(Wenham MA) Night and day.
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……..as 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.
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.”
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.”
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.”
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