(Newtown CT) Gordon did almost everything right.
When the game with Fisher ended, however, an ongoing Scots’ deficiency overrode the positives and led to a 79-76 loss on Thursday night.
(My wife and I are in Newtown tending our granddaughters.)
Negligent ball care (26 turnovers) ruined the glow of outstanding performances by Hans Miersma, Jason Dempsey, and Taylor Bajema.
The contest was non-league and played in Lynn (MA).
Even factoring in the frightening turnover total, the Scots (2-6) were more efficient (96) than were the 8-3 Falcons (88). For those new to what “efficient” means let me explain how the total is figured: I take the negative stats (missed field goals, missed free throws, turnovers) and subtract them from the positive stats (points, rebounds, blocks, steals, assists). Usually the losing team comes out on the wrong end of the efficiency stats but not this time.
A look at the efficiency numbers however did reveal remarkable games by Hans (37), Jason (23), and Taylor (19). If all you knew were those personal efficiency numbers you’d almost be certain a GC win had happened but instead even those numbers weren’t enough to avert a third straight loss.
Gordon had a field day in close to the basket getting 46 points in the paint. Taking most of their shots in high-percentage areas helped the Scots shoot a remarkable 55.4%, which was a season high.
This game was close throughout. The Falcons from Boston took the lead for good with five minutes left. The rest of the way backbreaking 3’s by Kyle Holmes (2) and Tyler Shuler (1), plus seven straight made free throws in the last thirty-four seconds, denied GC comeback attempts.
Kyle ended up with sixteen points and four steals. Tyler added eighteen points and three steals.
This was easily Gordon freshman Carter Bras’ best game. The newcomer contributed seven points and five rebounds.
The Falcon’s game-long tenacity on defense was the ultimate game decider. Fisher forced twenty-six Gordon turnovers and even more important turned the miscues into thirty-three points! So the average cost to GC for every turnover was over one point. That is very heavy price to pay. From my long-range vantage point that looks like a game with an overdose of “steal-two’s” to me.
In the games I’ve actually seen, most of the turnovers have happened because guards try to dribble through double teams or because players in the paint are untuned to weakside defense giving help. In both scenarios GC players are getting ganged up on by multiple defenders and are still trying to dribble in such a high risk setup.
The bottom line is that if Gordon had tamed the turnovers they would have won the game. The Scots will get a chance to attempt some of that “taming” at 5PM on Saturday versus 1-5 Lesley in Cambridge. Last game before the Christmas break.
Name drop for me from the Lesley roster: Casey Blanchard. The name seemed familiar to me. Sure enough research revealed that the last time I saw the Lesley junior play was in the Division 3 Massachusetts state baseball championship against Newburyport in June of 2011. Casey had two hits in Pioneer Valley’s 9-4 loss. That game was played on the same day the Stanley Cup Boston Bruins had their parade through the streets of Boston.
It is hard to imagine a college, like Fisher, not having its own gymnasium, isn’t it. But it wasn’t that long ago that Gordon played its home games at Beverly Memorial. Okay, it was long ago but the luxury of having an on-campus athletic facility is not lost on those of us who go back to those off-campus days.
Hans Miersma 37 (16 points/18 rebounds/7 blocks)
Jason Dempsey 23 (18 points/8 rebounds)
Tyler Shular 21 (18 points/3 steals)
Taylor Bajema 19 (21 points/4 assists)
Kyle Holmes 15 (16 points/4 steals)