Monthly Archives: February 2020

Gordon clinches playoff spot with 83-67 win over UNE

Eric Demers (28 points) found ways to score on the inside against UNE

(Wenham MA) Eric was Eric.

Garrett Sattazahn (25 points) reached a career high

Garrett set a career high in points scored.

Parker took away the inside for UNE.

The result was an important 83-67 win over the Nor’Easters on Wednesday night at the Bennett Center.

“I’m thrilled with the victory,” said Gordon coach Tod Murphy afterwards. “Before tonight we had no guarantee that we would get into the playoffs.”

Combined with a Roger Williams’ loss tonight, the Scots are into the playoffs which start next Tuesday.

“The crazy thing,” added Coach Murphy, “is that if we win Saturday (at Nichols) there’s a way that we could host on Tuesday. Granted, about six different things have to happen for that to work.”

Ray Evans and Eric Demers

Eric Demers had his 15th straight 30+ points per game streak stopped with “only” twenty-eight tonight. He must be slipping!

UNE coach Ed Silva: “Eric is a stud.”

The Scots (12-12) pulled away from the Nor’Easters at the end of the first half, building up a ten-point lead (43-33).

UNE was also looking for some CCC playoff guarantee tonight.

“Tonight would have solidified a playoff spot for us,” said Coach Silva. “Now we have to win Saturday (vs Roger Williams) to guarantee us a spot.”

Parker Omslaer had ten rebounds

UNE can still get in with a loss Saturday, but they would have to rely on other teams winning/losing to make it happen.

Eric Demers had a little extra incentive in tonight’s game: “I didn’t want to leave this school with a loss on this court. It’s been an up-and-down season, but I wanted to win my last game here.”

There was a sense of urgency for both teams, but the Scots did a better job of not showing it. They stayed with UNE in the early going and then rode the hot shooting of Eric and Garrett Sattazahn to a 23-point lead in the second half. The Nor’Easters would get to within twelve points in the final 2 ½ minutes but the Scots held on.

Garrett Sattazahn guarded by Siddiq Canty

Garrett hit five of ten three’s and reached a career-high twenty-five points. His heated performance certainly took the pressure off Eric to have to score 30+ points for the Scots to have a chance.

“Garrett is next,” said Eric. “He coming up right after me. He’s going to be great here for a long time.”

“Next year Garrett might have to be like Eric,” reported Coach Murphy. “It depends on how recruiting goes. There’s a lot of playing time available and we’ll have 40+ points per game (Eric and AJ Terry) to make up somewhere.”

“I thought they (Gordon) competed harder than we did,” said Coach Silva. “They had a sense of urgency and we didn’t.”

Coach Silva cited one particular play relating to urgency: “We turned the ball over at the end of the second quarter (Eric steal) and Josh (Crutchfield) raced full court to get a layup. Those are the types of plays that earn you playoff spots.”

Josh Crutchfield breaks in

Gordon’s zone defense lasted the whole game. It’s been “pulled” several times recently.

Parker Omslaer protects the inside

“When Parker (Omslaer) is a force inside it makes all the difference in the world,” said Coach Murphy.

UNE missed fifty shots (25/75) and Parker’s 6-11 presence had something to do with the inaccuracies.

“We knew that they’d stay with the zone if we didn’t score against it easily,” said Coach Silva.

Asked about tonight’s defense, Eric said, “The defense was good. It’s crazy because we didn’t change anything. It’s just a matter of which team shows up.”

“The defense was good,” said Josh Crutchfield. “We all bought into it tonight.”

Parker finished with his fifth double/double (10 points/12 rebounds) of the season.

Avery DeBrito (16 points & 10 rebounds)

Avery DeBrito (16 points/10 rebounds) and Siddiq Canty (16 points) paced the Nor’Easters. Alex Kravchuk added fourteen points for the team from Biddeford (ME).

Last year’s UNE team pressed full-court, shot three’s, and substituted frequently. Not this year. “At the end of last season, we changed our style of play based on guys we had coming in.”

One of the players coming in was freshman Siddiq Canty. “He’s a very smooth player,” said Coach Silva. “A friend of mine was head coach at Woodstock Academy (Connecticut) and he told me about Siddiq when he came on campus.”

The Scots end their regular season at Nichols Saturday. “It will be tough,” admitted Coach Murphy. “It’s their Senior Day.” Gordon lost in overtime to Nichols at the Bennett Center in December.

I asked Coach Murphy what his memories were of Eric playing at the Bennett Center: “My memory of his playing here will be his raining shots on people left and right. Tonight he didn’t shoot that well from the outside so he went inside on post-ups and drives. He was probably our leading post scorer tonight.”

Box from the game

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

Siddiq Canty tries to shoot against David Massillon

Siddiq Canty hears it from the Gordon student section

Parker Omslaer gets ready to finish

Garrett Sattazahn dials up a three in front of the Gordon bench

Eric Demers shoots a free throw

Eric Demers draws a crowd

David Massillon after a loose ball

Alex Kravchuk passes

Alex Kravchuk (14 points)

AJ Terry gets a rebound

 

 

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Gordon ends slide with 83-74 win over Roger Williams – Eric Demers 31 points

Eric Demers (31 points) splits two Hawks to get a layup

Parker Omslaer (23 points) made 9-of-10 free throws

(Wenham MA) “We were dying for a win, for sure,” said Eric Demers afterwards.

Gordon defeated Roger Williams, 83-74, and stopped their slide toward exclusion from the post-season Commonwealth Coast Conference post-season tournament.

Gordon (6-7) has three games remaining (Salve Regina,UNE,Nichols) against teams with something in common….they all beat the Scots in the first meeting.

The Hawks (6-8) now have lost twice to Gordon giving the Scots the tie-breaker over them.

“We have to win another game to have a chance to make the tournament,” said RW coach Mike Tully.

The Hawks trailed the entire way tonight.

The visitors from Bristol (RI) started the night with a segment that included five missed shots and four turnovers. That got them down, 10-0.

In the second half, RW was within two (47-45) three minutes into the half. Four minutes later the Hawks were still stuck at 45 while the home team had put fourteen unanswered points together.

Doug Hostetler (19 points) finishes

Five missed three’s and two turnovers caused this RW scoring drought.

Meanwhile, the Scots shot 5-for-6 with Eric Demers (31 points) getting two layups and a triple and GC had a 61-45 lead.

The Hawks would get within nine twice the rest of the way but never closer.

“Every time we made a run, they answered it,” said Coach Tully.

Eric was part of the Gordon “answer” with his thirty-one points. This is the 14th straight game he’s reached at least thirty.

“If you’d told me at the beginning of the season that this would happen, I wouldn’t have believed you,” said Eric.

How has it been possible? “My teammates find me, and my coach gives me the green light. They believe in me and that builds my confidence.”

Gordon coach Tod Murphy wasn’t feeling sorry for Roger Williams but added, “Two of our best defensive games turned out to be against them. If we play defense, we can beat everyone in the conference, if we don’t play defense, we can lose to everyone.”

Parker Omslaer shoots

Junior Parker Omslaer was strong on both ends against Roger Williams.

“He had zero fouls and he protected the rim,” said Eric.

On offense, he tied a career high with 23 points including nine-of-ten free throws.

“I knew that I could beat any one of them,” explained Parker afterwards. “So I knew that they’d have to double me or I’d do my thing down low.”

“Parker is starting to get his confidence back,” said Coach Murphy. “He’s getting his stroke back at the foul line. When he’s hitting free throws, he’s doing much more inside. When he’s not making them, he doesn’t go to the basket aggressively because he doesn’t want to get fouled.”

Eli Harris (18 points) drives

Parker talked about Gordon’s good defense: “Whenever the guards funneled their guys to me, I made sure to stay straight up and made sure that they didn’t get any easy buckets on me.”

Coach Murphy: “They weren’t real effective against Parker and our bigs. We were able to get spread out and get to the other shooters. This is what the defense is supposed to look like.”

The Scots win tonight ends a 2-game losing streak in which the defense was anything but good. “Our problem in our last two games has been our defense,” said Parker. “We weren’t rotating and getting to the shooters.”

Coach Murphy: “Parker is capable of scoring against any of the bigs in our conference. He’s not as explosive as Hans (Miersma) but he has a great right and left hand. When Parker’s on, we’re pretty tough to beat.”

Eric for three

The new Gordon scoreboard that came into use in the new year has the point totals of the players on the floor. I asked Eric if he ever sneaks a look at it during the game. “I see the numbers up there, but I try not to pay attention to it. But the new scoreboard is really bright and it’s hard not to look at it.”

Doug Hosteller (19 points) and Eli Harris (18 points) were the top scorers for RW. JJ Pfohl handed out seven assists.

Gordon will be in Newport (Salve Regina) on Saturday. Their next (and last?) home game will be on Wednesday against UNE. The Scots finish the regular season, and hopefully not the season, at Nichols on February 22nd.

Among the spectators was Austin Coene. The former Hawk and former CCC MVP now works in Waltham. “I work with pension plans and everything else. It’s awful watching. I want to play so bad. I still play in men’s leagues, so I’m not totally washed up yet!”

The Gordon women added another victory to their already remarkable season defeating Roger Williams, 58-56.

Gordon women celebrate a win over Roger Williams

Box from the game

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

AJ Terry (13 rebounds)

Drew Hart and Garrett Sattazahn

EJ Nelson

EJ Nelson and Eric Demers

Eric Demers – top scorer in all divisions

Eric Demers draws a foul

Ian Carmichael blocks AJ Terry

James Clarkson and Justin Yu

Josh Crutchfield drives

Justin Yu tries a three

Parker Omslaer and Drew Hart

Tie up

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Gordon upsets Endicott 83-77 on Senior Day

Eric Demers (35 points) ends up with the ball in the closing seconds

Xahn Frater and Josh Crutchfield celebrate with the Gordon student section

Eric Demers off a screen

(Wenham MA) This one didn’t get away like the OT loss in January did.

The Scots (10-9) took the lead for good with just under three minutes left and held off Endicott, 83-77, on Saturday afternoon.

“Obviously winning a game is a great thing,” said Gordon coach Tod Murphy postgame, “but when you do it against a team like Endicott, that’s pretty special.”

The Gulls (15-5) have the best record (9-2) in the Commonwealth Coast Conference despite the loss.

The records, however, are irrelevant to the excitement each of these games between EC and GC creates.

Rebound battle between Matt McDevitt (14 rebounds) and Parker Omslaer (13 rebounds)

“What a great college-game atmosphere,” said Endicott coach Kevin Bettencourt afterwards.  “We look forward to this game just like they do.”

The crowd was active.  The seats were filled and Gordon’s two seniors (Eric Demers and AJ Terry) were honored pre-game.

“The crowd was amazing,” added junior Josh Crutchfield.  “It felt like we were on top of the world.”

Eric Demers (35 points) continues to be productive despite drawing special defensive attention.

Eric has now scored at least thirty points in eleven straight games.  “What he did tonight is standard for him,” said Coach Murphy.

Asked about the game afterwards, Eric deflected the credit away from himself: “We stick together.  I think we’ve really matured over the last few weeks.  The beginning of the season was “get the ball to Eric and see what happens.”  Now we’re starting to jell as a team and trust one another.  That’s what it takes to win games.”

Today’s game featured eight ties and twelve lead changes.  Plenty to stir the hopes of each team!

However, with 2:53 left in the game, the last of those lead changes took place as Eric drained a three in front of the Gordon student section and the Scots were in front, 76-74.

Eric Demers drains the go-ahead three

“We had some shots late that we were comfortable with that just didn’t go in,” said Coach Bettencourt.  “Credit Gordon, they made a few extra plays down the stretch.”

Keith Brown (26 points)

Senior Keith Brown paced the Gulls with twenty-six points while freshman Jalen Echevarria added eighteen.

Junior Matt McDevitt also tallied eighteen points and had some impressive additional stats to go with his point production; fourteen rebounds and seven assists.  He only missed four shots.  It was his second double/double of the season.

The defeat ended a six-game win streak for the Gulls.  Gordon has now won two straight.

Coach Murphy ventured into new territory during our conversation afterwards: “Our defense made the difference tonight and I haven’t said that all season long.  We recognized where their shooters were for the most part and made plays when we needed to.”

In the January loss, Endicott picked the Gordon zone apart (28 assists) and forced Coach Murphy to abandon that defense.  That didn’t happen tonight.  The Gulls had only fourteen assists and the zone was still in place at game’s end.

Xahn Frater and Jalen Echevarria

Freshman Xahn Frater saw his longest minutes of the season (21) and contributed six points, all in the second half.

“Xahn and Zach (Bennett) stepped up today,” said Josh Crutchfield.  “They acted like they were seniors!”

Parker Omslaer (13 points/13 rebounds) had his fourth double/double of the season.  A key play for the 6-11 junior was his defense in a late Endicott possession.  Speedster Jalen Echevarria (5-9) drove toward the basket looking for points and/or a foul.  He got neither.  “When he came in, I just wanted to stay straight up,” said Parker.  “I was able to contest the shot without fouling.”

Parker Omslaer (13 points) jams

“When Parker jumps straight up, he has such an impact,” added Coach Murphy.

Eric Demers: “You do all that practicing for moments like this.”

Coach Murphy: “I can’t say enough about our two seniors.  Tonight, AJ was so active, rebounding and blocking shots.”

Coach Bettencourt: “This is the fun part of the season.  We’re getting into February and some big games are coming up.”

Josh Crutchfield: “Endicott has a wonderful team.  It’s always great to beat them.”

Parker Omslaer: “Out of anyone, Endicott is the one I want to beat.  That last game with them is still in my memory.  I appreciate all the support the crowd gave today.”

Senior AJ Terry was honored pre-game

AJ Terry: “I think we won it on the defensive end.  We got big rebounds late in the game.  I fouled out but my teammates stepped up.  Best crowd of the year.  I hope they show up for some more games.”

Zach Quanico: “It was surreal with all the people here.  To the upper classmen this game means a lot and we have to understand that.”

Justin Yu: “It is always a great game with them.  A three-point lead against Endicott is nothing.”

Nice gathering afterwards to honor Eric and AJ.

Two more regular-season home games left; Roger Williams (11th) and UNE (19th).  The Scots travel to Western New England on Wednesday.

Box from the game

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

Sam Johnson, Cody Hunt, Josh Ribeiro, Graham Tienhaara, Garrisson Duvivier

Mike Schnackenberg and family

Matt McDevitt (18 points)

Josh Crutchfield in for a layup

Jalen Echevarria

Isaiah Godwin dives for a loose ball

Garrett Sattazahn (14 points)

Eric Demers tips in a rebound

Eric Demers leans in for a foul

Eric Demers draws a foul

Eric Demers was 10-for-10 from the free throw line

Eric Demers and Jordan Pettway

Eric Demers and family

Eric Demers three on the way

Cody Hunt and Josh Ribeiro

AJ Terry and family

Billy Arsenault

 

 

 

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