(Wenham MA) This one was good to the last shot.
Good thing for Gordon that Matt McDevitt’s layup over Parker Omslaer at the final buzzer wasn’t good because that miss preserved a 72-71 win for the Scots over Endicott on Thursday night.
The Gulls (10-5) trailed by a point and had the ball with thirteen seconds left. Plenty of shooters to choose from but it was sophomore Matt McDevitt in close for the win-or-lose last shot.
“I was worried that Keith Brown was going to get it at the high post,” recalled 6-11 Parker Omslaer, “and I wanted to make sure that he didn’t get it there. But when the kid (Matt McDevitt) rolled to the basket I just wanted to stop him but make sure I didn’t foul.”
Mission accomplished defensively.
The shot was hurried and didn’t go in and Gordon (14-1) had its 13th straight win. They haven’t lost in 55 days!
“Just another typical Gordon/Endicott game,” said GC coach Tod Murphy. “Right down to the last shot.”
Gordon has won three of the last four matches with Endicott including two in overtime.
Coach Murphy was surprised by the lack of points. “I don’t know whether we’re good defensively. I didn’t expect low-scoring games against Nichols and then Endicott tonight.”
Both teams had some cold-shooting segments during which the other team took advantage.
Endicott was up 13-5 (16:06) and then trailed 29-20 (7:00).
In the second half, Gordon led 47-34 (17:01) only to fall behind 57-56 (10:10).
With 5 ½ minutes left, the Scots seemed to be in good shape (69-60). The home team was ahead with 3:40 to go (72-65).
But Gordon stayed stuck on 72 for the last three minutes and forty seconds! Eric Demers, Garrisson Duvivier, and Parker Omslaer each had shot attempts that didn’t fall.
During Gordon’s offensive lull the visitors from Beverly nearly erased the entire lead thanks to a Matt McDevitt layup, and two free throws and a layup by Keith Brown (21 points).
But in the mix of Endicott’s late surge Matt missed two three’s and the final shot during the last two minutes. That was enough to enable GC to hold on.
Good crowd even with neither school in session.
One of the referees said to me, “How can you beat this, good basketball for free?”
Eric Demers paced GC with twenty-two points. Did he shoot well? Not so much. “Eric couldn’t hit a shot at times, but he did make some big ones,” said Coach Murphy.
To limit an evaluation of ED to points is an injustice. He is second in the Commonwealth Coast Conference in steals and he had two more tonight. He had five assists. Ball hog? Not so. Biggest Eric surprise of the night? Thirteen rebounds! He had never had double figures before. Big game, big contributor in a variety of ways.
Garrisson Duvivier reached double figures in rebounds (10) and points (14) for the 12th time this season. He has also moved to within three points of being Gordon’s 2nd leading all-time scorer.
Noah Szilagyi (14 points) was extremely accurate tonight missing only one shot. His three with 3:40 left turned into the eventual game winner.
I asked Parker about the success the Scots have had so far: “I think that we have a different mindset. Last year we had some trouble closing out games. This year we’re going in there with all our strength and it’s working right now.”
Coach Murphy on Gordon’s zone defense: “We’re figuring the defense out a little more each game. At times we just don’t get where we’re supposed to be. The defense will work if we do it correctly.”
The Scots stunned perennial champ Nichols, 76-72, five days ago. “It would have really hurt to lose tonight’s game after the big win at Nichols,” added Coach Murphy.
Saturday afternoon we’ll see Roger Williams at the Bennett Center. RWU has a win over Endicott.
“We haven’t played our best basketball yet and we have defeated two of the best teams in the CCC,” said Coach Murphy. That “best” game by the Scots could well be needed on Saturday afternoon.
(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)