(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.
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 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.
“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.”
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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