiency Rating:
Hans Miersma +29
Nico Donato +18
Jason Dempsey +16
Luke Hamilton +15
Park Thomas +15
Team totals in Offensive Efficiency Rating:
The Offensive Efficiency Rating number 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 enlarge if you click on them.)