Monthly Archives: December 2017

Gordon warms up and whips Whittier 97-85

Jaren Yang (16 points)

Jake Haar (16 points)

(Amesbury MA) Nice finish to 2017.

Gordon defeated Whittier, 97-85, on Saturday afternoon in California.

The Scots (5-5) rallied back in the first half and gained separation with an eight-point run in the second half, to down the Poets (3-8).

GC split their two games in the Golden State, losing to Redlands on Thursday.

The Scots played badly against Redlands in an 87-56 thrashing but were very impressive today against Whittier (3-8).

The best part?  West Coaster’s Jaren Yang (San Francisco) and Jake Haar (Huntington Beach) had their best games of the season.

The Scots trailed by seven (17-10) 5 ½ minutes into the game but seven points from Eric Demers and a putback by Parker Omslaer led to a 19-19 tie two minutes later.

In the second half, GC gained separation.  They took a 66-64 lead with ten minutes left and turned it into a double-digit spread (74-64) in less than a minute.  Three’s by Josh Ribeiro and Noah Szilagyi, surrounded a steal by Josh Crutchfield that led Noah to a layup, provided the breakaway offense.

Whittier, which played the night before, did not have the legs to make a run at Gordon the rest of the way.

Efficiency Chart

Victor Nwaba 28 (26 points,8 rebounds)

Garrisson Duvivier 21 (12 pts,12 rebs)

Eric Demers 18 (20 pts)

Jaren Yang 18 (16 pts, 4/4 3’s)

Jake Haar 17 (16 pts)

Gordon 117

Whittier 81

Eric Demers had seventeen points in the first half.

Gordon will return to action on January 4th against Western New England in Chicopee (MA).  Snow is forecast for that day.  Just sayin!

The Scots have ten games scheduled for January including six at home.

I did not spring for the $5 Whittier wanted in order to let me watch the game.  They did have free audio.

Box from the game






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Gordon fails to thaw out in 87-56 loss in California to Redlands

Josh Crutchfield had a career-high eleven points against Redlands.

(Sellersville PA) Sometimes it takes a while to adjust to weather that is at least fifty degrees warmer than where you are coming from.

The team from California (Redlands) had no such problem. They were warm from the get-go and ran away from still-chilled Gordon, 87-56, on Thursday afternoon.

The Bulldogs (3-6) couldn’t miss while the visitors from frigid Wenham had an alarmingly cold performance.

The home team led from beginning to end riding extremely accurate three-point shooting.  Redlands had separation by halftime (42-24) and bench-clearing kicked in during the second half.

The first-half, long-range shooting differential gives you the game in a nutshell: Redland (9-for-14), Gordon (1-for-9).

There were points to be had but Gordon (4-5) couldn’t cash in.  Redlands, on the other hand, broke the bank!  Eight different Bulldogs had success from beyond the arc.

Freshman Josh Crutchfield (11) was the only player to reach double figures for GC.  Josh lives about an hour away from Redlands in Ladera Ranch.  He may have had a cheering section on hand.

Senior Steve Vampatella rejected a Redlands shot.

Eric Demers came into the game averaging 22 points per game.  Redlands junior Trevor Baker held Eric to a quiet two points in the first half when this game slipped away from the Scots.  Eric finished with a 4-for-15 afternoon.  The Scots visit nearby Whittier on Saturday (6PM our time) and will be hoping that Eric returns to the 18-for-31 form he displayed in GC’s two previous wins.

Efficiency Chart

Joey Sponheim 25 (9-for-14, 23 points)

Trevor Baker 19 (9 assists, 11 points)

David Menary 17 (15 points)

Garrisson Duvivier 14 (11 rebounds)

Redlands 108

Gordon 51

Low grades for the Redlands feed.  The stopping and going was enough to give you a headache.  On the other hand, the way the game was going it may have been better to not see most of it.

Trying to grasp the purpose of the Bulldogs full-court pressure in the closing minutes, already up by thirty.

I did see enough of the game to catch Steve Vampatella’s block down the stretch.

I was also able to see Josh Ribeiro on the Gordon bench but inactive.  He is a very important contributor to the Scots.




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Eric Demers (31 points) guides Gordon past Emerson 89-62

Eric Demers had a career day connecting on twelve shots in a 31-point performance

Geoff Gray was one of several Emerson defenders who tried to cool off the GC sophomore

(Wenham MA) “When Eric is shooting the ball the way he was today, there aren’t too many teams that are going to beat us,” explained Gordon coach Tod Murphy after the Scots routed Emerson, 89-62.

The “Eric” Coach Murphy was referring to was sophomore Eric Demers who had a couldn’t-miss Saturday afternoon with a career-high 31 points.

The Lions (6-5) put at least three different defenders (by my count) on Eric with no noticeable decline in his production.  The Falmouth (MA) grad made only three from long range but had nine other makes off drives and jump shots.

The Scots (4-4) broke away from a 12-7 deficit in the first five minutes and followed Eric’s eighteen-point, first-half to go on a 42-20 run over the final fifteen minutes of that half.

Josh Ribeiro pressured by two Emerson defenders

I expected that Emerson would cut into GC’s halftime 49-32 spread in the second half, but I was wrongly assuming that Eric would cool off. He didn’t, and his additional thirteen points led the Scots (4-4) into leads of over twenty points.

On this afternoon Emerson had no defensive answers and when Eric left the game for good, with eleven minutes remaining, Gordon was in front, 71-43.

“It was a great game to end with before the Christmas break,” added Coach Murphy.  “It was truly a team win with everyone on the roster getting to play in front of the home crowd.”

I told Coach Murphy at the outset of my interview that he was really going to have to work hard to find anything he didn’t like in the win over Emerson.  He laughed and said, “Coaches can always find something to point to that needs improvement.  I still think that our defense needs to improve significantly.”

With the outside game cooking, the Scots inside game wasn’t in the heavy demand it usually is.  Coach Murphy was quick to praise post-player Garrisson Duvivier: “Garrisson is such a team player that he saw how hot Eric was and kept feeding him the ball.”

Garrisson, himself, did get a terrific pass from teammate Josh Ribeiro that set him up for a crowd-pleasing jam.

Garrisson Duvivier dunks and teammate Eric Demers reacts

Geoff Gray had 21 points and 9 rebounds for Emerson

Junior Geoff Gray (Newton South) maintained the team-leading stats he came in with getting twenty-one points and pulling down nine rebounds.  The rest of the team from Boston suffered through a dismal afternoon.

Efficiency chart

Eric Demers 30

Geoff Gray 21

Garrisson Duvivier 19 (10 rebounds)

Josh Ribeiro 15 (8 points,4 assists)

Gordon 105

Emerson 50

Two Gordon freshman put up nice numbers: Parker Omslaer had six rebounds while Josh Crutchfield had six assists.

Will Lantier rejects an inside attempt by Garrisson Duvivier

Emerson fourth-year coach Bill Curley is the former Boston College star who, like Coach Murphy, had an NBA career.

The Gordon team will be getting together after Christmas for a flight to California to face Redlands (December 28) and Whittier (December 30).

The Dempsey brothers (Dave & Jason) took this one in as well as Hans Miersma.

No sign of Emerson alums Jay Leno and Sam Presti (GM at Oklahoma City) in the house.

Box from the game

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge when you click on them.)

Eric Demers

Josh Crutchfield leads a break

Garrisson Duvivier positions for a rebound battle with John Geary and Jack O’Connor

Matt Valles spins in for two

Eric Demers gets open for a pass

Jack O’Connor looks to score as Jaren Yang defends

Josh Crutchfield drives on Jared Jackson

Josh Crutchfield had six assists

Parker Omslaer collects one of his six rebounds

Steve Vampatella applies some defense

Cody Hunt (5 points)

Brett Bowman




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Gordon in the zone defeating Johnson and Wales 88-80

Eric Demers had 24 points and made 8-of-8 free throws

Garrisson Duvivier poured in 27 points and had 9 rebounds

(Amesbury MA) The Scots broke out a zone defense and it worked against non-league Johnson & Wales on Tuesday night in Providence, Rhode Island.

The final was 88-80.

GC had lost three of their previous four games.

Zone defenses don’t always work because too many open shots turn up.  On this night the Wildcats, however, couldn’t capitalize long-range missing twenty-three of thirty-one attempts. While J&W struggled from beyond the arc, the Scots had a season low in attempts (seventeen) but a season high in 3-point percentage (47%).

The Scots had terrific games from Garrisson Duvivier and Eric Demers.  Garrisson had twenty-seven points and nine rebounds.  Eric contributed twenty-four points and made eight-of-eight free throws.

This game had a crunch time and the talented two-some were both there to make sure that this one didn’t slip away from Gordon.

The visitors led by nine (79-70) with five minutes left.  Credit J&W, they rallied to 81-79 in three minutes assuring us of an exciting final two minutes.

The Scots produced points in every possession down the stretch while the home team marred their’s with a turnover, two missed three’s, and a missed free throw.  Eric Demers made both free throw attempts while his junior teammate, Garrisson, got to the basket for a layup, made a free throw, and had the GC bench jumping up and down with a thunderous dunk set up by Jaren Yang.

Sometimes the difference between winning and losing is taking good care of the ball.  Three days ago, Eric and Garrisson combined for twelve turnovers. Tonight? ONE turnover.

The Wildcats did get quite a few good looks on the perimeter but inside was a different story.  J&W had few drives to the basket.  They did pass their way into layups on occasion, but they were, for the most part, content to fire from long range.

Just as zone defenses can lead to good looks, so can full-court pressure lead to the same thing.  The Wildcats applied the pressure and when GC handled it they often turned up high-percentage shots.

A key player for Gordon was Josh Ribeiro.  The Scots struggled to score points in the first half, but Josh came off the bench and gave them ten points in ten minutes of playing time.

GC Coach Tod Murphy probably wondered about that zone defense in the first half as junior Matt Madoian poured in sixteen points to establish a career high in points.  You expected that a cooling off period might follow and it did.

Brian Hogan-Gary was terrific for the Wildcats.  His stat line included; twenty points, eleven rebounds, and seven assists.  Brian was closing in on a triple/double!

The Wildcats had won four straight.

I couldn’t tell from the J&W feed whether Wildcat Willie (official mascot) or Emiril Lagasse (celebrity chef who graduated from J&W) were in the house.

Gordon (3-4) host Emerson on Saturday afternoon in non-league play.  I wonder if we’ll see some more of that zone?

Johnson & Wales was 28-3 in 2015-16.

Efficiency Chart

Garrisson Duvivier 27

Brian Hogan-Gary 27

Eric Demers 24 (8-for-8 on free throws)

Matt Madoian 21 (24 points)

Jaren Yang 12 (13 points, 6 rebounds)

Gordon 92

Johnson & Wales 86

Box from the game







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Scots fizzle in OT losing to Becker 79-75

Jake Haar shoots in regulation

Jalen Robinson (3) had the game winner for Becker in overtime

(Wenham MA) Outside the snow was falling.

Inside the Bennett Center, however, the shots weren’t falling for Gordon in overtime.

The result was a 79-75 loss to Becker in non-league action on Saturday afternoon.

The Scots (2-4) have become a frustrating team to watch.  Why?  They have been streaky in either direction.  They will dazzle and then they will fizzle.

In this one, GC rallied from a ten-point deficit midway through the second half exciting the crowd along the way with nifty long-range shooting by Noah Szilagyi and Jake Haar.

Eric Demers out-of-bounds near the end of regulation

Gordon looked to have the last shot in regulation but after Eric Demers went out of bounds it was Kareem Davis rimming out a shot from the left corner that would have won it for the visitors.

The dazzle/fizzle thing reared its ugly head in overtime.  After staying with the Hawks (5-4) for 2:32 of the OT, the bottom dropped out for GC when Garrisson Duvivier fouled out.  The home team never scored another point.

Becker didn’t exactly light up the scoreboard for a while as two missed free throws, a missed layup, and two turnovers would indicate.  But when Eric Demers missed a three, Becker called a timeout with thirty-six seconds left.

Sam Durodola shoots over Matt Valles in overtime

You had to think that the Hawks would look to get either Kareem Davis (20.8 PPG) or Sam Durodola (18.6 PPG) the last shot but two freshman defenders (Josh Crutchfield and Matt Valles) prevented that from happening.

“We told Jalen Robinson that if Kareem was overplayed that he should take the ball to the basket,” explained Becker coach Brian Gorman afterward.  The 5-10 sophomore noted the coverage and drove to the basket with what turned out to be the winning basket with twenty-seven seconds left.

Plenty of time for the Scots to rally from a two-point deficit but a Josh Crutchfield pass intended for Eric Demers was intercepted by sophomore Donzell Cunningham.  Two Kareem Davis free throws followed and this game was history.

“I’ll take the win and the 5-4 record,” said Becker Coach Gorman afterwards, “but we are making too many mistakes.”

Garrisson Duvivier leaves the court after getting his 5th foul

The key play in the game?  Garrisson Duvivier fouling out.  “That was big,” added Coach Gorman.  “We couldn’t cover him.”

Garrisson had a career game rebounding (19) and added 17 points.

With Garrisson gone, the idea of going to the basket and possibly getting baskets or free throws vanished from the offensive schemes.  Another around-the-basket option needs to emerge.

Josh Crutchfield applies denial defense to Kareem Davis

I loved the tight defense Josh Crutchfield applied to Kareem Davis late in the game.  The BC junior had trouble even touching the ball!

Eric Demers made a gutsy triple near the end of regulation to tie the score.  That 3-pointer, however, would be the only one he was able to make out of eight attempts.  This follows 14-for-27 from long range in the previous three games.  Go figure!

The team from Leicester (MA) has losses to Nichols and Western New England.  Both are Commonwealth Coast Conference teams.

The Hawks were 19-9 last season.  The team has one senior (Sam Durodola).  Sam was the MVP of the New England Collegiate Conference in 2016-17.

Sam and teammate Dewayne Thomas both registered double/double’s against Gordon.

Someone appears to have convinced Jake Haar that he has to take more shots.

I am quite sure that I heard one of the Gordon spectators quoting Scripture when a Becker player was taking free throws.  Using Scripture that way crosses a line for me.

Pretty good crowd at the Bennett Center on a snowy afternoon.

The Scots visit Johnson & Wales (Providence RI) on Tuesday night.

Turnovers always get my attention.  Gordon will continue to struggle winning games when their usual top two scorers have TWELVE giveaways between them.

Tight defense?

One of Eric Demers’ turnovers could well have been the result of Kareem Davis trying to take the lower part of his uniform off.

Becker kept Gordon around by missing fourteen free throws.

Efficiency Chart

Garrisson Duvivier 24

Sam Durodola 23 (23 points,13 rebounds)

Jake Haar 17 (13 points,7 rebounds)

Dewayne Thomas 16 (13 points,12 rebounds)

Becker 78

Gordon 76

Box from the game

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably.)

Garrisson Duvivier goes over Dewayne Thomas

Eric Demers breaks ahead of Kareem Davis

Josh Ribeiro tries to drive past Dewayne Thomas

Jake Haar (13 points)

Junior Kareem Davis

Garrisson Duvivier looks for an opening

Battle in the air

Jake Haar chases Kareem Davis

Sam Durodola defended by Garrisson Duvivier

Noah Szilagyi clear for a three in front of the Gordon bench

Eric Demers gets fouled by Jamir Carr

Kareem Davis nearly won the game in regulation

Kareem Davis ices the game with two free throws in overtime



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Garrisson Duvivier reaches 1000 points as Gordon defeats Curry 86-66

Junior Garrisson Duvivier jams his way past 1000 points

Garrisson Duvivier scores from the right

(Wenham MA) Junior Garrisson Duvivier crossed the 1000-point threshold in an easy, 86-66, win over Curry on Tuesday night at the Bennett Center.

A slam dunk did the trick tonight for the 6-6 player from Brockton in the first half in Gordon’s home opener.

Curry (1-7) has now lost thirty-nine straight Commonwealth Coast Conference games dating back to February of 2015.

I spoke to Curry’s assistant coach Lambros Papalambros at halftime.  Lambros was Curry’s excellent playmaker back when the Colonels were winning CCC titles.  He told me it was tough to watch the way things were going for Curry.  “I would love to be out there playing,” he told me.  The Colonels could have used him.

Jaren Yang had four assists in Gordon’s breakaway run

The visitors from Milton (MA) hung in there for thirteen minutes of the first half (32-29) but then the wheels came off.  The Scots (2-3) tallied the next sixteen points over a 3 ½ minute span to escape to a 48-29 advantage.  The offense during the breakaway stretch was provided by Eric Demers (two 3’s), Garrisson Duvivier (dunk), and Jake Haar (two 3’s and a jump shot).  The key player in the segment?  Jaren Yang.  The senior point-guard handed out four assists.

Jake Haar making three’s was a welcome sight for the GC faithful.  After a 2-for-3 first game (Elms) Jake had struggled (by his standards) through a 4-for-14 stretch during Gordon’s recent three-game losing streak.  Tonight he was 3-for-4.  Welcome back, Jake!

Justin Kelley in flight.

Curry got itself into trouble in the first half with 3 ½ minutes of scorelessness.  Another dry stretch showed up for Curry to start the second half.  It took them 6 ½ minutes to get points on the board and the GC lead bulged to 64-33 with over thirteen minutes left.

That large lead enabled the Bennett Center crowd to get a look at Gordon’s entire roster.  It also enabled me to get pictures of the newcomers.

Eric Demers paced Gordon (2-3) with twenty-two points and four steals.  Eric has scored 20+ points in three straight games.  His ability to create space for shots and make a bunch of them has been notable recently.  Eric is a warm 14-for-27 from long range over the last three games.  Shooting like that should draw more defenders and open up better looks for his teammates in the future.

Jaren Yang had nine assists tonight.  That matches his career high.  His other nine-assist game was versus Endicott last season.

Three Scots from the past (Greg Walker, Richie Armand, and Jason Dempsey) were in the house.  Richie has a job with the Patriots.

Gordon gets non-league Becker on Saturday afternoon.

Curry and Gordon both had wins over Elms this season.

Box score

(Click on the pictures above and below to enlarge them.)

Freshman Marcus Retegues hears it from the crowd

Steve Vampatella

Luke Meyer in close

Brett Bowman fires

Graham Tienhaara

Cody Hunt

AJ Terry

Freshman Parker Omslaer

Josh Ribeiro

Noah Szilagyi

Freshman Josh Crutchfield

Freshman Matt Valles rebounds

Garrisson Duvivier from the left

Jake Hart layup

Freshman Parker Omslaer and senior John Coleman

Jake Haar finds his touch at the Bennett Center


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Nichols routs Gordon 100-86 as losing streak reached three

(Amesbury MA) Well, the long road home is finally over!

Tuesday night (5:30PM) the surroundings will be familiar to our 1-3 Scots as they’ll finally host a home game under the Bennett Center lights.

The last two games, UNE and Nichols, have been Commonwealth Coast Conference matches and the need for improvement is certain after two straight losses.

The high hopes (picked for second) of challenging for the top of the ten-team CCC have given way to the reality of having a defense that can’t get stops along with an offense that can’t score 100 points a night.

Nichols was the winner Saturday in Dudley (MA), 100-86.  That wasn’t a surprise.  They’re the defending champs and they still have enough weapons to shoot long range and break down one-on-one matchups.

But when you’re picked to challenge for the top you need to be competitive, at least, with the top team.  Gordon wasn’t.

I did watch the game on the good Nichols feed and enjoyed the strong (shooting) start by Gordon.  But when that shooting cooled off, and it did in both halves, the wheels fell off for GC.

In one five minute span in the first half the Scots were 2-for-10 with three turnovers and a 39-35 lead became a 52-44 deficit.

In one four minute span in the second half the Scots were 1-for-5 from the floor with four turnovers.  Garrisson Duvivier missed three-of-four free throws during this segment.  A 70-59 Nichols lead ballooned to 84-62 and there was no way Gordon recovers even with 10 ½ minutes left.

My harp is well played regarding the inconsistent offense, but a bigger issue is GC’s struggling defense.  Both UNE and Nichols found ways to get 100 points against Gordon.  That’s embarrassing.

That wide-open style that GC has gotten itself into in both losses has enabled sophomore Eric Demers to put up some serious numbers.  Eric tallied 29 and 22 and was 10-for-19 long range.  However, as much as it fits Eric’s style, the rest of the team does not appear comfortable or capable in the run-and-shoot approach.  Something has to give on that one.

Efficiency Chart

24 Daequon Antoine (21 points)

23 Eric Demers (25 points)

22 Jerome Cunningham (13 points, 11 rebounds)

19 Tyler Dion (19 points)

18 Marco Echevarria (20 points, 5 assists)

18 Garrisson Duvivier (12 points, 13 rebounds)

Nichols 111

Gordon 97

The Scots face Curry on Tuesday night.  The Colonels have lost thirty-eight straight CCC games dating back to 2015.  They are 2-55 over the last 2+ seasons.  Gordon, however, nearly lost to them last year in Milton.  Be a nice time to put a three-game losing streak to rest.

Box score




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