Monthly Archives: March 2021

Suffolk ends season with 82-67 win over Gordon

(Wenham MA)  Change the pace.

Change the result.

Alex Jacovides (25 points) gets in the lane against Gordon

Suffolk defeated Gordon, 82-67, on Thursday night at Gordon.

Nate Hale (16 points) shoots over Zach Bennett

“We slowed it down a bit and we just tried to execute more in the halfcourt,” explained Suffolk coach Jeff Juron afterwards.

The Rams (6-2) had been averaging 100 points per game before they lost to the Scots (5-3), 84-82, on Wednesday in Boston.

“Suffolk played very well tonight,” said Gordon coach Tod Murphy.  “They have three very good seniors (Alex Jacovides, Nate Hale, Brendan Mulson).”

It was the last game for that trio and they each made significant contributions versus Gordon.

Alex was the game’s high scorer with twenty-five points.  “We knew we had to play more as a team against their hard zone,” he said, “by moving inside and out.”

“Alex is one of the best shooters in the country,” said Coach Juron, “you kind of knew that he was going to come back and shoot it better (nine points yesterday) today.”

Senior Josh Crutchfield )10 points) in for two

Nate added sixteen points on six-for-nine shooting including four from long range.

Brendan put up eleven points.  His defensive work versus GC top scorer Garrett Sattazahn was very much connected to the Ram result.  Brendan limited Garrett to only nine shots.

“Brendan is a great defender,” said Coach Juron.  “He can guard a lot of different positions.  He’s a senior and I thought he left it all out on the court tonight.  #12 (Garrett Sattazahn) is a heck of a player.”

The Rams took the lead for good, 13-11, on an Alex Jacovides layup 6 ½ minutes into the game. 

The Scots would get within seven twice in the second half (55-48 & 65-58) but the Rams quickly responded from long range and in close.

Senior Parker Omslaer (10 points)

“We haven’t had a 67-point game in quite a while,” said Coach Murphy.  “Generally, teams I coach outscore teams in the paint, but they killed us there tonight.”

“I don’t think we had our legs,” added Coach Murphy.  “We needed to do a better job of staying in condition during the break and we didn’t.”

The five Suffolk starters all played twenty-eight minutes or more.  The Scots had double-figure minutes with nine players.

Key stats for Gordon tonight were steals (six) and assists (nine).  In the win on Wednesday the Scots had twelve steals.

“Their press is really good,” said Coach Juron.  “They turned us over a lot in the first game.  Our guys just did a better job against it tonight.”

The nine assists were crucial because in the first win there were twenty-one assists.  “We didn’t shoot the ball as well as we are capable,” said Coach Murphy.

Garrett Sattazahn closely guarded by Brendan Mulson

Alex Jacovides on Suffolk’s first year in the Commonwealth Coast Conference: “It is a faster pace.  There’s more offense.  More firepower for every team.”

Gordon applies pressure

Alex told me he wasn’t sure about his post-Suffolk basketball plans.  “I might go overseas,” he said.

Gordon has two more games left.  Endicott will be the opponent on Wednesday (home) and Thursday (away).  The Gulls only loss this season was to Suffolk. 

“Our schedule has graded upward the whole time,” said Coach Murphy.  “It’ll be fun to end the season with them.”

Garrett Sattazahn led the GC scorers with twelve points.  Seniors Josh Crutchfield and Parker Omslaer each had ten points.

Junior Will Rowe (16 points, 10 rebounds) had a double/double for the Rams.

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

Michael Makiej (8 points, 6 rebounds)
Will Rowe (16 points, 10 rebounds)
Alex Jacovides guarded by Caleb Scott
Jordan Bretton
Michael Makiej and Alex Jacovides
Aidan Sullivan (9 points, 4 assists, 40 minutes)
Michael Makiej on the floor
Garrett Sattazahn spots Parker Omslaer close to the basket
Drew Thibeault
Parker Omslaer in for two
Zach Quanico
Parker Omslaer
Josh Crutchfield

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Gordon bounces back with 75-53 win over Nichols

Senior Abby Vampatella (22 points, 9 rebounds)

(Wenham MA) Night and day.

Cara Andreotti Euro-steps in for a layup

Gordon avenged a Friday night loss (74-60) to Nichols by defeating the Bison, 75-53, this afternoon at Gordon.

The Scots (5-3) were all thumbs on Friday registering thirty turnovers.  Every player on the team “contributed” to the unfortunate total.

But that was yesterday…… the song goes.  Today was different.

“Gordon was much more patient,” said NC coach MaryLynn Skarzenski afterwards.  “They definitely adjusted to our pressure.”

The Bison (3-5) wanted to pressure full court, but you need to score to set that up.  On this afternoon, the Gordon defense was stingy.

“Our one-on-one defense and our help defense was terrible yesterday,” said GC senior Abby Vampatella (22 points, 9 rebounds).  “We made the adjustments we needed to.”

It took the Bison five minutes to score points. However, their aggressive defense and ability to hit the long-range shot kept them in contention into the 3rd quarter.

Battle under the basket

The visitors from Dudley (MA), in fact, had the lead briefly early in the third quarter.

But a Caleigh Williams’ layup pushed GC ahead, 37-36, three minutes into that quarter and they never trailed again.

The Bison were still around (48-42) after three quarters but ahead was the final quarter and it was all Gordon (27 points).

“They pressed us full-time in the last game,” recalled freshman Caroline Sikkink (11 points, 6 rebounds).  “Today we were better breaking the press and getting easy layups off it.”

Those layups were flowing in the fourth quarter as Nichols tired (they had only seven players) and openings developed behind the press.

Seri Anderson (14), Cara Andreotti (12), and Caroline Sikkink (11) reached double figures.  Caleigh Williams (10 points, 10 rebounds) had a double-double.

“Our defense was a lot better today,” said Gordon coach Carter Shaw.  “We were able to contain their drivers a little better.  They were so successful yesterday driving that we played off them and they made open outside shots.”

Bri Vazquez (21 points)

Freshman Bri Vazquez stood out for Nichols.  “She makes us go,” said Coach Skarzenski.  “She’s a competitor.”  Bri finished with twenty-one points.

Two seniors, Gordon’s Abby Vampatella & Nichols Isabella Nerney, had history from their Connecticut pasts.

“I’ve been playing with Isabella since eighth grade,” said Abby afterwards.  “She’s close to 1000 points.  We had to get up on her and take away her shot and get gap help.”

The Scots limited Isabella to eleven points in this one.  Last two times versus Gordon, Isabella had collected twenty-five points in each outing.

Coach Shaw: “We rebounded well, and we took care of the ball.  I’ll take not turning the ball over any day.”

Coach Skarzenski: “It’s nice to be playing and have some sort of season.  We have a great group of seven.  They are all committed to each other and it’s really a team effort.”

Freshman Caroline Sikkink (11 points)

Caroline Sikkink: “They made a lot of transition points on us yesterday.  We wanted to cut our turnovers in half.”  They nearly did as they only had seventeen this afternoon.

Abby Vampatella on post-Gordon: “Hopefully, I’m going to get a graduate assistant coach job.  Then I can get my Master’s, and peek into the collegiate coaching world.  I am an education major so if that doesn’t work out, I’d love to be a teacher.”

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

Freshman Caleigh Williams (10 points and 10 rebounds)
Gordon coach Carter Shaw
Freshman Cara Andreotti (12 points)
Addison Burlison
Shannon St.Lawrence (7 rebounds, 9 points)
Cara Andreotti guarded by Leandra Ortiz
Isabella Nerney steals from Abby Vampatella
Delaney McDonnell (5) on the move
Bri Vazquez
Summer Klein
Seri Anderson (14 points)
Jillian Spillane
Isabella Nerney
Nichols coach MaryLynn Skarzenski

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Garrett Sattazahn key in Gordon’s 78-72 win over Western New England

Garrett Sattazahn (28 points) had a terrific all-around game for Gordon

Garrett Sattazahn seals the W at the line

Garrett Sattazahn gets open in close

(Wenham MA) Can one player take over a game?

Not usually, but sophomore Garrett Sattazahn (28 points) came close tonight in Gordon’s 78-72 win over Western New England.

The Bears (0-3) had the lead (69-66) with 3:40 left after an Alex Sikorski (19 points) three.

Enter Garrett.

The Scots (3-0) next eleven points came from the young man from Morris (CT).  There was a three, two layups, and four straight free throws.

The Bears couldn’t keep pace down the stretch.  They shot one-for-seven and had two turnovers and allowed Garrett and his teammates to secure the win.

Alex Sikorski (19 points) puts up a late-game three for Western New England

“We were there, and we had our chances,” said WNE coach Colin Tabb afterwards.  “We don’t shoot as well as we did last year so their zone was tough for us to play against.”

The Gordon defense in the second half was the key to their successful turnaround.

“It wasn’t looking good for the first fifteen minutes,” recalled Gordon coach Tod Murphy post-game.

“We didn’t play any defense in the first half but did in the second half,” said Coach Murphy.

Zach Bennett (six points) goes for a steal against Kenny Flynn

The numbers from the two halves spoke volumes as Western New England had forty-eight points in the first half but only twenty-four points in the second half.”

The jump-out stat from this game, other than Garrett’s 28 points, was Gordon’s twelve steals.

“The difference between last year and this year is that we’re putting a lot more effort into defense,” explained Garrett, “and it’s showing. Last year they came in here and scored nearly 120 points.”

GC went into seldom-seen, full-court pressure late in the first half and lowered a 45-33 WNE lead to 48-43 by halftime.

Caleb Scott (8 points) shoots over Zach Tavitian

Freshman Caleb Scott (8 points) scored twice from in close in the last minute, assisted by Garrett (seven assists) both times.

Garrett seemed to flourish in transition, either setting up teammates or finishing himself.

“He (Garrett) is a very good player,” said Coach Tabb, “It looks like he’s stepping nicely into the (Eric) Demers’ role.”

“Eric has been a great mentor to me,” explained Garrett.  “He’s taught me how to get open among other things.”

“I was feeling it a little bit tonight,” added Garrett.  “I definitely, however, give credit to my teammates.  They were looking for me and giving me good screens.”

“Garrett does everything,” said Coach Murphy.  Hard to argue with that after Garrett had a night with seven rebounds, seven assists, six steals, and twenty-eight points!

“I have to pull him out from time to time because he’ll run himself into the ground if I don’t,” added Coach Murphy.

Michael Makiej drives

Coach Tabb wasn’t pleased with his team’s defense.  “Our decisions on the defensive end weren’t good.  We didn’t defend well in transition or off the ball.”

“Defense wins ballgames,” said Coach Murphy.  “If we give the defensive energy we did in the second half, we’ll be okay.  We have to be aggressive because we’re a small team.”

Parker Omslaer, despite getting into foul trouble, was able to get thirteen points on the inside.

Kenny Flynn (16 points) and Gavin Greene (12 points) were the other Bears in double figures.

Off night, for sure for WNE senior Zach Tavitian (5 points).  Zach recently reached the 1000-point mark for the Bears.

Alex Villalobos and Josh Crutchfield

Got my first look at Gordon freshman Alex Villalobos.

The Scots will play on the road tomorrow (Saturday) in Springfield at Western New England.

Still impressed with the brightness of the Kanas Court.

I have been in quite a few gymnasiums lately (ask my wife), and the Kanas Court is as good as any of them.  Can’t wait to be in there when the crowds are back.

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

The link to this coverage will be on Twitter (@mcclellandpeter) and pictures should appear on Instagram (@mcclellandmiscellanea) on Saturday.

Zach Tavitian

Zach Quanico and Justin Yu

Alex Sikorski (19 points) dunks

Kenny Flynn (16 points) dunks

Josh Crutchfield launches from long range

Parker Omslaer (13 points, 7 rebounds)

Josh Crutchfield loses a shoe

Zach Quanico (4 points)

Western New England coach Colin Tabb

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Michael Makiej debuts with 28 points as Gordon downs Curry 99-63 in opener

Freshman Michael Makiej had 28 points and 12 rebounds in his first game at Gordon

Plenty of inside shots turned up for Michael Makiej vs Curry

(Wenham MA) It’s always nice to make a good first impression.

And freshman Michael Makiej certainly did that collecting twenty-eight points as Gordon defeated Curry, 99-63, on Friday night at the Bennett Center.

“We’re just happy to be able to play basketball,” said Gordon coach Tod Murphy post-game.  “So many conferences in New England are not playing this year.”

The Scots (1-0) may end up with ten-to-twelve games.

“We have ten scheduled,” said Coach Murphy, “including one more tomorrow with Curry, as well as two each with Western New England, Nichols, Suffolk, and Endicott.  I am going to try to get a couple with Eastern Nazarene.  Everything depends on staying Covid-free.”

The visitors from Milton (MA) stayed with Gordon through the first 13 ½ minutes and were ahead, 27-26.

Zach Bennett – 8 points and 3 steals

The rest of the first half the Scots, led by Garrett Sattazahn and Zach Bennett, put a 17-3 segment together and were in command, 43-30, at the half.

Garrett had a triple, a jumper, and a steal during the good run while Zach had two steals that were turned into points.

Curry coach Joe Busacca was disappointed with the way things went.  “We’re so young that we’re going to make a ton of mistakes early,” he said.  “Gordon has some good upper classmen who know how to win and played in big games last year.  When we cooled off, we didn’t respond very well.  If the ball doesn’t go in, it doesn’t mean we can’t compete in the defensive end.”

Drew Thibeault had ten rebounds

Freshman Josh Vargas (6’8”) was a presence inside.  He put fifteen points together with fourteen rebounds.  Angelo Sardgna (12 points) and Jayquan Leonard (10 points) reached double figures for the Colonels.

Gordon’s late run in the first half spilled over into the entire second half.  The Scots put up fifty-six points and Michael Makiej had twenty-two of them.

Senior Parker Omslaer joked about Michael’s performance afterwards: “My all-time high is twenty-three points and he beats it in his first game.  I don’t even know what to say about that.”

There were nothing but inside shots in the points Michael collected.  “Credit my teammates,” he said, “they gave me the good looks on the high post.  It’s not about me.  It about the team.  I was just having fun out there.”

Angel Sardegna had twelve points for Curry

Michael came to Gordon from Lexington Christian Academy.  “He’s one of the most talented offensive players we’ve ever had here,” said Coach Murphy.  “He has some things to learn but he could be an absolute nightmare to defend.”

Michael (6’4”) had twelve rebounds to go with his twenty-eight points.

Newcomer Drew Thibeault had ten rebounds.

“Excited to be here,” said Drew.  “I transferred from RPI.  There’s something special going on here and I wanted to be part of it.  Putting up ninety-nine points in your first game is pretty good.”

Justin Yu (15 points)

Coach Murphy: “Justin Yu (15 points) had a great game off the bench.  Caleb (Scott) filled in nicely when Parker got into foul trouble.  Garrett (Sattazahn) will be our go-to guy this season.  His shooting was off a bit but in the 2nd half he distributed the ball and had several steals.”

The Scots played a zone defense for much of the game.  Coach Murphy is not a fan of it.  “I hate that defense.  It did work tonight but only because they weren’t hitting shots.  That may well be different against other teams we face.”

Josh Crutchfield: “I am so blessed to be back on the court and be with these guys.  I love them.  Michael had a phenomenal game.  He loves basketball and is a great kid.  We scored 99 points but out defense was very good too.”

Garrett Sattazahn (16 points)

Michael Makiej: “There are Christian aspects to being here at Gordon.  We pray together before each practice.  I really like that.”

I told Garrett Sattazahn afterwards that I wondered how this year’s team was going to make up for all the points Eric Demers’ scored the previous season.  “Tonight, Michael took care of the ‘Eric’ part,” he said.

The biggest surprise for me was seeing what the new Bennett Center looked like.  I wasn’t the only one pleasantly surprised.

“The court, the mats, the stands, are all awesome,” said Garrett.  “You couldn’t ask for a better facility.”

David Massillon, who wasn’t in uniform because of surgery, summed things up best. “It sure was nice to see all the guys with smiles on their faces after an opening night win in this fine facility.”

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

Eric Demers and David Massillon

Garrett Sattazahn

Caleb Scott (7 rebounds, 7 points)

Josh Crutchfield guards Jayquan Leonard

Michael Makiej guards Nabi Mwesiga

Parker Omslaer (9 rebounds)

Josh Crutchfield

Drew Thibeault

Jordan Bretton

RJ Hadfield

Nabi Mwesiga

Zach Quanico

Michael Makiej to the basket

Marcus Retegues

Marcus Retegues from the corner

Jayson Clayton



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