Monthly Archives: December 2021

Gordon shoots by ENC 97-85

(All of the pictures below will enlarge when you click on them.)

Garrett Sattazahn (18 points) in the open court
Justin Yu (12 points)

(Wenham MA) A lot to like in this one.

Anytime you can defeat a former rival (Eastern Nazarene) it’s a good win.

Tonight, ENC (5-6) walked away with a, 97-85, non-league loss on the Kanas Court.

For those who may be recent to Gordon athletics, before Endicott was our main rival, that distinction belonged to Eastern Nazarene. 

The Commonwealth Coast Conference brought our neighbor Endicott into our athletic lives and lessened the GC/ENC rivalry.  And now the former Crusaders are no longer in the CCC.

Drew Thibeault faces the ENC defense

“We knew that ENC was a good team,” said Gordon high scorer Garrett Sattazahn afterwards.  “They had a win over Middlebury.”

The Scots (3-2) were coming off a tough, 85-83, loss on Tuesday night at Western New England.

“After the way we played the last game,” said Gordon coach Tod Murphy, “I’m very happy with this one.”

The Scots had a steady flow of offense that the visitors from Quincy couldn’t match.

Bryce Smith (14 points)

After a Bryce Smith three gave Gordon a 7-6 lead, the Scots never trailed thereafter.

The home team pushed their advantage to eighteen (35-17) in the first half and led by twelve (45-33) at halftime.

One of Coach Murphy’s post-game quotes was, “We want to make it interesting, don’t we.”

That was a reference to the Scots letting the Lions make things a lot tighter in the second half.

Donte Pearson defends Parker Omslaer

Led by senior Corey McGhee (19 points/12 rebounds/5 assists), ENC clawed its way back.  With ten minutes remaining in the game, the Lions were within four points (65-61).  The outcome was no longer as certain as it had appeared to be earlier in the game.

But on this night, the Scots quickly returned to their scoring ways and brought along some tight defense over the next three minutes.  The Scots put up twelve points while the Lions were held to one point.  This crucial segment gave Gordon a more comfortable, 77-62, lead and they were on their way to their third win of the season.

“We hit the shots when we needed to, and we got the defensive stops when we needed them,” said Coach Murphy.

Justin Yu (12 points) came off the bench to have his best game of the season.  The GC junior was three-for-three from long range.

Drew Thibeault (8 points) collected his first points of the season.  He had a three during the Scots’ run to rebuild their lead in the second half.

Drew Thibeault (33) launches a key three in the second half
Zach Quanico (3)

“We got a lot of help from a lot of people,” added Coach Murphy.

Garrett Sattazahn (18), Parker Omslaer (15), Bryce Smith (14) and Michael Makiej (12) joined Justin in registering double figures for Gordon.

“It was a good team win,” said Garrett.  “We put the ball in the hoop and Parker did a great job down low.”

Both teams were quick to break and quick to shoot. 

Parker Omslaer and Levi Grady-White

That style of play isn’t exactly to Coach Murphy’s liking: “I always get nervous when we focus on trying to beat teams with three’s.  We’ve got a good shooting team, but we also have a 6-11 big man in the middle who I didn’t think they could stop.  I’m an old-school guy.  I like to go to our big guys.”

“We did a better job tonight boxing out in our zone defense,” explained Garrett.  In the Western New England loss, the Scots gave up an astonishing twenty-two offensive rebounds.  Tonight, that number was lowered to fourteen.

Two key stats in this game involved turnovers and free throws.  The Scots had seventeen, but ENC had eighteen.  The Lions’ full-court pressure caused most of the GC miscues.  The Lions’ turnovers were in the half court.  That fact would be a credit to how active the Gordon zone was tonight.

Garrett Sattazahn looks to pass

Gordon (22-for-26) was very good at the free throw line.  ENC missed ten freebies.

“We still have a lot of work to do in handling pressure,” said Garrett.  “I keep turning the ball over.  I don’t know what’s going on.”

Ka’Shaun Swan (16), Bernie McGinness (13), and Levi Grady-White (11) were the other Lions in double figures.

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

Garrett Sattazahn layup
The Scots were good at the line
Loose ball
David Massillon
Caleb Scott layup
Jordan Bretton and Zach Quanico
Michael Makiej
Zach Quanico on the floor
Nick Manso

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Gordon defeats Wentworth 61-58

Michael Makiej (22) puts back the game winner
Kevin Fernandez (18 points)

(Wenham MA) Have yourself a final minute, Michael Makiej!

The Gordon sophomore had a steal, an offensive rebound that led to a layup, and a blocked shot, all in the last minute to push the Scots past Wentworth, 61-58, at Kanas Court on Saturday afternoon.

“Michael, when he’s active is really, really hard to stop at either end of the court,” said GC coach Tod Murphy afterwards.

Treyton Tebbs on the floor for Scots

The Leopards (2-4) led most of the way. Gordon, however, was close enough to take the lead in the second half briefly (40-39) on a Zach Quanico three and later tie the score (53-53) on a Treyton Tebbs layup.

A Trey Carrier (12 points) jump shot gave the team from Boston a, 58-55, lead with 3:40 remaining.

Wentworth didn’t score another point in their final seven possessions.  Instead, the Leopards had five turnovers and two missed three’s.

“They made the plays in crunch time, and we didn’t,” said WIT coach Arlen Galloway post-game.

Despite the slew of pointless possessions, the Leopards still had a chance to send the game into overtime on their final possession.

Wentworth attacked the Gordon zone with quick passes in the final twelve seconds and got the ball to Kevin Fernandez (18 points) on the right wing. 

Kevin Fernandez receives a pass on the wing

Kevin appeared set up for a wide-open, potentially game-tying three.  But Michael Makiej hustled to the perimeter and deflected the shot to seal this one for Gordon.

Michael Makiej hustles out to deflect the final shot
Garrett Sattazahn (16 points)

“I definitely think he (Kevin Fernandez) would have made that shot,” recalled Michael.

“Michael made plays when we needed them today,” said Coach Murphy.  Michael’s basket after an offensive rebound gave Gordon the lead for good.

“They made some big plays late and we didn’t,” said Coach Galloway.  “We have a lot of guys who’ve made those big plays in the past. We’ve got to be ready to bounce back.”

Gordon (2-1) was buried by Endicott a few days ago.  “This was a little bit better than the last one,” laughed Coach Murphy.  “I’m not sure, however, what’s happened to our offense.”

Parker Omslaer surrounded by Leopards

Garrett Sattazahn paced the Scots with sixteen points including consecutive free throws in the final minute.

Both coaches were pleased with their defenses.

“I thought we did a good job today defensively,” said Coach Galloway.  “This game could have gone either way.  We have to stay positive.”

“To be able to win a game where we can say defense won it for us is a good thing,” added Coach Murphy.

Trey Carrier (12 points)

The Leopards have a reputation of extending possessions and keeping scores lower than usual.

“To grind out a win against a team that is a grinding type of team is something we can be pleased about,” said Coach Murphy.

Three games in, Coach Murphy wasn’t too concerned about the lack of points in the last two games.  “We’ll do better,” he said.  “We’re going to be fine.  Offensively, we’ll get it going again.”

Senior Parker Omslaer had twelve points and nine rebounds for the Scots.

Caleb Scott gets position in the lane

Wentworth had a 25-point second half while Gordon had a 26-point first half.

“Twenty-five points in a half is never going to be good enough,” said Coach Galloway.

“I told the team at halftime that we needed to go out there in the second half and have some fun,” recalled Coach Murphy.  “They came off the court at the end of the half with their heads down.  I told them that basketball is the greatest sport in the world, and they should go out and enjoy playing it.  I told them that they were too good to be playing the way they were.”

“We have a lot of room to grow,” said Michael Makiej afterwards.  “This is only our third game.  We’ve lost a lot of time because of sickness.”

Kevin Fernandez finds an opening in the Gordon zone defense
Bryce Smith fouled in the lane

Coach Murphy: “Bryce (Smith) is such an intelligent player.  He was the one telling me that we had two fouls to give at the end.”

Coach Galloway: “We’re happy to be playing basketball after not playing at all last year.”

Next home game for the Scots is Thursday night (7:30) against Eastern Nazarene.  Before there was Endicott, Gordon’s biggest rival was ENC. 

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

Gordon celebrates
Dempseys in the house
Bryce Smith guarded by Conor Rubenskas
Parker Omslaer guarded by Thomas Hacker
Garrett Sattazahn in the lane

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Endicott routs Gordon 82-55

Jalen Echevarria led the Gulls with twenty-six points
Billy Arsenault (10 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists)

(Wenham MA) Two games in, who can figure out the Gordon men’s basketball team?

Tonight, they never had a chance, losing to Endicott, 82-55.

Eight days ago in their opener, the Scots (1-1) shot well and defended well enough to get a, 99-86, win against highly-regarded Salem State.

“It’s too early to diagnose what’s going on,” said Gordon coach Tod Murphy afterwards.  “I’m hoping to play some younger guys, but we’ll look at film and try to figure it out.”

Bryce Smith (11 points)

Endicott coach Kevin Bettencourt was all smiles afterwards.  “It was obviously a good one for us,” he said.  “We’ve never had a game like this in this gym before.”

Junior Jalen Echevarria paced the Gulls (4-2) with twenty-six points.

“Jalen is a great player,” said Coach Murphy.  “He’s just so fast.”

The Scots only trailed by six points (16-10) seven minutes into the game.

David Massillon looks for someone to pass to.

After that? It was all Endicott.

The Gulls scored eleven straight points in the next four minutes and just like that were up by seventeen (27-10).

Reserve Mike Levesque had a pair of three’s and Jalen Echevarria added another one in the streak of efficient Endicott offense.

The Gulls scored nine times from long range in the first half.

“They had nine 3’s in the first half,” recalled Coach Murphy, “and on six of them we had mental errors.”

Parker Omslaer shoots over Parker McLaren

Endicott led 43-24 at the half. 

Three-plus minutes into the second half the Gordon deficit reached twenty (52-30) and with five minutes left it was thirty (77-47).

“The good news is that we only lost one game tonight,” said Coach Murphy.  “We played bad enough to lose three or four!”

The Endicott man-to-man defense was a key piece in their win.

“I thought that our defensive effort was great tonight,” said Coach Bettencourt.  “We hadn’t been playing with a lot of defensive intensity and it was a point of emphasis tonight.”

The Scots struggled to get open looks and didn’t take good care of the ball (twenty-two turnovers).

Justin Yu trapped

Eric Demers (Maine Celtics) was in the house as was AJ Terry.  “I was ready to use both of them,” joked Coach Murphy.

No question that Gordon’s zone defense is a work in progress.  Few players show up with the experience required to execute it at the college level. 

“Our defense is not a normal defense for the new players,” said Coach Murphy.  “It’s contrary to what they’ve been taught in high school.”

“Defensively, we didn’t take them out of anything they wanted to do,” added Coach Murphy. 

Treyton Tebbs

“We did a pretty good job against their zone,” recalled Coach Bettencourt.  “We created space and had the ball moving.  Then we stepped up and knocked down shots.”

Lynnfield’s Billy Arsenault had a big game for the Gulls.  His numbers show the variety of his contributions.  Tonight, he had ten points, eight rebounds, and six assists.  Billy was the primary ballhandler for Endicott and had just one turnover.

“The two guys (Jalen & Billy) that get us to go had great games,” said Coach Bettencourt.  “Tonight, we had some shooting around them.”

Eyeing a rebound

Freshman Mike Levesque hit all four of his 3-point attempts to collect twelve points for the Gulls.

The Scots, so far, have really felt the effects of Covid-19.  Their first two games were cancelled because of the virus.  “We had a full week this season where we didn’t have enough guys to practice,” said Coach Murphy.

The two teams will meet again in the new year.

David Massillon (15)

“I’m sure that it will be a much tougher game next time we play them,” said Coach Bettencourt.  “They have some great shooters.  It was just one of those days for them.  Our defense had a lot to do with it.”

Freshman Bryce Smith was the lone Scot in double figures with eleven points.  Parker Omslaer had nine rebounds for Gordon.

Tough night for Garrett Sattazahn: two points on one-for-nine shooting, plus four turnovers. 

Good active crowd in at Kanas Court. 

Gordon hosts Wentworth on Saturday afternoon (3PM).  So far this season we’ve seen extremely good basketball and extremely not-so-good basketball.  What will we see on Saturday?

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

Jayson Clayton
Alex Villalobos
Ben North
Gehrig Zimmerman
Bryce Smith and Billy Arsenault
Jordan Bretton
Parker McLaren and Adam Lux
Michael Makiej shoots over Parker McLaren

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