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Gordon reaches CCC title game after 103-89 win over Roger Williams

Clock runs out on Roger Williams

Garrisson Duvivier (28 points) checks out

(Wenham MA) Big doings in just one game.

Gordon (22-4) outlasted Roger Williams, 103-89, to reach the Commonwealth Coast Conference title game on Saturday at Holy Cross (4:30PM).

But that’s not all.

Senior Garrisson Duviver (28 points) passed Jim Petty to gain the top spot as Gordon’s all-time leading scorer.

The shooting in this game was remarkable.  Defense was being played by both teams, but it didn’t seem to have much effect!

Eli Harris (20 points) made six 3’s for the Hawks

Roger Williams (15-12) made eleven three’s in the first half and still trailed by two (51-49).

“I didn’t know if they were ever going to miss a shot,” said GC coach Tod Murphy post-game.  “At halftime I said, ‘I don’t know whether to be scared out of my mind because we’re shooting and playing so well and only up by two or if I should be thrilled that they’ve made so many three’s (11-for-19) that they can’t keep it up.’”

As it turned out, the Scots (23-4) never cooled off.  In the second half they made nineteen of twenty-seven field goal attempts including an astonishing 7-for-8 from long range.  They were also 7-for-7 from the foul line.

That sort of shooting is hard to match but credit the Hawks, they were still able to be close (85-85) with 5:43 left.

Eric Demers (four assists) passes inside to Garrisson Duvivier

After that?  The team from Bristol (RI) had unproductive possessions while the Scots rolled on in their happy shooting ways.

If you’re looking for big shots, Jake Haar’s two three’s (assisted by Eric Demers) in Gordon’s next three possessions will do.  Garrisson Duvivier had a layup in between the two triples and suddenly Gordon was up, 93-85, with three minutes left.

Again credit RW for hanging in there.  Two Austin Coene (36 points) layups surrounded a Garrisson Duviver turnoever and the Scots’ lead was only four (93-89) with 2:14 left.

Turning point alert: Over the final 2:14 the Hawks didn’t score again.  Missed a jump shot, a layup, a three, and had two turnovers.

Jake Haar (15 points) hit five 3’s for the Scots

Meanwhile, the Scots added two points on each of their final five possessions; layups Eric Demers and Garrisson Duvivier, and free throws Noah Szilagyi (4) and Eric Demers (2).

That closing run was enough to give Gordon a 103-89 semifinals win.

“There is great competition in the CCC,” said Garrisson afterwards.  “In the tournament everyone is coming to play.  Roger Williams brought it tonight.”

There were seven ties and six lead changes.

Noah Szilagyi (14 points)

“It was like the Nichols game and the Wentworth game,” said Coach Murphy.  “I wish we could get up and stay up.”

“You go through highs and you go through lows,” said Garrisson, “but you do it together.  It was our group of guys coming together.  We just kept attacking.”

Gordon will face top seed Nichols (24-2) in the title game.  Five years ago was the last time the Scots got this far.  The opponent then?  Nichols.

“The last time we were in this game was against Nichols,” said Coach Murphy, “and it turned out pretty well.”

Possibly lost in all the interest in Garrisson’s quest to be the GC all-time scorer was the play of the other four starters.

Parker Omslaer – eight points, nine rebounds, 4-for-5 shooting.

Eric Demers (34 points)

Eric Demers – thirty-four points on a very hot 13-for-17 shooting, four assists.

Noah Szilagyi – fourteen points, three steals.

Jake Haar – most 3’s (five) he’s had since Salem State in November, fifteen points, three assists.

It truly was, as Garrisson said, a team effort.

The CCC’s player-of-the year (Austin Coene) was good as usual: 36 points, 6 assists, 8 rebounds.

Austin Coene (36 points)

“Austin is an unbelievable player,” said Coach Murphy. “I’m thrilled not to have to play against him anymore.”

Freshman Eli Harris (20 points) hit six triples for the Hawks.

Coach Murphy on Garrisson: “I didn’t think that he’d score like he’s done.  When I recruited him he weighed about 190 pounds.  He showed up on campus and he was 220.  I said, ‘this is a kid who wants to be the best.’ I knew he wanted it and would work at it.”

Garrisson on being the scoring leader: “It’s a blessing.  I never thought it would happen.  I knew I was close, but I didn’t know if I was going to get it or not.  It’s just the grace of God that has allowed me to be here and doing what I’ve done. The record would have meant nothing if we hadn’t won the game.”

Box from the game

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

Austin Coene in the lane

Austin Coene looks for an opening

Avelino Damoura

Drew Hart and Garrisson Duvivier

Eric Demers on the move

Garrisson Duvivier finger roll

Noah Szilagyi in for two

Garrisson Duvivier layup




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Super Bowl Afterthoughts

They may tell us differently, but I am certain that Philadelphia Eagles’ fans were anxious before and during Super Bowl 52.

Why?  Many reasons.  The Patriots were “regulars” in these big games.  They knew the drill.  And then there’s ageless Tom Brady and the conniving Bill Belichick to be concerned about.

The game itself was certainly stressful for the Eagles’ faithful.  For a while, the Eagles were ahead, but the game wasn’t over.  There was still time for New England to make a comeback like the ones they had made in other Super Bowls.  And then the Patriots went into the lead.  I’m sure that the sentiment among many long-suffering Philly fans was: “Here we go again, finding a way to lose the big game.”

But can I add a certainty?  When the game was over, the Eagles’ fans watching the game lost their anxiety. They knew that their team had won.  It had actually happened.

I recall when Malcolm Butler rescued the Pats in the Super Bowl versus Seattle with his goal-line interception. It took a while for me to truly believe that “my” team had really won.  After seeing the replay, it sunk in.

How about another certainty: When the Philadelphia fans watch the replays of SB52, they will be stress free.  Yes, they’ll see negative plays, and the Patriots will take the lead, but there will not be an anxious moment.  Why? They know that the Eagles win in the end!

If you want to spend a pleasant afternoon (and you’re a Patriots’ fan) watch the replays of the Super Bowls that the Patriots have won.  They’re enjoyable because we win in the end!

Changing the subject “slightly”: There is going to be a Judgment Day.  We will stand before God and our eternal destination will be decided.

Harold Bussell (former pastor at Hamilton (MA) Congregational) regularly said at the end of Sunday services, and a paraphrase, “If your sins are forgiven you can face the graveyard across the street and know that before a holy and righteous God, you stand completely in the clear.”

If I know that my sins are forgiven, and they are, I do not have to worry about Judgment Day.  I win in the end!

Imagine watching the replay of SB52 with someone who claims to be an Eagles fan. They start expressing worry because negative things are happening in the game. You would have to conclude that this Eagles’ fan didn’t know how the game ended.

If you believe that your sins will not be counted against you on Judgment Day, you reflect that belief by facing life’s uncertainties differently than those who still wonder how things will turn out for them at the end of life.

Does that mean that a believer, whose sin record has been cleared, “enjoys” the pain and suffering along the way? Definitely, not.  But we know that we win in the end!  The broken will be fixed.  The tears will be dried.  Things will be better in the next life than we can possibly imagine.

I must live my life with the same optimism as a replay-watching Eagles’ fan who knows the ending.

I win in the end!



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Gordon warms up and whips Whittier 97-85

Jaren Yang (16 points)

Jake Haar (16 points)

(Amesbury MA) Nice finish to 2017.

Gordon defeated Whittier, 97-85, on Saturday afternoon in California.

The Scots (5-5) rallied back in the first half and gained separation with an eight-point run in the second half, to down the Poets (3-8).

GC split their two games in the Golden State, losing to Redlands on Thursday.

The Scots played badly against Redlands in an 87-56 thrashing but were very impressive today against Whittier (3-8).

The best part?  West Coaster’s Jaren Yang (San Francisco) and Jake Haar (Huntington Beach) had their best games of the season.

The Scots trailed by seven (17-10) 5 ½ minutes into the game but seven points from Eric Demers and a putback by Parker Omslaer led to a 19-19 tie two minutes later.

In the second half, GC gained separation.  They took a 66-64 lead with ten minutes left and turned it into a double-digit spread (74-64) in less than a minute.  Three’s by Josh Ribeiro and Noah Szilagyi, surrounded a steal by Josh Crutchfield that led Noah to a layup, provided the breakaway offense.

Whittier, which played the night before, did not have the legs to make a run at Gordon the rest of the way.

Efficiency Chart

Victor Nwaba 28 (26 points,8 rebounds)

Garrisson Duvivier 21 (12 pts,12 rebs)

Eric Demers 18 (20 pts)

Jaren Yang 18 (16 pts, 4/4 3’s)

Jake Haar 17 (16 pts)

Gordon 117

Whittier 81

Eric Demers had seventeen points in the first half.

Gordon will return to action on January 4th against Western New England in Chicopee (MA).  Snow is forecast for that day.  Just sayin!

The Scots have ten games scheduled for January including six at home.

I did not spring for the $5 Whittier wanted in order to let me watch the game.  They did have free audio.

Box from the game






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Eric Demers returns and helps Gordon defeat Western New England 92-80

Sophomore Eric Demers collected 23 points in his first game back for the Scots

Sophomore Eric Demers shown here against Fisher collected 23 points in his first game back for the Scots

(Amesbury MA) Welcome back, Eric Demers!

The Scots (4-2) had a rousing second half and used it to defeat Western New England, 92-80, on Saturday afternoon in Springfield.

Eric Demers?  First game this season after sitting out Gordon’s first five with a hand injury.  Eric earned third-team a spot on the Commonwealth Coast Conference last year as a freshman.

Put in the mix of an established GC inside game against Western New England (1-5), Eric found openings and dropped twenty-three points on the Bears.

After a lethargic first half, the Scots put everything together in arguably their best half of the season.  How do 54 points, 50% shooting, and twenty-seven rebounds sound?

Gordon caught WN at 62 (9:13 left) and rolled away from there.  It certainly helped to have four Scots (Garrisson Duvivier, Jaren Yang, Sam Johnson, Eric Demers) in double figures in the second half alone.  Balance like that will win a lot of games!

Gordon is now 4-2 and on a two-game win streak in the CCC.

Garrisson Duvivier had a double/double to go with 5 blocks in GC's win over WN

Garrisson Duvivier had a double/double to go with 5 blocks in GC’s win over WN

The Scots “board twins” were at it again.  Garrisson stayed out of foul trouble and earned more rebounds (18) on this afternoon.  Sam Johnson was not so fortunate in the foul department and needed an 8-rebound second half to reach eleven boards.

Sam ran his string of double/double’s to eight with fourteen points.

Garrisson put together his best game of the season.  The GC sophomore had an impressive line of 23 points, 18 rebounds, and 5 blocks.

Jaren Yang continues to fly under the radar this season.  He is off to a terrific start. The turnovers are down and the point production has been consistent.  Jaren has scored ten or more points in each of GC’s first six games.  He totaled seven games like that in all of the 2015-16 season.  Jaren added five assists against the Bears.

Eric Demers’ point total (23) was the second highest of his Gordon career.  He had twenty-five against Roger Williams last season.


Garrisson Duvivier 28

Eric Demers 21

Sam Johnson 19

Daniel Silva 18 (18 points)

Jaren Yang 16

Gordon 101

Western New England 71

Gordon has three games this coming week: Curry (Tuesday away), Worcester State (Thursday away), and Daniel Webster (Saturday home).

The first two opponents?  Both are 0-6 this season.  Curry has lost thirty-one straight.  Last game versus Roger Williams the Colonels trailed 55-20 at the half! Both opponents will be gunning for that first win.  Think trap games!

Daniel Webster?  They are currently 4-1 with a win over ENC.  I noticed that AJ Stephens is an assistant coach at DW.  Yes, he did go to Curry back in their championship years.

Box from this game.

Where have I been?  I opted yesterday afternoon to cover the Division 1 Super Bowl football game between Everett and Xaverian at Manning Field in Lynn.  The two-time defending champs (Xaverian) went down, 21-7.



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Gordon College Graduation – 2014

Packed house at the Bennett Center for the 2014 graduation

Packed house at the Bennett Center for the 2014 graduation

Carolyn Cassidy and Julie McClelland - two of the biggest GC basketball fans

Carolyn Cassidy and Julie McClelland – two of the biggest GC basketball fans

(Wenham MA)  I took in the 124th Gordon College commencement on a Saturday where there was rain when it started and bright sunshine when it was over.

This was the first rainy one I’ve been at.  That rain pushed the activities to indoors at the Bennett Center.  Logistical nightmare, no doubt!

My goal at the commencement was to get a final picture of the  seniors – Roy Ray, Shaun Roach, Alex Carnes, Luke Hamilton, and Park Thomas all members of this season’s CCC championship team.  I did get that done.  I also like to get pictures of their families too.  Didn’t do so well there………way too congested afterwards.

President Michael Lindsay

President Michael Lindsay

I loved the crowd and couldn’t help but wish that maybe next February the Fighting Scots could play the CCC championship game in front of many of them.

I also noticed that the 2013-14 championship banner isn’t in the Bennett Center rafters yet.

One of the memorable moments of this graduation was a medical emergency that happened when President Michael Lindsay was speaking.  The emergency staff was quick and efficient.  Later family members came back informing that the lady involved was okay.  I was pleased that President Lindsay did the role-model thing by taking the situation to God in prayer.  I can tell you, he wasn’t the only one in the crowd doing it!

I wish the players and their families well in the days ahead.  It has been a pleasure connecting with all of you.

Alex Carnes

Alex Carnes

Val Gin..........always serious!

Val Gin……….always serious!

Roy Ray and Shaun Roach

Roy Ray and Shaun Roach

The Rays

The Rays

Park Thomas

Park Thomas

Luke Hamilton

Luke Hamilton

Kevin and Linda Roach

Kevin and Linda Roach

Drew Hall - my dorm my freshman year (1959)

Drew Hall – my dorm my freshman year (1959)

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Gordon downs UNE 54-40 to win 14th and qualify for the playoffs

Luke Hamilton defends Devin Thompson

Luke Hamilton defends Devin Thompson

David Dempsey eyes the hoop

David Dempsey eyes the hoop

(Biddeford ME) Gordon found some offense in the second half and defeated the University of New England, 54-40, at UNE’s new facility on Thursday night in Commonwealth Coast Conference play.

The GC win combined with losses by Endicott, Roger Williams, and UNE (they all have ten losses) assures the 9-4 Scots of a playoff spot with five regular season games remaining.

After tonight’s games, Curry is still on top with only two losses while Gordon is tied for second with Wentworth.  Eastern Nazarene was beaten by Salve Regina to get their fifth defeat and slide into third place.

Next game for Gordon will be hosting ENC on Saturday afternoon.

The Scots (14-6) broke away from the Nor’Easters (4-16 overall / 3-10 in the CCC) in the second half with 3-pointers playing a big part.

Park Thomas and Jake Abel

Park Thomas and Jake Abel

The slim GC lead (30-26) turned into ten (36-26 with 14:43 left) after Park Thomas drained two long ones in less than a minute.

A Taylor Bajema old-fashioned three,  a Hans Miersma dunk, and then an Alex Carnes long one boosted the Scots advantage to 44-28 with 12:15 left.

In the put-the-game-out-of-reach surge, it was David Dempsey’s layup, Chris Alderson’s three, and Jason Dempsey’s free throw doing the damage.  The work of that trio increased Gordon’s spread to twenty (50-30) with nine minutes remaining.

UNE struggled mightily to put points together in both halves.  Devin Thompson was held to a quiet seven points by Luke Hamilton and Shaun Roach. (He had twenty-one points in the first meeting won by UNE, 59-50).

Josh Butler had ten points and fifteen rebounds in the first UNE/Gordon game

Josh Butler had ten points and fifteen rebounds in the first UNE/Gordon game

Certainly a problem for the home team was that Josh Butler was on crutches (foot injury – out for the season).  Josh delivered ten points and fifteen rebounds for UNE in the first meeting.

Gordon had no excuse for their first half (19 points).  They were heavily defended inside and couldn’t make shots from elsewhere.  It looked to me at the time as if the team was setting themselves up for a tight finish that could go either way.

But the GC three’s in the second half took the closeness out of the game.  UNE shot an unfortunate 2-for-16 from long range and once they went down by double digits were in serious trouble.

The stunning statistic in this game was that Gordon didn’t score a single point in the last 7:06 of this game!  They had a 54-35 lead at the time and UNE would only get five points during that segment.  Granted reserves for both teams were on the court in full force but really!

David Dempsey was the top player in the game according to the efficiency stats.  He was limited to eight points but combined that low number (for him) with eight rebounds, four assists, and three blocks.

Hans Miersma tries to block the shot of Jesse Dykstra

Hans Miersma tries to block the shot of Jesse Dykstra

Hans Miersma (11 points) was the top GC scorer.  He also outdid his former Whitinsville Christian teammate Jesse Dykstra of UNE who finished with ten points.

Chris Alderson saw his first action since early January.

James Ek played thirteen minutes in front of family members.

The new facility at UNE is impressive.  The lighting was remarkable.  It did have seating under each basket with no padding in front of the seats which could be a problem on a full-speed drive to the hoop.  Charles Fenner went into those seats in front of me in the second half after being fouled on a drive.  Overall, though the facility is very nice.


Top Five Players in this game in efficiency:
David Dempsey +18
Hans Miersma +12
Taylor Bajema +11
Jason Dempsey +11
Jesse Dykstra +11

Team stats for this game in efficiency:
Gordon +80
UNE +48

Efficiency is arrived at by subtracting the bad stats (missed field goals, missed free throws, turnovers) from the good stats (rebounds, points, assists, blocks, steals).

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

lane action

lane action

Hans Miersma (11 points) tries to drive on Conor Draleau

Hans Miersma (11 points) tries to drive on Conor Draleau

Tight GC defense on Devin Thompson

Tight GC defense on Devin Thompson

Taylor Bajema rebounds

Taylor Bajema rebounds

Jason Dempsey and Tom Hurley eye a rebound

Jason Dempsey and Tom Hurley eye a rebound

Jason Dempsey in UNE traffic

Jason Dempsey in UNE traffic

James Ek

James Ek



Chris Alderson and Jake Abel

Chris Alderson and Jake Abel

Charles Fenner tries to split the Dempsey brothers

Charles Fenner tries to split the Dempsey brothers

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Help Is On the Way

These three high schools seniors have agreed to enroll at Gordon College.  I have seen each of them play.

Jason Dempsey

Jason? Yes, that is David’s brother. In the game of his that I saw in Connecticut he was a tireless defender and an opportunist on offense. The points he scored were on offensive rebounds.

Hans Miersma

Hans? He is 6’9″ and can block shots and dunk. He could be the best inside prospect Gordon has ever recruited. It will be interesting to watch how he functions in the physically challenging Commonwealth Coast Conference.

Taylor Bajema

Taylor? Yes, this is Brady’s brother. He’s a risk-taker on offense and defense reminding me more of Aaron Trigg than his brother. He’ll often make things happen on either end and most of it is good. I saw him make big-time clutch free throws in the Massachusetts D3 state championship game to give his dad’s Whitinsville Christian team the 2011 state title this past March.

I’m suspecting that this threesome will be a lot of fun to watch over the next four seasons.

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