Tag Archives: Alex Carnes

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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Williams takes out Gordon 81-63 in NCAA Division 3 Second Round

Williams defense tightened in the second half

Williams defense tightened in the second half

Daniel Wohl ends the first half with a layup

Daniel Wohl ends the first half with a layup

(Williamstown MA) For a half in the second round of the NCAA Division 3 tournament, you couldn’t tell the difference between the second-best team in New England (Williams) and (“Where is that school?”) Gordon.

As I watched the Scots build up a 12-point lead in that first half against Williams I thought optimistically, “We’re right where we were yesterday (Friday) with Babson.”

But what a difference the second halves were!  Babson went to all the things that had gotten them twenty wins in NEWMAC yet could never catch the Scots.  Williams, on the other hand, unleashed a deadly long-range attack after the break and caught Gordon in just two minutes and pulled away thereafter.

Duncan Robinson fires a three

Duncan Robinson fires a three

Williams (25-4) put together a 50-point second half and defeated Gordon, 81-63, on Saturday night at Williams College.

The game with the Ephs (rhymes with “chiefs”) got away from Gordon in a disastrous three-minute segment in which the home team tallied thirteen straight points.

The Scots (up 38-27) were trying to run out the clock in the last minute of the first half but instead gave up layups to Michael Mayer (13 points) and Daniel Wohl (18 points) before the break.  Daniel’s was a full-court drive that beat the buzzer.

But Gordon was still up by seven (38-31) and a similar second half by the Scots was certain to give the folks following the D3 tournament something to talk about.

Williams, however, wasted little time (two minutes) clearing the deficit from the books.  Freshman Mike Greenman struck from downtown three times and suddenly the Ephs had a 40-38 lead.

Jason Dempsey tied the score with a layup but thereafter Williams gradually separated from the obviously tiring Scots.

Alex Carnes puts up a three

Alex Carnes puts up a three

It was tough watching Gordon just-miss shots that had fallen in the previous seventy minutes of basketball.  Seventy?  I have to include the last ten minutes of the Nichols game.

Part of those seventy minutes of terrific basketball was a win the night before against the Babson Beavers. The Scots (18-11) broke new ground for the school and the Commonwealth Coast Conference with that upset.  Gordon had never won an NCAA tourney game (lost three previous tries) and neither had the CCC.  That’s all history now.

Nothing sweet about the loss but what was sweet was that there was time at the end for GC coach Tod Murphy to get his five seniors on and off the court to deserved congratulations.  They will be missed.

Impressive performance by Hans Miersma.  Matched up against NESCAC first-teamer senior Michael Mayer, GC’s 6-9 junior held his own.  Both players ended up with 13 points and 11 rebounds.

Efficiency stat
Daniel Wohl 23 (18 points/6 assists)
Duncan Robinson 21 (16 points/7 rebounds/4 assists)
Hans Miersma 20
Michael Mayer 20
Dominic Paradis 16 (10 points/7 rebounds)

Williams 99
Gordon 65

Mike Greenman steals from Richie Armand

Mike Greenman steals from Richie Armand

The efficiency stat was most revealing in the second half.  Williams had a 62 while Gordon came up with a 17.  Ouch!

That sixteen for Dominic was his best number this season.  It is not hard to imagine the freshman getting more minutes in 2014-15 and perhaps even better numbers.

The Gordon support at the two tourney games was truly at the friends-and-family level.  Unfortunately, GC was on winter break.  Williams’ break is in two weeks and they had close to 1000 students cheering them on during their two wins.

Williams has four losses.  They lost their opener by a point to Southern Vermont.  The other three losses?  All to Amherst.  The Ephs could get another chance with the Lord Jeffs if they reach the Final Four.

Next up for Williams is Albertus Magnus of New Haven CT.

Julie and I enjoyed the 2013-14 season with our Gordon family.

Box from the game

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

Hans Miersma gets a block on Taylor Epley

Hans Miersma gets a block on Taylor Epley

Hans Miersma defends Michael Mayer

Hans Miersma defends Michael Mayer

Hans Miersma gets two over Daniel Wohl

Hans Miersma gets two over Daniel Wohl

Taylor Bajema in the lane

Taylor Bajema in the lane

Looking for a rebound

Looking for a rebound

Roy Ray

Roy Ray

Alex Carnes

Alex Carnes

Park Thomas

Park Thomas

Shaun Roach

Shaun Roach

Luke Hamilton

Luke Hamilton

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Gordon defeats Babson 76-68 in NCAA tourney opener

Alex Carnes (20 points) shoots from in close

Alex Carnes (20 points) shoots from in close

Park Thomas hit six free throws in the final 39 seconds

Park Thomas hit six free throws in the final 39 seconds

(Williamstown MA) It was a shock to some and a surprise to the rest of us.

But there was Gordon winning their first round game in the NCAA Division 3 men’s basketball tournament, 76-68, over Babson on Friday night at Williams College.

No Commonwealth Coast Conference team had ever won a first round game before the Scots (18-10) got it done.

Gordon trailed the Beavers (20-7) in the early going, 10-6, but then went on a game-turning 15-1 stretch to get up by ten (21-11).  That lead would get larger (32-16) but never smaller than five (70-65) the rest of the way.

The 15-1 separator segment was driven by three’s (Park Thomas, Shaun Roach, Dominic Paradis) and three jumps shots by Alex Carnes.

As you can see, the points were coming from everyone.  The Beavers chose not to press until late in the game giving Gordon plenty of time to run what has become an excellent half-court offense.  Yes there were 19 turnovers but there also were plenty of high percentage shots turning up.

Hans Miersma sets up inside

Hans Miersma sets up inside

In the hard-to-top second half, Gordon made a remarkable 11 of 15 shots attempted.  The Beavers made runs to within six twice late in the game but the Scots responded with layups (Alex Carnes & Hans Miersma) to push Babson back.

Anyone at Williams sweating this one out in the final minutes will rave about Gordon’s foul shooting.  Terrific!  The team shot 19-for-21 in the game.  Park Thomas made all ten of his in the second half including six straight in the last 39 seconds.

Alex Carnes (20 points) topped the efficiency chart.  The 6-4 senior carried Gordon in the first half with thirteen points on 6-for-9 shooting.

Alex also spent time defending Babson’s Joey Flannery.  Joey was the ROY and POY in the NEWMAC this season.  Joey heated up in the second half and ended up with 17 points and 9 rebounds.

Joey Flannery

Joey Flannery

Watching Joey Flannery put up a lot of shots late reminded me of the Nichols game in which the Bison turned their scoring opportunities over to Ryan Sheehan.

Efficiency chart

Alex Carnes 22

Joey Flannery 19

Hans Miersma 18

Jason Dempsey 14

David Mack 11

Gordon 85

Babson 52

The Scots will play the host team (Williams) tonight.  Only some were shocked when Gordon defeated Babson.  Almost everyone will be in that state if the Scots find a way to defeat the 24-4 Ephs.  One player certain to require special attention will be Williams’ Mike Mayer.  Mike is 6-9/240 pounds and put up a 40 in Efficiency (25 points/15 rebounds) in last night’s Ephs’ win over Mitchell.

Game box

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

Dominic Paradis gets a shot

Dominic Paradis gets a shot

Alex Carnes shoots from long range

Alex Carnes shoots from long range

Jason Dempsey gets fouled

Jason Dempsey gets fouled

Eric Dean chases a loose ball

Eric Dean chases a loose ball

Kenny Ross

Kenny Ross

Richie Armand passes

Richie Armand passes

Park Thomas drives

Park Thomas drives

Hans Miersma free throw

Hans Miersma free throw

Shaun Roach shoots three

Shaun Roach shoots three

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Gordon takes the CCC title 69-65 with remarkable comeback against Nichols

Gordon College: 2013-14 Commonwealth Coast Conference basketball champions

Gordon College: 2013-14 Commonwealth Coast Conference basketball champions

Ryan Sheehan (24 points) drives

Ryan Sheehan (24 points) drives

(Dudley MA) The Gordon men’s basketball team was on the doorstep of, “Better luck next year,” and, “Have a safe ride home,” in the second half of the biggest game of their Commonwealth Coast Conference season.

Gordon trailed, 56-39, with 10:32 left against Nichols, the best shooting team in the CCC, in front of very noisy Bison crowd.

The Scots had lost to Nichols twice during the regular season.  Ryan Sheehan (Nichols’ top all-time scorer) had already scored sixteen points in the second half.

Have you gotten the point that Gordon was in very serious trouble? Okay, then let’s move on.

The amazing Scots rallied from near-death to the CCC championship in a remarkable final 10 1/2 minutes.

Hans Miersma (15 points) spins into the paint

Hans Miersma (15 points) spins into the paint

During the memorable final stretch anything that could go right for Gordon did while, simultaneously, Nichols had few answers to the Scots’ surge on either end.

The Scots heated up big-time making eight-of-twelve shots including four 3’s.  They also sank nine of the biggest ten free throws of the season.  And the best stat yet?  ONE turnover.

That turnover stat was significant because going into the final 10 1/2 minutes the Scots already had twenty-one of them.  In fact the first question most Gordon folks had at halftime was, “How many turnovers did we have?”  The answer was “fifteen!”

Gordon was able to generate one point-producing possession after another while Nichols (averaged 78.9 points per game) struggled to score.

The Bison (22-6) could produce only nine points shooting just 2-for-14.  Sam Horning’s two 3-pointers were the only connections from the field that Nichols had.  Ryan Sheehan added three free throws.

Gordon (17-10) put together streaks of twelve and eight unanswered points to pull even, 62-62, with 2:41 left in someone’s season.

Shaun Roach launches a three

Shaun Roach launches a three

In the 12-point run, Shaun Roach had a three, Richie Armand made two free throws, and Hans Miersma added two layups and three free throws.

Hans earned the last two free throws after getting fouled by Joe Gallant.  Joe went out with five fouls and 6:24 left.  In the process Nichols lost their best defender against 6-9 Hans Miersma.  That would cost the Bison later.

Sam Horning’s two 3’s stabilized Nichols for the moment giving the home team a, 62-54, lead with 4:48 remaining.

But Nichols couldn’t hold that lead because Alex Carnes, with family (from Arizona) and fiancé looking on, went on his own 8-point run.  Alex (2nd team CCC) drilled two 3’s, had a steal, and drove in for a tying layup (62-62) with 2:41 left.

Park Thomas looks for an opening

Park Thomas looks for an opening

Ryan Sheehan and Park Thomas both converted two free throws so the score was still tied (64-64) with 2:17 left.

In Nichols next possession, Ryan made only one of two free throws but the Bison now had a one-point lead.

Alex Carnes then missed a three and Chris Johnson had a turnover (steal by Jason Dempsey).

I referenced earlier that Nichols defender Joe Gallant had fouled out.  Next Gordon possession Hans was able to get an entry pass and spin in for a short soft hook to put GC in front, 66-65, with 1:09 remaining.

Plenty of time for Nichols to do something.  Ryan Sheehan (defended by Alex Carnes) was able to work his way in close to the basket.  However, Hans Miersma, who is now Gordon’s all-time shot blocker, rejected Ryan’s shot and controlled the ball.  Ryan fouled Hans immediately with thirty-nine seconds left.

Hans gave the Scots a two-point lead (67-65) making one of two free throws.

Still plenty of time for Nichols to pull out a win.  Gustave Koumare drove on Park Thomas and missed a contested layup.  However, Gustave got his own rebound and was fouled by Park with six seconds left.

The chance to tie was still in play but Gustave missed both shots and Luke Hamilton got the rebound on the second miss and was quickly fouled.

Luke Hamilton (11 points) about to put Nichols down by four points with five seconds left

Luke Hamilton (11 points) about to put Nichols down by four points with five seconds left

The Gordon senior had taken only eleven free throw tries during the entire season…….but Luke had made ten of those tries.  He added two more “made’s” to his season and sent Nichols down by four points with five seconds left.

Sam Horning made a desperate attempt to get back three of the points but missed and the GC celebrating began.

Getting the conference championship gives the Scots an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.  Gordon played in that tournament in 2006 (Utica) and 2010 (Middlebury) getting eliminated both times.  Gordon’s opponent and the site of the game should be known tomorrow (Sunday).  The game will probably take place at the end of the week.

The win over Nichols takes away some of the sting of last year’s loss in the same game at Curry.  Watching the Colonels celebrate while Gordon team members looked on was rough.  But on this day it was Gordon’s turn to celebrate their improbable win as the Nichols fans headed for the exits.

Hans Miersma goes for the block against Ryan Sheehan

Hans Miersma goes for the block against Ryan Sheehan

The efficiency stats reveal the obvious; Hans Miersma had an awesome game.  The GC junior had his 13th double/double of the season in the biggest game of the season.  His points and block in the last minute were crucial for the Scots.

Efficiency stats
Hans Miersma 24
Park Thomas 15 (13 points/8 assists)
Ryan Sheehan 14 (24 points)
Sam Horning 11 (14 points)
Jason Dempsey 10 (8 rebounds)
Alex Carnes 10 (11 points/4 assists)

Gordon 80
Nichols 63

All eyes are on the 3-point attempt of Alex Carnes (#4)

All eyes are on the 3-point attempt of Alex Carnes (#4)

What backfired for Nichols in the last 10+ minutes was opting to be more deliberate as well as taking off the press.

Gordon’s last CCC championship was in 2010 when they defeated Curry, 56-54, at the Bennett Center.  Brady Bajema and Greg Walker (both from that championship team) were on hand for this one.

The crowd was loud and in the gym very early.  There were late arrivers who couldn’t get in.

Coach Todd Murphy has now led two Gordon teams to conference titles in five years.  If he keeps up the good work, maybe someday he’ll get his first CCC coach-of-the-year award……….that’s the sound of sarcasm you hear dripping!

Luke Hamilton lines up a three

Luke Hamilton lines up a three

Luke Hamilton reached double figures for the fifth time this season.  I wondered why he was smiling as he took the two most important free throws of his GC career with five seconds left.  His mother explained it to me afterwards, “He has a good sense of humor!”

Things I knew before the game that made me optimistic: (1) Gordon had won eight straight road games, (2) Gordon had been to the Big Game last year and Nichols had never been to a championship game, and (3) Nichols had struggled to win three of their last four games.

Box from the game

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

The celebrating begins

The celebrating begins

Richie Armand and Christian Horton

Richie Armand and Christian Horton

Gustave Koumare breaks free after a steal

Gustave Koumare breaks free after a steal

Sam Johnson goes for the block

Sam Johnson goes for the block

Ryan Sheehan shoots over Luke Hamilton

Ryan Sheehan shoots over Luke Hamilton

Matt Langadas controls a rebound

Matt Langadas controls a rebound

Hans Miersma and Shaun Roach celebrate afterwards

Hans Miersma and Shaun Roach celebrate afterwards

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Gordon defeats Roger Williams 70-59 setting up big rematch with ENC

Hans Miersma gets 16 points, 10 rebounds, and 2 blocks against Roger Williams

Hans Miersma gets 16 points, 10 rebounds, and 2 blocks against Roger Williams

(Amesbury)  This game was about who was there and who wasn’t there.

Gordon, with all hands on deck, defeated Roger Williams (without Chris Bardwell), 70-59, on a snowy Tuesday night in Bristol (RI).

The Gordon win, combined with Eastern Nazarene’s loss to Nichols, sets up the biggest non-tournament game at the Bennett Center ever (?).

ENC and Gordon are tied (12-5) for second place in the Commonwealth Coast Conference so Saturday’s regular-season finale matchup will decide who gets that important second spot.

Why so important?  Second place guarantees two home games (if you win the first game) and a chance to avoid first-place Nichols for two rounds.

Like almost all of the Gordon faithful, I watched the Roger Williams game via the RWU website.  Now having a Christmas IPad, I was able to watch the video on my old computer and follow the live stats on the IPad.  It works for me.

Alex Carnes gave Gordon 20 points and 8 rebounds

Alex Carnes gave Gordon 20 points and 8 rebounds

Gordon defeated the Hawks by dominating the second half.  Alex Carnes and Hans Miersma combined for twenty-five points in that half as the Scots were able to erase an eleven-point (26-15) first-half deficit.

Gordon (14-9) had the ball in the paint frequently throughout the game.  The Scots collected thirty-eight points from in close during the game getting twenty-four of them in the decisive second half.

Roger Williams (9-15) had a convincing 68-52 win over Gordon at the Bennett Center on January 22nd.  When the Hawks shot well in the first half in this one, and built up the eleven point advantage, I wondered if another loss was on its way.

But in the second half the Hawks missed twenty-four shots while the Scots misfired only ten times.  Shooting was the game-decider.

This brings me to the missing player for Roger Williams…..Chris Bardwell.  Chris did not play in either game against Gordon.  Top scorer (13.8 PPG) on the team and in the top ten in the CCC in scoring.  Certainly on a night where shooting was lacking (in the second half) by RW, Chris could have helped.  I saw the Hawks’ freshman guard play last year for North Andover (MA).

While Chris Bardwell was missing, Hans, Jason, and Taylor were back for Gordon.  And that definitely made a difference for the Scots.

Gordon was able to catch RW, 35-35 (15:34), on a Jason Dempsey layup.  Three Hans Miersma layups later, the GC lead was eight (45-38) and they never trailed thereafter although RW got within one (53-52) with six minutes left.

Efficiency stats
Alex Carnes 20 (20 points/8 rebounds)
Hans Miersma 18 (16 points/10 rebounds/2 blocks)
Jason Dempsey 17 (10 points/7 rebounds)
Ryan Palumbo 16 (14 points/3 assists/2 blocks/5 steals)
Trevor Fahmy 13 (6 points/6 rebounds)

Gordon 91
Roger Williams 49

Zac Campbell had 22 points in the first meeting with Gordon

Zac Campbell had 22 points in the first meeting with Gordon

In the RW win at Gordon, freshman Zac Campbell had a career game for the Hawks with 22 points while Alex Carnes was held to two points.  This time around Zac was held to four points while Alex collected twenty points.

I’m excited about the matchup on Saturday with ENC.  I’m just wondering if there will be any ENC support in the stands.  I heard from someone who attended the January 18th GC win (67-60) at Quincy that the ENC fans, on that day, were all over the Scots’ players.

ENC has won eight of their last nine games.  Within those games was a win over Nichols, and an 88-84, loss to Nichols last night.

Gordon has won six of seven, weathering two games playing shorthanded.

Saturday’s ENC game will also be Senior Recognition time.  Roy Ray, Shaun Roach, Alex Carnes, Park Thomas, and Luke Hamilton will be honored.

Box from the game.

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Gordon loses shootout to Salve Regina 88-81

Alex Carnes (27 points) was hot for Gordon

Alex Carnes (27 points) was hot for Gordon

(Amesbury MA)  Gordon was shorthanded but not short of heart.

Minus three starters, the Scots still gave the Saturday afternoon Bennett Center crowd in Wenham (MA) plenty to cheer about in an, 88-81, loss to Salve Regina.

(When I’m looking for ice I go to the nearby freezer, not out on the roadways.  So I chose to view this game via the Gordon website.)

The Scots shot very well early, in fact had a nineteen point lead (40-21) in the first half.  Points were going up in a hurry for the home team but you couldn’t help but fear a cool down.  And it came in the second half.

While Gordon struggled in the second half, the visiting Seahawks couldn’t miss.  The team from Newport (RI) shot an incredible 68% for the half and caught the Scots (53-53) with 13:11 left.  Credit Gordon for not going away.  For the next 8+ minutes Gordon matched Salve.  I’ll give credit to a very active student section for lifting the home team.  Down 75-74 with 4:42 left, however, SR was able to create separation and won by seven, 88-81.

Sophomore Barrett Hanlon had a season-high 32 points for Salve.  The 5-10 guard surely found this win satisfying.  In the January 11th loss to Gordon (71-70) Barrett missed two free throws and a jump shot in the final twenty-two seconds.  Today, Barrett hit two jumpers in the last minute of the first half to bring SR to within eleven (45-34).  Later it was his three that tied the score at 53-53.

Gordon’s Alex Carnes (27 points) was just about as hot as Barrett.  The GC senior ended up draining a career-high, six three-pointers.

This was a day in which there was plenty of Gordon offense.  Four players ended up in double figures.  What caused the loss?  Lack of defense.  I had to go back four years to find a game in which the Scots gave up more than the 88 points they did today.  Did I mention that three starters were missing and each is a special defender?goea A3 Hans Miersma block on CJ Gonzalesengo A8 Jason Dempsey defends Andre Makris (10 points)goen A16 Taylor Bajema and Lachlan Magee

Understand that the league loss doesn’t really change anything for Gordon as far as I see it.  The goal for (11-5) Gordon, as they enter the final week of conference play, is to finish in second place. They can’t catch (14-2) Nichols.  Wins this week over Roger Williams (Tuesday – away) and Eastern Nazarene (Saturday – home), however, will assure the Scots of second.

It won’t be easy.  Gordon had a home loss to Roger Williams in January while ENC has won eight straight including a win recently over Nichols.

Efficiency stat
Barrett Hanlon 32
Alex Carnes 29
Dominic Paradis 13 (16 points)
Brenden Fowler 13 (9 points with one missed shot)
Udoka Obiora 12 (6 rebounds & 5 blocks)
Nick Bates 12

Salve Regina 105
Gordon 95

Park Thomas - career high assists (11) vs Salve Regina

Park Thomas – career high assists (11) vs Salve Regina

Park Thomas set a career mark with eleven assists.

Freshman Nick Bates was part of two Massachusetts Division 3 state championships at Danvers (MA).

Sophomore Udoka Obiora had five blocks versus Salve.  Given the chance to play during the past two games, he has shown that he can contribute.

Gordon had season highs in shots attempted (69) as well as three’s made (13) and attempted (31).

Dominic Paradis reached a career high with his 16 points today.

Lord willing, a week from now the CCC tourney setup will be in place and the Gordon seniors will have been recognized.

In my opinion, there won’t be a team in the CCC tournament that Gordon can’t defeat, including Nichols.  The dream scenario is for GC to finish second, win their two home-tourney games, have someone knock off Nichols, and face Endicott in a jam-packed Bennett Center on March 1st!

Box from today’s game

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Park Thomas (21 points) leads Gordon past Western New England 73-57

Park Thomas (#33) had twenty-one points for Gordon including five treys

Park Thomas (#33) had twenty-one points for Gordon including five treys

Hans Miersma gets one of his ten rebounds

Hans Miersma gets one of his ten rebounds

(Wenham MA) Park Thomas (21 points) connected from long range eleven seconds into the game and sent Gordon on its way to a 73-57 win over Western New England.

The Scots never trailed as the Bears had an off shooting night (30%) and struggled to run points together.

The Scots victory clinched a spot in the eight-team Commonwealth Coast Conference postseason tournament with five league games left.

Gordon (9-4 in the CCC) is currently in second place three games behind Nichols.  The possibility of the Scots overtaking Nichols (won ten straight) is remote.  However, finishing second will earn Gordon at least two postseason home games if they win their opener.

Kevin Wilkes looks for someone to pass to

Kevin Wilkes looks for someone to pass to

A second place finish would also keep Gordon away from Nichols (defeated Gordon twice) until the championship game.  Plenty of speculation in what I’ve just written.  We’ll have to wait and see where everyone is standing after the final regular season CCC games on Saturday February 22nd.

This was a big game for Park.  The senior point guard reached twenty points for the third time in his GC career and the second time this season.  He had 25 points versus Worcester State this year.

Park was hot from long distance (five 3’s) and contributed significantly to Gordon’s season high in three’s (eleven).  Isn’t it amazing how easy the game is when shots are falling from the outside??

rebound action

rebound action

While Gordon was making shots, WNE struggled.  Good defense?  That was surely some of it but missing thirteen free throws (13-for-26) is hard to explain.  The Bears’ shots just weren’t falling from anywhere.

Gordon got up 16-4 before WNE rallied back to trail only, 26-25, with 4:14 left in the first half.  The Scots led by nine (39-30) at halftime.

In the second half, GC had a seventeen point spread (53-36) with 12:53 left before the Bears moved to within eight (58-50) with 7:29 to go.  But on this night WNE couldn’t run points together and Gordon ended up winning, 73-57.

Alex Carnes, just off being CCC player-of-the-week, had a career high seven assists in this game to go along with 16 points.

Nick DeFeo and Park Thomas were toe-to-toe most of the game

Nick DeFeo and Park Thomas were toe-to-toe most of the game

One of the better matchups in this game was between the top two rebounders statistically in the conference; Dennis Rinaldi and Hans Miersma.  Hans won the rebounding matchup 10-9.  Dennis, however, did get twelve points (11 in the second half) while foul-plagued Hans was held to a season-low two points.

Plenty of interaction between Park Thomas and Nick DeFeo with both applying tight defense on the other.  Park did run into a blind pick set by Musa Elsir that had him wondering for a minute whether he was on foot or horseback.

Efficiency stat

Park Thomas 21,  Alex Carnes  19, Hans Miersma 13, and Dennis Rinaldi 11.

Gordon 94, Western New England 49

Western New England is currently in 8th place in the conference one game ahead of Curry.

The Scots will be in Milton on Saturday afternoon to face Curry.  Reflecting on the last time Gordon was down there (CCC title game) will not bring back pleasant memories.

Box from the game

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

Coach Tod Murphy instructs

Coach Tod Murphy instructs

Hans Miersma and Dennis Rinaldi wrestle for a rebound

Hans Miersma and Dennis Rinaldi wrestle for a rebound

Zack Askew finishes

Zack Askew finishes

Richie Armand defends

Richie Armand defends

Ryan Mickiewicz gets in for two

Ryan Mickiewicz gets in for two

Dominic Paradis finishes

Dominic Paradis finishes

Sam Johnson at the line

Sam Johnson at the line

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Gordon runs 16 straight in 59-45 win over Wentworth

Alex Carnes had nineteen points in Gordon win over Wentworth

Alex Carnes had nineteen points in Gordon win over Wentworth

(Amesbury MA) A month ago Wentworth welcomed Gordon into the New Year by pinning a 55-51 loss on the Scots at Wenham.

Nothing like that happened in the second meeting, Saturday afternoon in Boston, as the Scots broke free in the second half and overwhelmed the Leopards, 59-45, in Commonwealth Coast Conference play.

Senior Alex Carnes (19 points/5 rebounds/3 assists) was the best player on the floor with an efficiency rating of twenty-one.  Certainly not the highest score this season but in this game it was ELEVEN points better than Dominic Paradis’ second-place ten points.

Efficiency Stat
Alex Carnes 21
Dominic Paradis 10

Gordon 87
Wentworth 37

Freshman Dominic Paradis (8 points/3 assists/32 minutes) had his best game for the Scots

Freshman Dominic Paradis (8 points/3 assists/32 minutes) had his best game for the Scots

Speaking of Dominic, this was clearly his breakout game.  The 6-5 freshman had season-high totals in points (eight), assists (three), and minutes (thirty-two).  Dominic’s previous high in minutes had been fifteen.  Obviously, versus WIT, Gordon coach Tod Murphy saw more than enough positives to keep Dominic on the floor.

The Leopards deliberate style frustrated Gordon the first time around, as the Scots fell behind and could never put up enough high-percentage shots to overtake Wentworth.

Equally frustrating (to watch) in the January 4th loss was undersized Wentworth’s twenty-eight points in the paint.  Patient offense turned up numerous layup-drill opportunities for the visitors.

But none of those Gordon deficiencies were long-term problems this time around.

The Scots (10-8) put major runs of points together in both halves and never had to play from behind.

The first Gordon run (nine straight) turned a 6-6 tie into a 15-6 advantage with 7:54 left in the first half.  Three Alex Carnes’ scores and a Richie Armand long one did the damage. The Scots led, 29-16, at the half.

Credit Wentworth for fighting back early in the second half.  The Leopards (9-10) were able to pull within two (31-29) after 4+ minutes.

After that rally it was an Olympic downhill slope for Wentworth.  While the Leopards missed four 3’s, four layups, and had a turnover over 6+ minutes the Scots put sixteen unanswered points together.

The game-deciding surge was started and ended with 3’s (Park Thomas and Dominic Paradis).  In between were four inside scores and two free throws.  The Scots had a commanding, 47-29, spread after it ended with nine minutes left.

Gordon was excellent at getting in close versus Wentworth, collecting an impressive 32 points in the paint.  The Leopards, on the other hand, scored just 12 points in the lane.

Gordon’s 8-4 CCC record puts them in a tie for second place, behind rolling Nichols (10-1), which has won nine straight.  GC has the tie-breaker over Endicott in second place.  They have also beaten ENC once which is also tied at second.

Next game for the Scots is Tuesday night (7:30PM) against Western New England at the Bennett Center.  The Bears have won three of their last four.

Box from the game

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Gordon takes down Endicott 80-75 before a huge crowd

Luke Hamilton launches the three from the right that gave Gordon a five-point lead late in the game.

Luke Hamilton launches the three from the right that gave Gordon a five-point lead late in the game.

A small part of a very active Endicott student section

A small part of a very active Endicott student section

(Beverly MA)  What a crowd!

And for that matter what a game!

Gordon (9-8) did everything right late in the game and held off Endicott, 80-75, on Wednesday night.

The crowd at the MacDonald Gymnasium was estimated at 1200 and there didn’t appear to be a person in that crowd who wasn’t emotionally and verbally involved.

Most games I attend I hear folks complaining about the loud music played in the pregame.  Tonight you couldn’t even hear the music in the pregame!

Gordon had some fans as well and there was plenty for both teams to get excited about.

Lachlan Magee had 22 points for Endicott

Lachlan Magee had 22 points for Endicott

Endicott (13-5) got off to a 13-4 start but after Gordon erased the deficit this one settled down into a tense struggle with very little separation between the teams.

This game reached its excitement peak in the final 2:41 after the Scots had taken a 74-72 lead.

The Gulls missed three layups in their next three possessions including one (by Greg Jacques) that was blocked by Hans Miersma.

The Scots had a turnover and a missed layup in their next two possessions.  It was the third possession where things worked nicely for the visitors from Wenham.

After a timeout with fifty seconds left, Gordon seemed content to dribble as much time off the clock as possible.  Finally with the shot clock running down, Park Thomas found teammate Luke Hamilton on the right wing.  Luke, with defender Stephen Basden all over him, swished a three with two seconds on the shot clock and twenty-four seconds left in the game to put GC up by five (77-72).

Jason Dempsey follows through on a late-game free throw

Jason Dempsey follows through on a late-game free throw

John Henault got three of those points back.  Then Alex Carnes was fouled getting an inbounds pass with seven seconds left.  GC had a slim two-point lead at the time.  Alex, shooting one-and-one, made the first but missed the second.  However, Jason Dempsey got his career-high 7th offensive rebound on the miss and was fouled.  Endicott was over the limit in fouls so Jason got two free throws and made both.  The resulting five-point lead (80-75) turned out to be the final score.

That Alex and Jason would make 3-of-4 free throws was very surprising since Gordon ended up missing thirteen free throw attempts (26-for-39).

The Scots have now beaten Endicott four straight times.  The games this year have been very close.  I would suspect that the last thing the Gordon coaching staff would want would be a tournament game in front of the Endicott crowd in late February.

Hans Miersma goes for the block

Hans Miersma goes for the block

Lachlan Magee (21 points) topped all scorers.  The Gulls’ senior had sixteen of those points in the second half.

Junior John Henault had fourteen points including a big three in the last minute.  It did take Endicott’s top scorer sixteen shots to get the 14 points, however.

Hans Miersma (16), Alex Carnes (16), Park Thomas (15), and Jason Dempsey (11) all ended up in double figures.

Park Thomas and Richie Armand did a pretty good job dribbling and distributing against tight Endicott pressure.

Sam Johnson’s return to Endicott did not escape the notice of the Endicott crowd.  Sam may have been the one savoring the Gordon win over the Gulls the most when it was all over.

Daquan Sampson tries to dunk

Daquan Sampson tries to dunk

Endicott missed two dunk attempts.

Endicott coach Mike Rowe found a way to get seventeen of his players into the game.

Efficiency stat
Lachlan Magee 21 (22 points/9-for-9 free throws)
Alex Carnes 18
Hans Miersma 17 (16 points/11 rebounds)
Jason Dempsey 14
Park Thomas 14

Gordon 90
Endicott 81

Box

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

Taylor Rioux

Taylor Rioux

Jason Dempsey dunks

Jason Dempsey dunks

Greg Jacques (11 points) heads in where shots are blocked

Greg Jacques (11 points) heads in where shots are blocked

Taylor Bajema and Lachlan Magee

Taylor Bajema and Lachlan Magee

blocking out

blocking out

Park Thomas

Park Thomas

Shaun Roach defends Chris Lipscomb

Shaun Roach defends Chris Lipscomb

Richie Armand and Chris Light

Richie Armand and Chris Light

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Terrific outside shooting leads to 75-64 Nichols win over Gordon

Marlon Bennett hit four of twelve Nichols 3-pointers

Marlon Bennett hit four of twelve Nichols 3-pointers

Shaun Roach tries to get past Marlon Bennett as Nichols coach Jeff Lindgren watches

Shaun Roach tries to get past Marlon Bennett as Nichols coach Jeff Lindgren watches

(Wenham MA) The team (Nichols) at the top of the Commonwealth Coast Conference standings hadn’t played in a week.

You hoped for rust.  Maybe some off shooting.  Unfortunately, we saw none of either at the Bennett Center on Saturday afternoon.

The Nichols Bison (12-4 overall/ 8-1 in the CCC) were scary good as they defeated Gordon, 75-64, before a big crowd.

The Scots (8-8 overall/ 6-4 in the CCC) were never able to match the shooting of the visitors from Dudley (MA).

Park Thomas dribbles the ball in front of a good-sized Bennett Center crowd

Park Thomas dribbles the ball in front of a good-sized Bennett Center crowd

Gordon fell behind after five minutes and battled against a double-digit deficit most of the rest of the game.  The Scots did manage to get within nine (71-62) with 2:18 left but that was the best they could do.

It was Nichols’ long-range shooting that was dazzling.  They made 12-of-24 from downtown!

In the first half, five different Bison players made three’s.  It was impossible to think during halftime that if the Scots could just stop a particular player, things would go better.  On this afternoon, every Nichols player was dangerous!

The Bison have now won seven straight and hold a two-game lead over second place teams, Salve Regina and Endicott in the CCC.

The Scots have now dropped two straight.  Four of their next five games are on the road, starting with Endicott on Wednesday night (7:30PM) in Beverly.  Two games ago you could imagine Gordon vying for the top spot in the CCC.  Now you have to wonder if they can play well enough the rest of the way to earn a first-round home game.

Hans Miersma sees an opening

Hans Miersma sees an opening

Gordon would prefer to attack a team two points at a time.  That approach gets dicey when the Scots fall behind and don’t have time to recover using the “two-point method.”  The Scots are then forced into a long-range game (3-pointers) that has not proved reliable this season so far.

The Scots, in fact, were 4-for-21 from long range versus Nichols.  What if Gordon had made several 3’s in a row when the Nichols lead had been reduced to nine points late in the game?  On this afternoon, Nichols was the only team to find gold out deep.

Jalen Hurst (15), Marlon Bennett (14), Ryan Sheehan (11), and Gustave Koumare (10) were the leading Nichols scorers.  Jalen and Marlon combined to go 8-for-10 on three-point attempts.

Senior Ryan Sheehan now has 1877 career points and is in the hunt to become the all-time top scorer at Nichols.  The total he has to reach is 2016.  Ryan is 149 points away and has nine games plus the tournament to get there.  I like his chances!

Alex Carnes

Alex Carnes

Alex Carnes recorded his fourth double/double (14 points/11 rebounds) of this season.

Junior Jason Dempsey had one of his most productive games of the season getting ten points to go along with nine rebounds.

Park Thomas and Hans Miersma both finished with eleven points.

I thought Park did a solid job handling Nichols’ full-court pressure.

The crowd was impressive and ready to carry the team if the game had been closer down the stretch.  I’m still not a big fan of taunting opponents for two reasons: (1) God is our witness, and (2) it usually fires the other team up.

The Triggs, Gaskills, Derrs, and McDonnells made their annual visit to Gordon.  Their sons had plenty to do with that 2009-10 CCC championship basketball banner hanging in the Bennett Center.

Efficiency stat
Alex Carnes 22
Jalen Hurst 17 (15 points/3 assists)
Jason Dempsey 16
Marlon Bennett 15
Ryan Sheehan 14

Nichols 89
Gordon 70

Box

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

Jalen Hurst (#32) led all scorers with fifteen points

Jalen Hurst (#32) led all scorers with fifteen points

Ryan Sheehan in traffic

Ryan Sheehan in traffic

Julie Trigg, Jeff Derr, and Susie Gaskell

Julie Trigg, Jeff Derr, and Susie Gaskill

Hans Miersma blocks Ryan Sheehan

Hans Miersma blocks Ryan Sheehan

Richie Armand bears in

Richie Armand bears in

Joe Gallant gets one of his five blocks against Alex Carnes

Joe Gallant gets one of his five blocks against Alex Carnes

Park Thomas defended by Christian Horton

Park Thomas defended by Christian Horton

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