(Amesbury MA) There was plenty to cheer about for both teams but at the end it was the team from Wenham that extended their winning streak to six.
Roger Williams lost to Endicott on Saturday in double overtime. Their shooting, early in this one, was off. They were probably tired.
The Scots (10-5), on the other hand, were riding a winning streak and made shot after shot early on.
The Gordon lead was a comfortable 54-40 four minutes into the second half. But along came Conor O’Brien with two 3’s and a dunk and the Hawks went on a 15-0 run to get the lead, 55-54!
The 6-6 senior had a memorable second half collecting 28 points and 8 rebounds. Not bad for a player averaging 13 points per game!
But as good as Conor was, the best player was wearing blue….Garrisson Duvivier. Garrisson had a game his freshman year against ENC that was statistically better, but that was back when teams were trying to figure out what he can do. Now they know, and yet he was still able to drop 28 points, 18 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 blocks in a tight game against a very good team. Remarkable!
The Hawks (11-4) took the lead (55-54) with thirteen minutes left. Then this game became exciting for both teams. There were THIRTEEN lead changes the rest of the way. Anyone’s game for sure.
RW took a one-point lead into the final minute but Eric Demers put a three on the home team with 43 seconds left to put the Scots ahead by two. The Hawks had a two and a three to tie or go ahead but missed both. Eric Demers was fouled after the second Hawks’ miss.
Now this was where I became most impressed by Gordon’s play. Trust me, it wasn’t the missed free throws! Eric missed the front end of a 1&1 BUT Garrisson secured the offensive rebound and got fouled.
Garrison made one free throw and missed the second BUT Matt Valles secured the offensive rebound and got fouled. With 11 seconds remaining Matt made 1 of 2 putting GC ahead by four 85-81.
Those offensive rebounds were special because they kept RW away from a last-second shot that could have been a game-winner for them.
Eric reached twenty points for the 10th time this season. His three in the final minute, assisted by Jaren Yang, kept this game from going south on the Scots. Eric tied his career-high in rebounds (8) against RW.
Hard to tell through the blurry RW feed of the game if Eric was covering Austin Coene. Austin came in averaging nearly 25 points per game and had dropped 38 on Endicott this past Saturday. Against GC? Had a 5-for-17 evening and 13 points. No question, however, that Conor O’Brien more than made up for Austin’s scoring dropoff.
One of the key players in Gordon’s recent string of successes has been senior Jaren Yang. His ability to get the ball to teammates, especially Garrisson and Eric, has elevated his assist totals and dropped his turnover totals. Last five game? 28 assists, 8 turnovers. Those are good numbers!
Best shot of the game? Had to have been that last-second prayer by Jake Haar to end the first half. Even with limited viewing visibility I could tell that it was an off-balanced shot, from long range, against two defenders, and at the last second. Those three points meant something in a game won by only four points.
Garrisson Duvivier 40
Conor O’Brien 36 (34 pts,9 rebs)
Jaren 17 (10 pts, 7 assists)
Jake Heston 13 (13 pts,3 assists)
Roger Williams 86
The Scots had twenty-four second-chance points and Roger Williams didn’t have any.
Gordon is now tied with Endicott (6-2) in the Commonwealth Coast Conference. Nichols is a game ahead and were tested by both Wentworth and ENC in their last two games.
Gordon travels to Springfield (MA) to face Western New England on Thursday night. The Golden Bears pinned a loss on Nichols earlier in the season.