(Wenham MA) There was no question that Andre Makris got the straightaway 3-pointer off in time.
The question was whether Andre’s shot would win the game (by a point) for Endicott or would Gordon escape with a two-point victory and an opening win in the Commonwealth Coast Conference.
On this Wednesday night at the jumping Bennett Center, the Scots (2-4) won by two points, 68-66, in about as exciting a finish as you can imagine.
This was a game in which Gordon took the lead early and went up by as many as fourteen points (26-12) in the first half.
The visiting Gulls (4-2) got all the way back and took their only lead (42-40) a minute plus into the second half.
The Scots regained the lead and had their advantage up to seven (53-46) but Endicott wouldn’t quit. The Gulls were within one possession most of the last ten minutes and were tied three times the rest of the way, the last time being 66-66 with 2:13 left.
That final 2:13 was wild. Gordon turned it over. Endicott missed a shot. Gordon missed a shot. Endicott turned it over.
But with forty-nine seconds left, Park Thomas beat Greg Jacques off the dribble and avoided the block attempt of Deven Richardson to give Gordon a two-point (68-66) lead. Incredibly, the Scots would never get out of their defensive end the rest of the game!
Endicott had the ball, after Park’s layup, with plenty of time left and, as it turned out, plenty of shot attempts. The Gulls put up three shots and had two of them blocked by Hans Miersma.
But there were still nine second left and Endicott still had the ball. Andre Makris got a very good look at an NBA-length three from the top of the key right at the end of those nine seconds. Granted, Hans Miersma (6-9) made a run at him but the look was clean. Andre’s shot was wide left and the celebrating began in the student section.
Gordon has now defeated Endicott three straight times.
Last season in the home game with Endicott, Shaun Roach surprised everyone with a 16-point performance that had much to do with Gordon’s, 70-63, win on January 15th.
The big surprise this time? Luke Hamilton. He was awesome on both ends of the court. Luke (6-3/senior) had a remarkable defensive game against John Henault.
John made the Commonwealth Coast Conference second team last season and came into this game averaging 19.4 points per game. Luke defended John into a 0-for-13 evening!
The real surprise was on the offensive end. Luke had been shutout the previous game versus Salem State and had scored a total of fourteen points through five games. Against Endicott he gets fifteen points making 4-of-5 three’s. Go figure!
Another surprise was the minutes (12) and points (5) from freshman Dominic Lauture. Dominic had only played a minute in five games but he came on versus Endicott in the first half when Park Thomas picked up his second foul. Dominic contributed early when his five points were part of a 10-0 Gordon run that gave them a fourteen-point lead (26-12) in the first half.
Senior Greg Jacques (transfer from Bentley) had a big night for Endicott with twenty-one points and four steals.
An important sequence was in the second half when Stephen Basden picked up his 4th foul. The freshman from Lynn complained about the foul and got a technical foul. That gave him five fouls and he was lost to Endicott for the last 16 1/2 minutes of the game. Stephen (I saw him play the last two seasons at Governor’s Academy) had been doing a solid defensive job on Park Thomas. Park had nine points after Stephen left including the winning basket.
Missing from Endicott was Lance Greene. Lance is now a graduate assistant at Springfield College. I can guarantee you that the ball would have been in Lance’s hands during much of Endicott’s final possession if he had been available. Two years ago, in a tie game at the Bennett Center, Lance put up the winning score.
The home crowd was terrific. On their feet the whole way, they never let up.
The Gulls did a nice job defending Hans Miersma. An extra defender slid over to help every time Hans touched the ball. Hans was held to eight points but still contributed in a big way with five blocks including two in the last seventeen seconds of the game.
Gordon travels to Dudley (MA) to play Nichols at noon on Saturday. The Bisons routed Roger Williams in their CCC opener.
Endicott gets undefeated Eastern Nazarene at home on Saturday.
Alex Carnes had twelve points for Gordon while Daquan Sampson and Andre Makris did the same for Endicott.
Greg Jacques 21
Park Thomas 20
Luke Hamilton 16
Daquan Sampson 15
Hans Miersma 14
(All of the pictures above and below enlarge considerably if you click on them.)