(Quincy MA) What is a trap game?
A trap game is one in which there is some certainty that one team will win. Could be the comparative won/loss records for the season. Might be the result of a previous meeting between the two teams during the season.
Gordon entered this afternoon’s game in second place in the Commonwealth Coast Conference. ENC resided in ninth and was already eliminated from the post-season tournament.
Gordon entered this afternoon’s game with the memory of an easy, 81-59, win over the Lions on January 6th.
And sure enough, the team that wasn’t supposed to win did on Saturday afternoon in Quincy.
“No question this was our biggest win of the year,” said ENC coach Scott Polsgrove afterwards. “It’s something we can build on.”
Gordon coach Tod Murphy admired the way the Lions played: “They wanted it more than we did. They played harder than we did.”
This was a game where in both halves ENC had double digit deficits. At Gordon in early January, the first double-digit deficit sent the Lions quickly downhill into a large loss. Not this time.
The Scots had a seventeen-point lead (74-57) and it wouldn’t have taken much for Gordon to push the lead to twenty and then coast in as expected. But this time around ENC just wouldn’t pack it in.
One of the reasons was senior TJ Vazquez. Honored before the game on Senior Day, TJ had the game of his ENC career. “TJ may have scored more points today (13) than he has in his entire career,” explained Coach Polsgrove. “He made a memory today that we won’t forget for a while.”
Let me help you remember, with a picture, which one was TJ. He was the one making the verrrry long 3-point shot just before the first-half ended. (The picture is at the top of the page.)
The Lions (8-15) melted the Gordon lead to nothing but it was still anyone’s game (85-85) with 2:10 left. I thought at the time that our normally effective inside/outside game would kick in. I also thought that the Big Moment might get the home team to miss a few late-game shots. It didn’t work out that way.
In today’s end game (2:10), the team from Wenham made one-of-five shots and had two turnovers.
Meanwhile, ENC started with a missed three and two turnovers (Opening the door for Gordon?) before knocking down eight straight free throws to secure the victory.
The loss drops the Scots (11-5 in the CCC) into a 3-way tie for second place with Endicott and Roger Williams. Roger Williams will be in the Bennett Center on Tuesday’s last regular home game. Has the makings of huge game with second place on the line.
Not so to GC Coach Tod Murphy: “I am not worried about where we finish. We have to win three tournament games (starting February 20th) to win the title. And they’re going to be three very good teams we have to beat.”
“We took a step backward this afternoon,” said Coach Murphy, “but we’ve got a very good team. We didn’t show up this afternoon, but we’ll be okay when it comes to playoff time.”
“This was a huge game for us for a lot of reasons,” explained Lions coach Scott Polsgrove. “We have struggled at times and lost a lot of close games. We are also incredibly young.”
It certainly didn’t help the Gordon chances late in this one for Eric Demers to miss two 3’s as well as two free throws. And Garrisson fouled out with forty-seven seconds left. Having the team’s top scorer off and the second leading scorer on the bench, just won’t lead to a positive result.
In his breakout season, Eric has had double figures in every game but one. Two missed free throws were a shock because the 6-2 sophomore had been 38-for-39 shooting free throws the last seven games.
I think that it is important for Gordon (15-8) to win the two games (Roger Williams, Salve Regina) next week to end the regular season on a roll. We’ll get second place in the CCC and, assuming we win, get two home games in the tournament. I like our chances at home against any of the six teams we might face.
Coach Murphy dusted off a piece of history to fuel his optimism about the tournament: “I know that the last time we won the championship we played ENC in the last game of the regular season on our Senior Night and lost.” Sounds as if losing to ENC today, on their Senior Day, may not have been as bad as it seemed!
Coach Polsgrove: “We have all the respect in the world for Gordon. They’re probably our main rival. To be able to come back against them is special.”
Richie Armand was in the house.
Garrisson Duvivier 29 (15 points, career-high 7 assists)
Eric Demers 22 (25 points,4 assists,3 steals)
Josh Rice 20 (20 points)
Noah Cheney 18 (18 points,3 assists,6 free throws in last minute)
Jacob Waldroop 16 (12 points,7 assists)
TJ Vaszuez 15 (13 points)
Eastern Nazarene 106
(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)