(Wenham) This photo shows Gordon College junior Justin Kaufman accepting the MVP trophy from Gordon assistant coach Jeremy Martin at the end of last season’s Tip-Off Tournament.
By Peter McClelland
(Wenham) – This season has taken the cake as far as excruciating losses are concerned. Add a 69-68 loss in the semifinals of the Commonwealth Coast Conference to Wentworth to the collection.
Let’s get the last-minute details out right off the top:
In front of the largest and most enthusiastic crowd of the season the Scots carried a five point lead (68-63) into the final minute after freshman Brady Bajema (Whitinsville,MA) drained a three from the wing.
CCC MVP Sherrad Prezzie-Blue, however, hit a tough three and followed it with a steal. Next thing we knew sophomore Todd Doyle found room to make a three in front of the Blue Sea. Those clutch shots put the Leopards in front 69-68 but there were still 25 seconds left.
Senior Mike Herr (Lampeter,PA) headed in for a layup but Weonard Bynes deflected the shot and Wentworth got the ball back. Ed Bolton was fouled but with 8.8 seconds left missed the front end of a one-and-one. The Scots raced down the floor and good Wentworth defense forced the ball out-of-bounds. With less than a second to go Gordon ran an inbounds play and inbounder Jerry Logan (Marietta,GA) found Brady Bajema. The talented freshman could only catch-and-shoot and his mid-range jumper went off the rim as the horn sounded.
Was that excruciating enough? Imagine how the 1000 of us in attendance felt!
“I thought that they made every shot they had to make,” said an obviously worn out Gordon Coach Mike Schauer afterwards. “If they miss any of them we win.”
“This year has been a struggle for reasons that had nothing to do with basketball. This loss just compounds it. We have an awful lot of guys back in the locker room bawling their eyes out and I don’t know really what to tell them.”
Todd Doyle hit the winning basket but Sherrad Prezzie-Blue is the reason the Leopards will be in the finals at Curry on Saturday night. The 5’11” junior tallied 30 points in the game including an astonishing 23 in the second half. And he put up those numbers with the defensive player-of-the-year Jerry Logan in his face throughout.
“You look at his stat line over the last few games and there’s no question he (Prezzie-Blue) deserved the MVP Award,” said Coach Schauer.
If you need a second reason for the Wentworth win go with sophomore Weonard Bynes. At 6’3” he’s not the tallest inside defender in the CCC but he has the timing to block shots. He had five in this one probably the most memorable being a rejection of Mike Herr’s attempt at a two-handed jam in the first half.
“Weonard had five blocks tonight and five against Roger Williams (in the quarterfinals),” recalled Wentworth Coach Tom Devitt. “Players step up and make you win. All of a sudden you look like a good coach.”
Coach Devitt has never failed to mention to me his high regard for Gordon basketball. “I still believe that Gordon is the class of the league. I can’t say enough about Mike (Schauer). They’re getting themselves on the national map and one game tonight doesn’t change that.”
Wentworth jumped off to a 12-4 lead at 15:45 and you couldn’t help but recall last year’s semifinal loss to Colby-Sawyer at the Bennett Center when the Scots had a bad first half and never recovered. However, that wouldn’t happen this year. A jumper by Jon Marstaller (Naples,ME) tied things at 15 and the teams left at halftime still tied, 25-25.
The Leopards went up by five a couple of times in the second half – 33-28, and 47-42 – after Prezzie-Blue 3’s. The Scots refused to go away. Gordon put together seven straight points on layups by Brady Bajema & Jerry Logan followed by a three by Jerry. That put Gordon ahead 49-47 with 10 ½ minutes left.
Later the Scots put together a 9-1 run on three’s by Justin Kaufman (Redding,CI), Jerry Logan, and Mike Herr as the home team looked to be pulling away, 62-55, with just 5 ½ to go.
But the Scots had only 3’s from Justin Kaufman and Brady Bajema over the last 5 ½ minutes and that poor point production opened the door for the visitors who made their last four shots.
“Our guys have nothing to be ashamed of,” said Coach Schauer. “They do have a lot to be disappointed in. We certainly had our chances to win this one.”
The Scots finish the season with a very good 19-7 record. They advanced to the CCC semifinals for the second year in a row and came within one defensive stop or made shot of going to the finals.
Replacing seniors Jerry Logan and Mike Herr will determine the fate of the 2007-08 Fighting Scots. Those two led Gordon with 18 points in their last game. It was a pleasure to watch #1 and #44 during the past four seasons.
Wentworth (16-11) gets to play Curry for the CCC championship at Curry on Saturday night. That dream (scream?) game of Gordon versus Endicott in the CCC championship at the Bennett Center will have to wait another year. Don’t bet against the Scots finding a way to get there next year.
Rookie SID Patrick Byrne did a fabulous job with stats all season long……………I continue to marvel at the dedication of parents showing up at games all over New England………I got to all 27 games this season thanks to cooperative weather or was it global warming…………The Blue Sea really established itself this season – good numbers and good volume. Maybe there should be some sort of college credit for being involved……………I intend to be around doing these games next season. If I have your email address now you’ll probably be hearing from me in November. My email list is over 100 now and after seeing at least 1000 people in the stands I figure that others might want to be added to the mailing list. If you can help I’d appreciate it…………………A number of coaches from other schools have mentioned next year’s schedule to me in interviews. I’ve read nothing official but apparently the CCC will be expanded to include Western New England College and there will only be one division. Teams would play each other once in league play……………Coach Mike Schauer and Assistant Coach Jeremy Martin have developed a terrific basketball program with expertise and determination. When Coach Schauer informed me that there was no chance of an at-large NCAA bid I asked him what he would be doing now. He said, “Recruiting.”……………I thank God for the opportunity to follow this team around. They have represented the college well in all sorts of circumstances putting their faith on display along the way.
By Peter McClelland
(Wenham) – “That may have been the worst we’ve ever shot in here for a half,” said Gordon Coach Mike Schauer afterwards.
Fortunately, for the Scots the off shooting ended at halftime. They came on strong in the second half and defeated Salve Regina, 63-56, at the boisterous Bennett Center on Tuesday night and now advance to the semi-finals of the Commonwealth Coast Conference playoffs on Thursday at home at 7PM against Wentworth.
It was two scoring runs by the Scots in the second half that did in the visiting Seahawks. The first streak was for ten points and it turned Salve’s biggest lead, 34-29, into a 39-34 deficit with 15 minutes left. Later Gordon ran nine straight after the Seahawks had cut the Scot margin to 45-43 and that produced a 54-43 cushion with 8:25 left that Salve never recovered from.
“We talked before the game and at halftime about not letting them go on big runs,” explained Salve Coach Sean Foster. “We knew that they had a potent offense and that their 3-for-16 3-point shooting in the first half wasn’t going to last.”
The closest the Seahawks could get during the last 8:25 was six in the last minute (60-54) but Gordon just wasn’t going to let this one get away. Credit junior Justin Kaufman (Redding,CT) for being the stabilizer down the stretch. He controlled the ball against pressure, used much of the 35-second clock on every possession, and slashed to the basket finishing layups. He had six of Gordon’s last seven points and managed the last four minutes of the game brilliantly.
Both of the game-deciding spurts featured three’s. Senior Mike Herr (Lampeter,PA) connected in both spurts while freshman Brady Bajema (Whitinsville,MA) added one in the second. “I just didn’t think that we could shoot poorly for two halves in a row,” said Coach Mike Schauer. “We have too many good shooters.”
Junior Jon Marstaller (Naples.ME) was named to the Commonwealth Coast Conference first team today and confirmed in this game that he deserved the honor. He tallied 20 points and has contributed at least 20 points in seven games this season. He also grabbed eleven boards. “Jon was the best player on the floor,” said Coach Schauer. “Not only was his scoring important but he rebounded very aggressively.”
The visiting Seahawks may not have had a stable of outside shooters but they did have sophomore Justin Woodworth (Ipswich,MA). With a goodly number of family and friends on hand, he exploded early in the second half for 12 of his team’s 18 points. “He may be as good a 3-point shooter as anyone in our league,” said Coach Schauer. “He really got going for a while but thankfully the newly selected defensive player-of-the-year Jerry Logan (Marietta,GA) was able to limit his touches later in the second half.”
“(Jerry) Logan in particular did a nice job with Justin (Woodworth),” recalled Coach Foster. “He was able to get through screens and be there on the catch.”
Seniors Jon Hazzard and Matt Grendal paced the Seahawk scorers. “It’s been a pleasure to coach those two,” said Coach Foster.
Gordon (19-7) now gets to face Wentworth. The Leopards took out Roger Williams on the road tonight in the first round for the second year in a row.
Gordon has played Wentworth twice this season. The Scots shot 60.4 % at home in a 79-62 win in early December. Later in a game played at Curry on January 18th Wentworth shot 57.1% in a 76-63 victory.
Coach Schauer believes that his team learned a lot being in the playoffs last year. The Scots got by Nichols in a miracle finish and then were beaten handily by Colby-Sawyer. “Frankly we were fortunate to win a game in the playoffs. But I think that we are better because we’ve been through the experience of the playoffs. We now have guys who kind of know how to persevere through the rough stretches and just continue to try and make plays. That’s what happened tonight.”
The Blue Sea (student cheering section) was absolutely fabulous. For the past couple of games they’ve been standing but saying little as if the national anthem was being played. This time they were on their game from beginning to end. They carried the Scots. They will be needed on Thursday night.
Did the closing of the Fitness Center have anything to do with the calisthenics routine that the Blue Sea did?……….Jon Hazzard is one of the great leapers in the CCC. “Jon had a big first half and was able to get to the rim. The second half Gordon rotated better and he ended up with jumpers.” – Coach Foster………………Junior guard Chris Goodridge had one of those “good news/bad news” games with an astonishing 13 rebounds but 2-for-16 shooting……………Sophomore Tim DeLuca (Gray,ME) needed just 11 minutes to produce a very important 10 points. He had 12 points in 12 minutes against UNE. We’re talking instant offense…………Freshmen Aaron Trigg (Overland Park.KS) and Brady Bajema survived their first playoff game. I suspect that they’ll up their production against Wentworth………….”We can have big scoring runs here (at the Bennett Center) but what I was really pleased with was that we held them to 56 points. We have a good chance to win anytime we do that.” – Coach Schauer……………Endicott plays Curry in the other semi-final match at Curry. Endicott won there by two points last time.
by Peter McClelland
(Wenham) – There was plenty of “feel good” in the air as Gordon wiped out visiting UNE, 76-38, on Saturday afternoon at the Bennett Center ending the regular Commonwealth Coast Conference season as champions.
“Being the regular season champion doesn’t have the same connotation as being the actual conference champion but it involved staying the course in a season-long struggle and I’m pleased with that,” said Gordon Coach Mike Schauer afterwards.
Now eight teams move into the do-or-die segment of the season and by being the regular season champ Gordon gains the home-court in any playoff game they’re involved in.
The Scots entered the UNE game having already secured the home-court advantage based on a tie-breaker over Endicott. “Everyone was talking about how we had wrapped up the regular season,” said Coach Schauer. “I didn’t feel like we had. I didn’t want to share the top spot with Endicott.”
So for the team to get where the coach wanted them to be they needed to defeat UNE, even though they didn’t have to, and did they ever.
Those of us who witnessed the first meeting between the University of New England and Gordon on January 30th at Biddeford (66-33 Scot win) and this one saw plenty to like both times. UNE Coach Jon Hayes told me after the first game that, “when his team goes bad, it goes real bad.” Fortunately, for Gordon they were part of that scenario both times.
UNE (5-20 overall/5-11 in the CCC) ends up with an undistingushed record but when you examine their season and see that they defeated Colby-Sawyer twice, and Curry, Salve Regina, and Eastern Nazarene once each you realize that they can be dangerous.
On Senior Day at Gordon things went about as smoothly as a Scot fan could hope for, however. Jerry Logan, Mike Herr, Heidi Hakes and their families were honored before the game started and then Gordon never trailed from wire-to-wire. Every team member saw extended minutes.
When it was over the talk was of the road ahead which starts on Tuesday night at seven o’clock versus Salve Regina at the Bennett Center. SR (8-8 in CCC) closed their season at Endicott today and went down to a one-point loss just as the Scots had on Tuesday night. “We played very well against Salve down there (68-51 win January 13th),” explained Coach Schauer. “They provide a multitude of matchup problems but we do for them as well.”
They switched the starting time at Endicott so SR Coach Sean Foster was in the house to take in the first half of the UNE/Gordon game. After watching the Scots pour in 9-of-15 from beyond the arc in just the first half I suspect that perimeter defense will be a significant item on SR’s practice agenda.
Gordon would end up connecting on 14 long ones before this one was over in easily their best output in that category. “One of our goals in the game was to contest every shot and we did that early,” said Coach Hayes. “What can you do when a team makes contested shots?”
One thing you end up doing is watching the scoreboard light up. Ten minutes into the game freshman Brady Bajema (Whitinsville,MA) already had three from long-range while senior day honoree Mike Herr (Lampeter,PA) had a couple. Under such a barrage the visitors got down, 23-6, and on this day there was no coming back. Sophomore Tim DeLuca (Gray,ME) rediscovered his outside shot in the last five minutes of the half and added three 3’s of his own and Gordon led, 41-22, at halftime.
“We actually didn’t play a great, great first half,” said Coach Schauer. “We just shot the lights out. They got eight offensive rebounds and obviously by my one outburst I didn’t like some of the stuff we were doing defensively.” That outburst was an interesting mix of Mount St.Helen’s and paint-peeling decibels and it certainly appeared to jolt the team into a better effort at the defensive end the rest of the way.
The Scots continued to enjoy the home-court setting in the second half. This time it was Mike Herr on fire clicking on three straight long ones while Brady Bajema and Tim DeLuca netted one each. Gordon had an 18-point scoring streak in the midst of this and with nine minutes left the cows had left the barn, 68-27.
The rest of the way we got a good look at players we generally only see in the pregame and had a chance to size up their potential as contributors in the seasons ahead.
“I took Jerry and Mike out with about 13 minutes left with the intention of giving them a minute at the end,” said Coach Schauer. “However, with the way the game went it wouldn’t have looked very good to put them back in so I didn’t . Knowing them, I’m sure it didn’t make any difference.”
So Gordon ends the regular season at 18-7 overall and 13-3 in the CCC. The Scots were 22-3 overall last season and 15-1 in the CCC. “The difference between 22-3 and 18-7 is a little bit of luck,” explained Coach Hayes giving his take on the Gordon season. “One year things go your way and another they don’t. They are a talented veteran team.”
The long-range shooters (Mike Herr, Brady Bajema,Tim DeLuca) paced the Gordon scorers. They combined for an amazing 13-for-18. I kept thinking that it might be nice to save a few of those for the playoffs.
Roger Williams and Wentworth are in the same playoff bracket with Gordon. RW is the only team the Scots didn’t defeat this season.The other bracket has Nichols at Endicott and Colby-Sawyer at Curry…….I was pleased to see Jerry Logan (Marietta,GA) score the first points of the game finding an opening down the lane for a lay-up. How many times did we see him do that over the past four years? It didn’t surprise me one bit to see him assume the servant role over the latter stages of the game offering water to the reserves during timeouts………The Scots set season highs in forced turnovers (23) and steals (16) against UNE………Junior Mike Schnackenberg (South Portland,ME) has turned up the intensity level over the past few games, as I see it, and will make teams pay in the playoffs if they concentrate too much on Jon Marstaller. He also has made eleven straight free throws………..Mike Herr hitting a three? How many t imes did we see him do that from the wing? On another team he might have averaged 20+ points per game but at Gordon he settled into the team concept and forced very few shots………Why is this so late? I opted to beat projected bad weather and get to Pennsylvania last night for a birthday celebration this afternoon down here. I expect to be on hand for Tuesday’s 7PM event.
By Peter McClelland
(Wenham) Good news for Gordon fans on two fronts.
Tuesday night at the Bennett Center the Scots cruised past Anna Maria, 74-52, while Endicott was upset in New Hampshire by New England College, 82-70.
Put those two results together and you get Gordon getting the top seed in the Commonwealth Coast Conference playoffs no matter what happens on the last game of the regular season on Saturday afternoon against the University of New England.
The playoffs start next Tuesday for Gordon at 7PM at the Bennett Center. The opponent will be either Salve Regina or Nichols.
You had to wonder what kind of a performance the Scots would come up with after the memorable loss at Endicott Tuesday night. “I thought our guys handled the Tuesday situation very well in fact better than I did,” explained Gordon Coach Mike Schauer after the Anna Maria win. “Players were upbeat, excited, and looking forward to playing again. I was really proud of them for those reasons.”
The visiting Amcats had a 6-5 lead less than four minutes into the game but thereafter the Scots had far too many weapons for this to be a close game for long.
“I was happy with our effort,” said Anna Maria Coach Shawn Conrad afterwards. “We’re just not as savvy as Gordon.”
The Amcats hit a cold spell and 3 ½ minutes later Gordon had run off eight straight and led 25-13. After a three by senior Bryan Porcaro Anna Maria went cold again for three minutes and Gordon served up ten unanswered points to increase their advantage to 35-16 with three minutes to go in the first half. The Scots had a 37-24 halftime lead.
That lead didn’t seem insurmountable but when you factor in that in the first half Mike Herr (Lampeter,PA) played only three minutes (foul trouble) and Jon Marstaller (Naples,ME)shot 0-for-7 you had a good feeling about the second half.
“Any time Jon Marstaller goes 0-7, and I don’t think he’s ever done that in a half before, and Mike Herr plays just three minutes you’d normally get a little worried,” said Coach Schauer. “Mike Schnackenberg (South Portland,ME), however, was great in the first half and he became our all-conference caliber forward during that half.”
The 6’6” junior contributed 10 points, 5 rebounds, 2 blocks, and 2 steals in probably the best half he’s played at Gordon.
Anna Maria (7-17) hung around for a good part of the second half as both teams collected 20 points and with 9:30 left in the game the score was, 57-44.
“We stayed in the game because we played hard,” explained Coach Conrad. “Gordon, though, is very cerebral. They make the extra pass and cut when needed. They beat us way too many times off the dribble.”
Mike Herr started the surge that put this one out of reach by connecting on a couple of 3’s. The Amcats answered with an old-fashioned 3-point play from Jim Daigneault and a free throw from Quincy Nunnally. The Scots followed with yet another layup by Mike Schnackenberg and a converted offensive rebound by Jon Marstaller. Justin Kaufman (Redding,CT) and Mike Schnackenberg than added the frosting to the cake with their lob-and-layin routine. This put Gordon in control, 69-48, with 5 ½ minutes remaining.
The rest of the way things got very ragged. The Amcats couldn’t score during the last 4 minutes and Gordon had only a Keith Krass (Beach Park,Il) layup during the same time period. The final score was 74-52.
Gordon moves to 17-7 overall and 12-3 in the CCC.
Although the Endicott loss takes some of the suspense off of Saturday’s game with UNE it shouldn’t take away from the pregame activities in which the Gordon careers of Jerry Logan (Marietta,GA) and Mike Herr will be celebrated. “They were the first recruits that brought us to the sort of opportunity we now have,” said Coach Schauer.
Freshman Ben Gaskill (Columbus,OH) had his longest minutes (16) of the season and except for being victimized on a backdoor cut showed plenty of promise. At 6’9” he has the size to alter opposing team’s inside options. Maybe his performance was helped by having family in attendance at the Bennett Center.
Jon Marstaller was presented with a basketball before the game commemorating his 1000th point. As Mike Herr did earlier this season, he immediately handed the ball over to family in the crowd.
Aaron Trigg’s father saw another game after his flight out on Wednesday was cancelled. Why would anyone want to be in Florida and miss out on a nice brisk walk from the chapel parking lot to the Bennett Center? ……………Freshman Tim McDonnell (Jericho,VT) picked up three rebounds and a couple of floor burns in short minutes…………Obviously the Blue Sea was exhausted from the Endicott game. Their numbers were down and their noise level was hardly discernable. They had better be rested come Tuesday night…………”I didn’t tell the team much afterwards. If I had to tell them a whole lot now they’re missing the equation.” – Coach Schauer…………It looks as if Gordon will be in a playoff bracket with Wentworth, Roger Williams, and either Nichols or Salve Regina. I’d love to be writing about a semi-final win a week from now.
By Peter McClelland
(Beverly) Junior Todd Burton gave Endicott it’s only lead with ½ a second left calmly draining a free throw after bringing down the house with a last-hope three just before it.
Todd’s free throw gave the Gulls a 62-61 victory on Tuesday evening at the rocking Post Center in Commonwealth Coast Conference action.
The crowd was awesome on both sides and loud enough so that potential vocal troublemakers went unheard. The Blue Sea was out in force and Endicott Coach Chris Millette said afterwards “It sounded like we were at Gordon at first. Your fans were all there and ours were late arriving.”
Both teams are now tied at 10-3 in the CCC North. The important thing, and Gordon Coach Mike Schauer emphasized this afterwards, is that the Scots remain in the driver’s seat despite the loss. “There’s only one team that controls its own destiny and that’s Gordon College. The noise from this win may reverberate through the hallways here for years to come but if we win two more games they’ll probably have to come through us to win the championship.”
Gordon plays its last two games at home starting against Anna Maria on Thursday night and finishing with UNE on Saturday afternoon. Endicott travels to New England College Thursday night and finishes at home versus Salve Regina. If both Gordon & Endicott win both games then a tiebreaker kicks in to finalize the playoff seedings. The decider would then be the teams’ record against Colby-Sawyer. Gordon won both times and Endicott split. That would give the Scots home court throughout the CCC playoffs next week. Gordon would end up in a different bracket than Endicott and the only way they could face each other would be in the championship game. Now wouldn’t that be something!
The ending of this game was hectic and if you are a Gordon fan looking for a way to stay wide-awake for a while look at a video of the last six minutes of this one.
The Scots had owned the lead from the beginning as junior Jon Marstaller (Naples,ME) slid in for a layup in the first 12 seconds of the game. That lead grew to 13-4 on senior Jerry Logan’s drive to the basket and Gordon was in front at halftime, 28-24.
The second half saw that lead increase to 35-28 before the Gulls ran off seven straight and tied things when Todd Burton sank two free throws. That tie came with 13:46 left.
Over the next eight minutes of play Gordon discovered some long-range accuracy from freshman Brady Bajema (Whitinsville,MA) and junior Justin Kaufman (Redding,CT) while also getting points from senior Mike Herr (Lampeter,PA), junior Mike Schnackenberg(South Portland,ME) and Jon Marstaller. Before you knew it the Scots had themselves a nice 57-46 spread with 5:58 remaining.
Concerning that 11 point lead Coach Schauer said, “It’s kind of a weird time particularly as the road team because you stop being aggressive a little bit and I thought we did that and passed on a couple of open looks at the basket.”
The Endicott crowd and their players never conceded despite the deficit. Over the next 3+ minutes the Gulls ran nine in a row to close to 57-55 with 2:47 left. This ending was not going to be for the faint of heart and everyone knew it.
Justin Kaufman squirmed in for two (59-55) while Todd Burton made one of two free throws (59-56). After a Gordon miss freshman Graham Whitelaw knocked down a shot from the right corner that some thought was a three but the referees said was a two. Therefore, with 32 seconds left the Gulls trailed by just one.
Endicott went into full-court pressure but Justin Kaufman quickly found Brady Bajema alone on the wing down court and the freshman gave Gordon a 61-58 lead with 25 seconds remaining.
“We wanted to get the ball inside to Nemanja (Marinkovic) and if that’s not there then out to Gary (Corbett) for a three,” explained Coach Millette. What happened was none of the above. Nemanja reluctantly put up a three with about ten seconds to go. The ball went off the rim and headed for the corner. Jerry Logan tried to recover the ball but lost it out of bounds with 9.2 seconds left. “Last year you could call a timeout when you were going out-of-bounds and that would have happened this time but for the rule change,” said Coach Schauer.
Given yet another chance to tie the game but with no timeouts left Coach Millette recalls yelling, “Three, Three, Three. I was trying to tell them that we needed a three and they thought I wanted a three out-of-bounds play.” Needless to say, confusion was out in full bloom. A couple of Gulls handled the ball before Todd Burton appeared uncovered in the corner for an open three. Jon Marstaller rushed at Todd in an attempt to block the shot and drew a foul instead as the last second shot connected to tie the game.
Gordon took a timeout to give Todd a chance to think about the magnitude of the free throw he would take but it had no effect. Todd is 5th in the CCC in free throw percentage and didn’t miss.
The Endicott crowd mobbed the court and I suspect that the Blue Sea would have done the same thing if Gordon had hung on to win the game.
“Next year the league schedule will be set up so that we only play each team in the league once,” said Coach Millette. “However, Mike (Schauer) and I have already decided to play each other twice. It’s such a great rivalry.”
Coach Schauer suggested that, “getting drilled might have been better than losing the way we did. We’ve had a lot of nights like this year where we’ve done just enough to make it close and lost tough games – a couple in overtime and the Newbury game.”
This was the first competitive game I’ve seen Gordon play at Endicott. Starting in the 2002-03 season we’ve gone to Beverly and lost; 79-67, 76-62, 67-52, and 62-47. In each of those losses we trailed significantly at halftime including last year being behind 35-20. Point? This tight game tonight was a vast improvement over previous efforts and nothing to be ashamed of.
Todd Burton may have made the big shot but no question the best player in the game was senior Nemanja Marinkovic. He was a first-team all-conference player last year and he’ll be there this year too. He had 24 points including 16 in the second half this time around. The Scots have had trouble defending him in all eight of the games he’s faced them in. Graduate, would you!
The best news of the night in my opinion was the return of Justin Kaufman as a scoring contributor. Slowed down by injuries his scoring has suffered. All of a sudden in this one it all came back. He was looking for his shot and took the ball to the basket when there were opportunities. He also had five assists to go with 12 points. He hadn’t reached double-figures in the previous seven games.
I cannot say enough about the crowd. Every basket earned a thunderous ovation. Endicott’s last two baskets came from right in front of their most vocal supporters.
A telling stat for Gordon was that they only recorded three assists in the second half. That could indicate an overdose of one-on-one play………Freshman Ben Gaskill (Columbus,OH) saw some minutes in the first half and may be ready to provide some inside presence (he’s 6’9”) in the near future………”What I want to see is if our guys can persevere. There are a lot of chapters left to be written this year” – Coach Schauer………Both teams played very hard. “They say that the harder you work the luckier you get” – Coach Millette………Senior Mike Sullivan came in averaging 12.8 points per game but was limited to one point in this one………I continue to marvel at parents making long weekday trips to see their kids play basketball. I wonder if the kids appreciate the level of sacrifice involved.