Tag Archives: Austin Bentson

Austin Bentson and Greg Walker Graduate

Austin Bentson

Greg Walker

(Wenham) In the midst of glorious weather (Thank You, Lord!), the 2011 Gordon College commencement took place outside.

The good weather brought my wife and I over to GC to say goodbye to the two seniors on this year’s Fighting Scots roster as well as to their parents.  Not always an easy thing to do without prior arrangements but it got done.

I also took some “familiar faces” pictures while I was there.  Enjoy!

Jennifer Hevelone-Harper

David Rox

Ann Ferguson

bagpiper

Commencement speaker Chai Ling and President Jud Carlberg

Suzanne and Kevin Walker

Wendy and Bob Bentson

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Filed under 2010-11 Gordon College men's basketball, 2011 Gordon College commencement, 2011 Gordon commencement, Gordon men's basketball 2010-11

Gordon Unable to Contain Anna Maria in CCC Opening Round

Brad Peterson (25 points) led a talented Anna Maria attack.

Senior Austin Bentson scored eight points and had a career-high nine assists in his last game for Gordon.

(Paxton MA) The Scots got into a shootout with weapon’s rich Anna Maria and exited from the Commonwealth Coast Conference tournament in the first round on Tuesday night.

The final was 93-79 and the lack of defense by both teams was noticeable. 

#1 seed Anna Maria (18-8) gets Salve Regina on Thursday night.  Good luck to the Seahawks trying to contain the Amcats offense.

You face Anna Maria and hope that you can minimize the scoring of Anthony Click (CCC Player-of-the-Year) and Chris Pinsonault (put up 30+ at the Bennett Center).  You succeed except that Anthony turns into the passer-of-the-year with seven assists while 5’11” Chris hauls in seven rebounds.

Meanwhile Brad Peterson scores 25 points (9.8 scoring average), Joseph Barillo gets 18 (3.3 scoring average), and Junior De La Hoz tallies 16 points and hands out eight assists.

David Dempsey - Put up 32 points in his most productive game as a Scot.

How do you stop an attack like that?  In this one, the Scots tried to score with them and got off to a stunning 13-5 start in the first four minutes.  Austin Bentson nailed a three, David Dempsey hit two layups, and Greg Walker made a jump shot and a pair of layups. 

The Scots came up empty on the next four possessions and Anna Maria took the lead 15-13 with 13+ minutes left.  A few minutes later Joe Barillo hit his first of a trio of first-half, long ones to give the Amcats an 18-17 advantage that would hold up the rest of the way.

Every time Joe scored the super home crowd reminded everyone that he was a freshman.  I was more impressed by the fact that every time he connected on a three he made his per game average. 

Later in the half Anna Maria ran nine straight and pushed the lead to double digits (37-27) for the first time.  The Scots hit the last five points of the half (Austin-3, David-2) and trailed, 48-39.

A Gordon optimist would suggest that when Anna Maria cooled off in the second half (they shot 54.5% in the first half) the Scots might be able to make a run.  The Amcats shot 59.1% in the second half!  There was just no stopping them.

The Scots were able to keep the deficit under ten for 2+ minutes before a 10-2 spurt by the home team put Gordon in trouble, 62-45, with 14:25 left. 

Gordon would outscore the Amcats, 34-31, the rest of the way but the Scots needed stops and on this night just didn’t get that job done.

Greg Walker went wild (26 points) in the meeting with Anna Maria at the Bennett Center.  This time it was David Dempsey’s turn to score big.  The 3rd team all-conference sophomore clicked on fourteen baskets that led to a career-high 32 points.  An interesting stat (to me) is that Greg and David combined for forty points in both games. 

As I referenced earlier, points weren’t the issue.  Stops were.  Both Brad Peterson and Joe Barillo were fifteen points above their normal averages. 

Park Thomas - 18 points in the second half

Park Thomas had eighteen of his nineteen points in the second half.  For fifteen minutes of the second half the Scots collected thirty-one points and Park and David scored all of them. 

Gordon finishes 11-15 and loses Greg and Austin in the process.  Greg made 2nd team all-conference for his productive season.  Austin finished with a career game in assists and certainly earned a place every season on the all-effort team.  I’ll miss the interaction with the Walkers and the Bentsons next season.

It will be interesting to see what the 2011-12 team looks like.  Rumors of players coming in are just that until we see them in our uniform in November. 

The Commonwealth Coast Conference will be different next season with just ten (of fourteen) teams remaining.  Regis, Colby-Sawyer, New England, and Anna Maria are joining other conferences.  CCC teams will play each other twice (that’s eighteen games) and have seven nonleague games.

This completes nine seasons of following the team for me.  I thank God for the opportunity.  I also thank my wife (Julie) for her support and encouragement.  It has been a blessing to be part of the Gordon family.  In nine months we’re already underway with the 2011-12 season.  Enjoy the off-season!

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Filed under 2010-11 Gordon College men's basketball, Anna Maria

Gordon Makes the Playoffs Despite Last-Game Loss to Salve Regina

Garrett Harden's late three put Gordon close (58-55) with forty-eight seconds left.

Gordon defense draws a charge on senior Windell Hinkson.

(Newport RI) Gordon defeats Salve Regina and everything was simple – they’re in the eight-team, post-season tournament.  Gordon loses to Salve Regina and they need help from elsewhere to get in.

Because there were four games where a favorable result would get the Scots in, I wasn’t too worried as I watched them lose to the Seahawks, 63-55, on Saturday afternoon in the final regular season game.

If I’d only known.  Three of those games ended up going against Gordon and only Wentworth’s win over New England gave the Scots the chance to play a tournament game (against Anna Maria) on Tuesday night (7PM in Paxton MA). 

But in they are as the 8th seed and maybe, just maybe, they can still be standing a week from today with a second straight Commonwealth Coast Conference championship.  Sounds like a reach but the Scots have looked very good at times in February.  Gordon has also won the first-round game in the CCC tourney five straight seasons.  Who knows?

Salve Regina (14-10/8-5) had the Senior Day thing going and although the team had already qualified for the playoffs they might have a chance, with a win, to get a first-round home game.  Didn’t work out that way when the final seedings kicked in (Salve will travel to Regis) but the Seahawk seniors played with some special intensity in the win.

The Scots (11-14/7-6) were a step slow in the first half while the Seahawks suffered the same malady during the first fifteen minutes of the second half.  This game came down to the last five minutes with the score tied at 49-49.

The rest of the way the home team took care of the ball and made shots.  The visitors…….not so well.

A mystery Scot gets caught in the pastry shop while Austin Bentson and David Dempsey wait outside.

During the end game, SRU missed one shot from the floor and had one turnover while Gordon missed five shots and had four turnovers.

The Seahawks outscored the Scots 14-6 in the last five minutes, however, within those closing five minutes a Garrett Harden three with 48 seconds left actually cut the SRU lead down to 58-55. 

If Gordon had played some special defense and make a shot or two during the last forty-eight seconds this one could have been won but what we got was a foul that led to a free throw, a turnover that led to a layup, and a blocked shot that led to yet another layup.  I guess you could say that we didn’t close well!

The bad ending did lead to the misleading final score.  This was a game that could have gone Gordon’s way.

The first half, Gordon looked as if they had walked the entire nearby Cliff Walk just before game time. 

During one 7 ½ minute segment the Scots scored one basket and had six turnovers as SRU went on a 15-2 tear.  Windell Hinkson dazzled with seven straight points in forty-five seconds.  Surprisingly, those were the only points the CCC 3rd scorer (16.9PPG) would get in thirty-seven minutes.

That run put the Seahawks ahead, 24-10.  A couple of Garrett Harden 3’s were part of a 12-3 response by the Scots to cut the margin to 27-22 with 3 ½ minutes left.  Gordon made just one shot the rest of the way and trailed, 36-26, at halftime.

For fifteen minutes in the second half it looked as if Salve had taken a lengthy stroll on the Cliff Walk during halftime. 

Suddenly, Gordon started putting up points and the Seahawks had no answers.  In 6+ minutes, Greg Walker (15 points) hit six points worth of inside shots and a jumper, Austin cashed in a turnover, and Park Thomas nailed a couple of 3’s.  When that lovely slice of offense ended a 38-26 deficit had turned into a 42-39 Gordon lead with 11:45 left.

Ryan Birrell - very important in the Seahawk victory

Seniors Ryan Birrell (13 points)  and Dan Royce (13 points) had everything to do with breaking the Gordon momentum.  They tallied all of SRU’s next ten points supplying answers to Gordon baskets. 

This all led down to a tie score (49-49) and the final five minutes which were described above.

I was familiar with the seniors – Ryan Birrell, Dan Royce, and Windell Hinkson but not freshman Patrick Dinneen.  He offset Windell limited point production with a team-leading fourteen points and three steals. 

Both Greg Walker (15 points/12 rebounds) and David Dempsey (13 points/12 rebounds) registered double/doubles.  Garrett have four 3’s to get his twelve points.

Greg Walker gets inside Dan Royce (#13) for a first half layup.

David and Greg each faced denial defense in close and double teams when they received passes.  They ended up a combined 11-for-30.  That has to somehow improve on Tuesday night.  Greg had 26 points last time at home versus Anna Maria.

The free throw shooting was dicey by both teams.  SRU missed five of them in the last four minutes and in the process allowed Gordon to hang around longer than they should have.

On February 13, 2003 Gordon defeated Anna Maria, 73-50, at the Bennett Center.  The team finished the season with a 20-5 record and faced Anna Maria again this time in the post-season tournament.  A quirk in the playoff schedule forced Gordon to play at Anna Maria despite the Scots having a much better conference record.  The Scots ended up on the wrong end of a shocking upset, 75-67.  Well, here we are nearly eight years later and Anna Maria has had a wonderful season (18-7 overall – 11-2 in the conference).  Gordon, on the other hand, barely (Thanks, Coach Devitt!) even got into the playoffs.  Wouldn’t a shocking upset on Tuesday night be fun to write about??

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Filed under 2010-11 Gordon College men's basketball, Anna Maria, Salve Regina

Scots Win Fifth Straight CCC Game to Brighten Tourney Chances

Greg Walker (16 points) gets position for a pass from Shaun Roach (#11)

David Dempsey (21 points) drives to the basket.

(Biddeford ME) Gordon took care of UNE, 69-56, on Wednesday night in Maine and in the process put themselves into the top eight in the Commonwealth Coast Conference standings. 

The Scots chances of making the eight-team, postseason tournament seemed bleak at the start of this month but the team has won five straight conference games to stand 7-5 with only a visit to Salve Regina on Saturday afternoon left.

A win at Newport (RI) clinches a tourney spot.  A loss and the Scots fate will be determined by the final scores in other CCC games on Saturday afternoon. 

UNE (4-20) never led in this game but recovered in both halves from double-digit deficits to make this anything but an easy win for Gordon (11-13).

The Nor-easters lacked size but made up for it on defense with quickness.  The Scots had very few long-range openings and help was quick to arrive on passes inside.

But that didn’t discourage Gordon from trying to feed Greg (16 points) and David (21 points).  There were plenty of turnovers in the process but the reward for successful interior passes was often a layup. 

Park Thomas (18 points) had a career game.

While the Scots in general seemed uncomfortable with the up-tempo style that UNE forced, Park Thomas thrived on it.  The freshman from Arizona reached a career high in points (18), steals (4) and minutes (32).  He also added one of the two 3’s the Scots made.  Park was a key piece to the Gordon victory.

The Scots were terrific on the glass.  Austin Bentson reached ten boards which ties a career high for him. The seventh best rebounder in the CCC (David Dempsey) also had ten rebounds.

UNE went through nine possessions and nearly nine minutes before they scored (Travis Guerrette trey).  Meanwhile, the Scots were quickly getting scoring from Greg (4 points), Park (free throw), and David (6 points) to race ahead 11-0.

The Nor’easters rode 3’s (six in the first half) to cut into the fast Scot start and came as close as 22-19 and later 25-22 before Gordon led at the half, 31-26.

The Scots put a second, 11-point run together early in the second half (Park-2, Greg-2, David-4, Shaun Roach-3) and again were in command (42-28) with 14:40 to go.  With ten minutes left that lead was enlarged to 53-38. 

Garrett Harden and Greg Walker rush out to defend 3-point shooter Marcus Winn (10 points)

But yet again, UNE started making long range connections (Chris Ouellette, JD Winn, and Marcus Winn hit 3‘s) and put together a nice 13-2 spurt and trailed by just four (55-51) with six minutes left.  I felt the urge to push the worry button.

However, just as suddenly as that consistent Nor-easter offense came it left.  UNE had only five points over the last six minutes while the Scots added fourteen to secure the victory.  Park was big here with six points including a jumper in the lane off the backboard.

Charles Fenner (14 points) led the UNE scorers and also had six steals.  He tallied a basket just before halftime after several attempts from in close.

David Dempsey had a dunk in the second half. 

Park enters an area known to pastry lovers!

UNE is last in the CCC in points scored and points allowed. 

Greg Walker passed Justin Kaufman last game to move into 16th place on the all-time scorer’s list.  He has now reached 1120 and I want to alert Scott Beebe (1123) that his hold on 15th place is starting to look verrrrry tenuous!

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Filed under 2010-11 Gordon College men's basketball, UNE

Gordon Honors Seniors and Defeats Western New England

The Pit cheers for seniors Austin Bentson and Greg Walker.

Greg Walker reached 1000 career points this season and was presented a commemorative basketball by Coach Tod Murphy.

(Wenham) The Scots took care of business today. 

They honored seniors Greg Walker and Austin Bentson before the game and then defeated Western New England, 78-59, to continue their run to move up to 8th place and qualify for the Commonwealth Coast Conference tournament.

The Saturday afternoon victory at the Bennett Center didn’t move Gordon into the top eight but with two more CCC games left they are now tied with several teams in the top eight.  I have confidence that if Gordon keeps taking care of business (UNE on Wednesday and Salve Regina on Saturday) they will still be playing on George Washington’s birthday.

Before the game, Greg Walker received a specially engraved basketball for reaching 1000 total points for the Scots.  That total was quite a feat considering that he had only 15 points as a freshman.

The Walkers (Suzanne, Greg, Kevin) with Coach Murphy.

Tod Murphy with the Bentsons (Wendy, Austin, and Bob).

Greg and Austin and their proud parents were introduced to the appreciative crowd in a pre-game ceremony.

Western New England (4-19) did not go easily.  Two of their wins were against Wentworth and New England College – teams that defeated Gordon. 

It took a nine-point run in the first half to separate from them and 12-2 segment late in the second half to finish them off.

Two of David Dempsey's seventeen points.

The Scots (10-13) shot well all game (53.8%).  The Golden Bears’ defense committed just eleven fouls so they weren’t exactly dug in on defense.  The Scots had plenty of good looks from the outside and also were able to get the ball inside to Greg (14 points) and David Dempsey (17 points).

WNEC hung around thanks to another afternoon of poor ball management.  WNEC chased the Scots full-court almost the entire game and created twenty-four turnovers.  To get some perspective, you need to know that Gordon had the ball for seventy-two possessions.  That means that for every three times the Scots had the ball they gave it away, without a shot, one time.  Dribbling in an area with more than one defender has not worked well for Gordon all season.

The Gordon defense didn’t get as many turnovers but they did contest shots and forced WNEC into a low shooting percentage (36.2%).  Two shooting droughts, I referenced earlier, doomed the visitors from Springfield.

The first drought covered three minutes and a 24-20 Gordon lead enlarged to 33-20 with 2 ½ minutes left in the first half.  Park Thomas hit a couple of jumpers, Austin nailed a three, and Greg converted a rebound.  Greg had 14 rebounds in the game which was the 4th time this season he’s reached double figures.

The finish-them-off segment started after Damon Alston hit his 4th trey closing WNEC to, 57-49, with 6 ½ to go in the game.  The worrier in me started recalling how tight the last two wins had been and I began to wonder if this would be another one.

Not to worry.  A little over three minutes later Gordon was in complete charge, 69-51.  Why? Garrett Harden (15 points) hit a couple of 3’s while Greg and David each added a layup and free throw. 

Damon Alston (12), Brad Thomka (11), and Chris Devine (10) reached double figures for the Golden Bears.

Luke Hamilton and Garrett were a combined 7-for-9 from long range.  Wouldn’t a dangerous outside attack lessen the defensive pressure Greg normally has to deal with around the basket.

I saw a couple of blocked shots.  JT Himmelstein got one on a driving Chris Devine and I later saw Jordan Kelly do the same to Brad Thomka.

There was a nice gathering afterwards for parents and players honoring the seniors.  Assistant coach Keith Krass gave Austin and Greg highly-treasured Gordon blankets.

Gordon is at the University of New England on Wednesday night at 8PM.  

Other pictures I took.  If you click on the picture it gets larger.

Defense collapsed on Greg

"I haven't fouled anyone in four years"

Wendy Bentson & Suzanne Walker

 

Mike Schnackenberg jokes with Brady Bajema

 

JT chases a turnover.

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Filed under 2010-11 Gordon College men's basketball, Tod Murphy, Western New England

Scots Play Great and Win Third Straight

Seniors Austin Bentson (9 points) and Greg Walker (23 points) enjoy the end of Gordon's win over Colby-Sawyer.

Garrett Harden - red hot with a career-best sixteen points against Colby-Sawyer

(Wenham) Gordon put on quite the show against a quality Colby-Sawyer team and defeated the visitors, 70-58, on Tuesday night at the Bennett Center.

The Scots (9-12/ 5-5) took the lead for good (Greg Walker layup on a feed from David Dempsey) eleven minutes into the first half (22-21) and rode great passing (18 assists) and shooting (53.3%) to the end.

The Chargers (10-11/ 6-4) got as close as one point (42-41 at 12:14 in the second half) but Shaun Roach followed with a three and, after a C-S turnover, David Dempsey added a layup to give Gordon some breathing room.

Colby-Sawyer was still near enough to worry some of us later when a John Roberts tip-in narrowed the Scot lead to 58-52 with 5:10 left.  Gordon had won the last two games in the last minute so you could feel this one heading in that direction. 

Not tonight.  Over the next three minutes Gordon ran nine straight (Greg – two layups, Austin Bentson – a three, and JT Himmelstein – a layup) while C-S missed seven straight shots and added two turnovers.

Two minutes left and a 67-52 lead was certainly a lot different than the last two games.

The Gordon shooting was remarkable.  Early on the Scots were taking and making difficult shots.  Greg hit a couple of jumpers that were close to 3-point shots. 

Colby-Sawyer was intent on stopping Gordon’s inside game and they did a nice job on David Dempsey (8 points) by swarming him in close.  David contributed in other ways with eleven rebounds and four assists.

That heavy Charger defense in close opened some nice looks elsewhere and on this day the Scots took full advantage.  They tied a season high with nine makes long-range.  Garrett Harden led the way out there with five-for-seven shooting and a career high 16 points. 

JT Himmelstein (inbounding) - handed out nine assists

JT Himmelstein had a career assist game with nine of them.  Those assists can pile up quickly when the point guard can find the scorers without turning the ball over.  In this game, a pass to either Greg or Garrett had assist potential written all over it.

John Roberts (12) and Robbie Burke (10) led the Charger scorers.  Will Bardaglio (8 points) came in as the 3rd scorer in the Commonwealth Coast Conference with 16+ per game.  I thought that his long-range touch would hurt the Scots during their occasional use of zone defenses but it never happened.  From where I was sitting, the Chargers missed a lot of makeable shots. 

Colby-Sawyer has now lost four straight while Gordon has won three straight. 

The Scots travel to Medford to play nonleague Tufts at 7PM on Thursday. 

Garrett (#12) defends Will Bardaglio (8 points) while JT (#1) covers James Tobin (5 points).

The CCC picture currently has Gordon in 9th.  The top eight get into tournament play after the season.  The Scots need to take care of the three league opponents ahead (Western New England, UNE, and Salve Regina) and hope that one of the current top eight falls past them. 

Saturday’s 3PM game with Western New England is the last home game of the season.  It is also Senior Day.  No they won’t be honoring my wife and I!  It will be Greg and Austin standing there with their parents wondering where the four years have gone.

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Filed under 2010-11 Gordon College men's basketball, Colby-Sawyer

Greg Walker Scores 32 and Garrett Harden Hits Another Game-Winning Three

Greg Walker put up a career-high 32 points in the win over Nichols. He also assisted on Garrett Harden's game-winning three.

Garrett Harden - winning long shots in consecutive games

(Dudley MA) It was Senior Day so what were Greg Walker and Austin Bentson supposed to do? 

Nichols two seniors (Justin Aldrich and Dan Taylor) were honored before the game but it was Gordon’s two seniors having significant roles during the game in the Scots, 71-68, win on a rainy Saturday afternoon in Commonwealth Coast Conference action.

Greg scored at will in the first half (20 points) and ended with a career high of 32 points.  He had 28 points last year at Western New England.

Austin (10 points) gave the Scots a third double-digit scorer.  Equally significant was his defense on Ryan Sheehan (28 points).  The talented freshman never found room to take a shot during the last 5 ½ minutes of the game!  That’s defense for you!

Austin Bentson defends Ryan Sheehan in the first half.

The biggest shot of the game?  Same as two days ago at Regis – Garrett Harden three.  The Scots were trailing (68-67) with forty seconds left after two Dan Taylor free throws.  Gordon got the ball inside to Greg and for good reason the Bison defense collapsed in around him.  That help defense was costly to Nichols as Greg found Garrett alone in the left corner.  He didn’t miss with fourteen seconds left.

Despite now trailing 70-68, Nichols had plenty of time and numerous 3-point shooters.  As it turned out, they didn’t try for a three instead the pass went inside to Kyle Mascilak with plenty of Gordon defense around.  Kyle mishandled the ball and David Dempsey came away with the steal and was fouled.  David made one-of-two attempts (71-68) with only 2.3 seconds left.  After a timeout, Nichols tried to pass the ball down the sidelines but Greg Walker was there for the interception to seal the deal.

This game had seven lead changes in the first 13 ½ minutes and eight lead changes in the last 5 ½ minutes.  In between, Gordon had a 17-3 run over six minutes which Nichols answered by putting up fifteen straight in just under four minutes of action.

Both of those runs were impressive.  Gordon took a 30-27 lead with two minutes left in the half and six minutes of playing time later going into the second half had extended their advantage to 47-30.  Greg had ten of Gordon’s seventeen points.

Later a Luke Hamilton three had Gordon still holding that 17-point edge (52-35) with thirteen minutes left. 

Park Thomas and Michael Salis scramble for a loose ball.

I knew that Gordon wasn’t that much better than Nichols.  The Bison had lost to Anna Maria by five, Colby-Sawyer by three, Roger Williams by five, and Endicott by one in overtime.  The Scots had only four turnovers in the first half.  You knew the storm was coming, you just didn’t know how bad it would be.

Nichols started to connect from everywhere and during the next four minutes rolled off fifteen unanswered points.  Five turnovers by the Scots hurt them.  Ryan Sheehan contributed a 3-pointer, a jump shot, a layup, and two free throws. That pretty much covers all the shooting stations!

That run of offense brought Nichols to within two (52-50) with nine minutes left.  The Bison finally took the lead (58-56) on two more Ryan Sheehan free throws with 5 ½ left.  Those were to be Ryan’s last points.  I saw both Austin and David Dempsey defending him the rest of the way.

David Dempsey had little room to operate. Here he is guarded by Kyle Mascilak (right) and Nick Brown (left).

David (12 points) saw just six minutes in the first half after a couple of quick offensive fouls.  There was no water but there seemed to be plenty of dives.

Greg’s 20-point first half drove Bison coach Dave Sokolnicki crazy and rightly so.  Minus any shot blockers, of the Sam Herrick (Wentworth) and Erik Callo (Endicott) type, Greg had his way on possession after possession. 

More help defenders appeared around Greg in the second half.  He still contributed ten points including 6-for-6 from the line.

As I pointed out earlier, all that concern about Greg led to that game-breaker three by Garrett in the last minute.

Sophomore Kyle Mascilak had a double/double (14 points/10 rebounds) for Nichols.  Justin Kuntz added ten points.

For the second time this season Gordon had more assists than turnovers.  The previous time was the November win at Endicott. 

SID Hillary Haynes offered me a seat at the scorer’s table and of course I accepted.  You go from reading lips from the stands to getting an earful of coach/player interactions.  One gem was a timeout called by a player after he reported that he didn’t know the play the coach had called.

Anyhow, a big win for the Scots.  They are now finding ways to win after that tough stretch with Roger Williams, New England, and Endicott. 

Next opponent is Colby-Sawyer at the Bennett Center on Tuesday night.  Like Nichols, they have a talented freshman – Robbie Burke. 

In two weeks the Scots will be playing their last regular season game at Salve Regina in Newport RI.  Will the team be among the top eight in the CCC then and looking ahead to tournament play?

By the way, Derrick Neal of Regis reappeared today, and led The Pride to a win over Endicott in Beverly.

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Filed under 2010-11 Gordon College men's basketball, Gordon men's basketball 2010-11, Nichols

Late Three By Garrett Harden Sinks Regis

Garrett Harden, Park Thomas, and Greg Walker were key contributors in Gordon's win over Regis.

(Weston) I asked someone who had the answer, “Where’s Derrick Neal?”  There reply was, “We can’t give out that information.”

Who knows what’s going on there but minus Derrick and his 13.4 points per game, Regis (12-8/5-3) lost to Gordon (7-12/3-5), 49-46, on Thursday night at Regis.

This game was scheduled for Wednesday but more than enough snow changed that arrangement.

Points were at a premium with both teams playing a lot of very active zone defenses.  Most of the shots were from the outside.

The Pride erased a 3-point deficit (44-41) on a three by Darrin Kelly (10 points) and a layup from Robert Edwards (6 points) with 2:15 left.  The rest of the way (four possessions) Regis came up empty.

Meanwhile the Scots tied the score (46-46) on a Greg Walker (10 points) jumper and followed that with the eventual game winner with 1:10 left as Garrett Harden (9 points) nailed a three on a pass from Austin Bentson.

JT Himmelstein gets set to block Darrin Kelly's last-second attempt to tie the game.

The Pride had three possessions thereafter and Darrin was in the middle of all of them.  First possession he missed a three, second possession he ran over Park Thomas and got a turnover, and third possession he took a last-second shot which was blocked by JT Himmelstein.

You never know how a game will go.  After the first half I had a bad feeling about how this one was going to go.  The Scots were down eight (31-23) at halftime and already had ten turnovers. 

However, Gordon started fast in the second half with seven straight (jumpers from Austin and Greg and a Garrett trey) and the Scots were right back in it.  Little did we know then that Regis would only make FOUR baskets in the second half!

Gordon took the lead (38-36) when Shaun Roach put up five points in a row.  The last two points came from a technical foul called on Kandley Val.

The Scots scored only one basket (Greg Walker rebound conversion) over the next 3 ½ minutes and actually added two points to their lead!  Such was the state of the shooting for both teams in this game.

The Pride hit five of six free throws to pull ahead 41-40 with 5:50 left.  Back came Park and Greg with jump shots to regain the lead for Gordon, 44-41 with 3:40 left. 

This led into Regis’ 5-point run answered by Greg and Garrett to win the game for the Scots.

Not only was Derrick Neal missing but Regis’ second scorer (Phil Alibrandi) had only five points.  He’s been averaging eleven.  This is the 3rd team that the Scots have beaten (Endicott, ENC, and now Regis) that had key player(s) missing. 

The key to this game, in my opinion, was Gordon having only five turnovers in the second half.  Regis pressed after made baskets but they only had four in the entire second half.  Regis shot just 18.2% (4-for-22) in the second half.

Park Thomas saw plenty of tight defense from Darrin Kelly.

I did not clearly see the collision involving Park and Darrin that led to a Regis turnover very late in the game.  Park went down and then left the game with what looked like a nose bleed.  That gave JT a chance to be in the game late and block Darrin’s last-second bid for a tie.

David Dempsey (13 points) and Greg Walker (10 points) saw all sorts of defenders whenever the ball came their way. 

Ryan Chambers gets two of his team-high eleven points.

Freshman Ryan Chambers led the Regis scorers with eleven points. 

Regis had twelve steals but ten of them were in the first half. 

Jon Himottu and David Dempsey put some defense on Robert Edwards.

Gordon plays at Nichols on Saturday.  The game is scheduled for 2PM which is earlier than usual.  Could that “wintry mix” forecast have something to do with it?

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Filed under 2010-11 Gordon College men's basketball, Gordon men's basketball 2010-11, Regis

Greg Walker Reaches 1000 Points During Loss to Endicott

Greg Walker hears it after reaching 1000 points.

(Wenham)  A great Bennett Center crowd saw senior Greg Walker (17 points) reach the 1000-point plateau.  That same crowd also saw Endicott (13-6) defeat Gordon (6-12), 77-62, on the same Saturday afternoon.

Best known for his moves around the basket, it was an outside shot that pushed Greg in among sixteen other Gordon scorers with 1000 points.  I saw four of those big-time scorers in the house – Brady Bajema, Mike Herr, Scott Beebe, and Jon Marstaller.

Greg gave no indication during his first season (2007-08) that he would be any sort of scorer.  He only got into 14 of 27 games and his point total for the season was 15!

I checked in with Coach Mike Schauer before the 2008-09 season and he told me that Greg was ready to contribute because he now had some excellent moves around the basket.  Those of us who have watched the Scots over the past three seasons have seen plenty of Greg’s good work around the basket.  Congrats to him.

Meanwhile, back at the game you’re probably still wondering about if you’ve read this far.

The first half was typical of most of the Gordon/Endicott games.  Plenty of revved up fans.  Endicott brought along a band!  Plenty of emotion on the floor and generally not a lot of scoring.  There were nine lead changes and no clear sense of how this one would end up.

The second half started promising for the home team – layups by Austin Bentson and Greg Walker. 

Those two baskets made it 36-32 at which point Endicott called a timeout.  Coach Phil Rowe did all the talking (loud) and finger pointing.  Let’s just say he tried to light a fire under the Gulls and the results thereafter suggest he succeeded beyond his wildest dreams.

Over the next ten minutes Endicott did almost everything right.  Their full-court pressure tightened and nine Gordon turnovers resulted.  On offense, the Gulls made everything but a three.  When those game changing ten minutes ended Endicott had produced a 27-7 run.  That’ll turn most games and it sure did this one.

Lance Greene (23 points) sparked Endicott's second half run.

Lance Greene (23 points) sparked the offense during this stretch with ten points.  The Gulls made 9-of-11 free throws.  They were great from the line throughout  –  22-of-25.

With a 59-43 cushion and eight minutes left, the cows had left the barn.  The Scots outscored Endicott, 19-18, the rest of the way but superb clock management kept Gordon from getting into any sort of position for late-game heroics .

Lance was great but another key performer was Erik Callo.  He did not play in Gordon’s, 88-74, win at Endicott in November.  Erik (6’8″) had 13 points and 11 rebounds in this game.  To say that he might have made a difference in the first game is beyond question.  He made life difficult for Greg in close.

David Dempsey and Aaron Karkow were a good matchup.  I have seen Aaron’s long-range touch in past games – he had three 3’s in this one – but never his defense.  He did a nice job on David although David did find a way to collect fourteen points.

Austin Bentson (15 points) came out red hot (ten points in the first half) and had a lot to do with Gordon being tied (32-32) at the half.  The Gordon broadcast team has no trouble handing him “Timmy (MacDonnell)” points on a regular basis.

Everyone, including the Endicott defense, was tuned into Greg closing in on 1000.  After several turnovers, missed shots, and a pat on the head from Coach Tod Murphy, Greg tallied five points in the last two minutes to get to 1000. 

The record breaker was about a 16-footer over Spencer Calling with forty seconds left in the first half.  The accomplishment was announced and the fans erupted with applause.

Gordon’s next game is on Wednesday night at Regis in Weston MA.  The game is scheduled for 7:30PM.

An alumni game played earlier in the day brought back a number of familiar faces.

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Filed under 2010-11 Gordon College men's basketball, Endicott, Gordon men's basketball 2010-11

Gordon Loses in Last Minute to Roger Williams

Travis O'Dell of Roger Williams makes a last-minute steal.

(Wenham) The returned Gordon students cheered the men’s basketball team when their game against highly-regarded Roger Williams ended tonight, and rightly so.

The Scots (5-10) played their hearts out in a tough 49-48 loss to the visiting Hawks (11-5) on Wednesday night at the Bennett Center.  Gordon is now 1-3 in the Commonwealth Coast Conference.

This was a game of nearly continuous action because of very few whistles.  Remarkably, the Scots never took a foul shot the entire game and RWU had only four free throws.  The referees were letting them play.

Corey Fava (#5) made shots at the end of both halves and handed out four assists with no turnovers.

Senior Corey Fava made key scoring plays for the Hawks at the end of each half and handed out four assists with no turnovers.  Roger Williams ended with twelve turnovers but only one of them was in the second half.

It was a Scot turnover in the last minute that ruined their upset chances.  Gordon had the ball and were down one (49-48) after a Corey Fava layup, down the lane, with 21 seconds left.  Travis O’Dell, who entered the game as a defensive replacement, stripped Park Thomas as he crossed half court for a crucial take away. 

The Scots were then desperate to get the ball back and were forced to foul several times (taking time off the clock each time) before getting the Hawks to the free throw line.  Corey Fava ended up with a free throw but missed.  After a timeout, Gordon was left with just 3+ seconds and had to go the full length of the court.  Park launched a backcourt shot that didn’t come close.

Austin Bentson - rallied the Scots in the first half

While the loss was real the effort was unreal, especially from Austin Bentson.  The fly-around senior had a first half that had everyone’s attention. 

The visitors from Rhode Island went up 13-7 after 8 ½ minutes.  Enter Austin.  The next four minutes the Hawks didn’t score while committing five turnovers – Austin forced two of them.  The revved up Scots tallied nine straight and grabbed a 16-14 lead. 

Corey Fava’s last-second three gave the Hawks a 26-24 halftime lead.

The Hawks got off fast in the second half (30-24) and after four minutes had their biggest lead of the game (37-29).  The Scots have been blown out six times this season and you had to wonder if Roger Williams might be on their way to the same thing.  Not on this evening! 

Maybe it was the crowd support but, whatever, Gordon dominated the next seven minutes going on a 13-2 run to pull ahead 42-39 with eight minutes remaining.  Park Thomas and Greg Walker combined for the last eight points. 

Back came RWU as James LeCardi buried a couple of three’s in an 8-2 spurt which gave the Hawks a 47-44 advantage with 5:20 to go.

Plenty of time for either team to make a decisive scoring run.  However, RWU scored just one basket (Corey Fava’s late layup) the rest of the way.  The Scots weren’t much better with only Greg Walker’s jump shot and layup to show for the last 5+ minutes.

Plenty of defense was played by Greg Walker, Taylor Petroccelli, and David Dempsey.

Defense was crucial for both teams.  The Scots reduced RWU’s top scorer (Pat Flanagan) to just three points showing a lot of zone defense.  The Hawks settled for long-range shots and gave the 6-9 post player few opportunities with the ball.

When Pat did get the ball, there was plenty of Gordon defense in his area. 

On the other hand, Pat did a nice job limiting Greg’s operating room in close.  Greg had 20 points against RWU last season on the road. 

Corey Fava may be the best point guard in the CCC.  He came in leading the conference in assist-turnover ratio and in minutes played.  Tonight RWU also got ten points from him.

The Carlbergs were in the house for this exciting game.

Next for Gordon is a trip to Milton (MA) to play Curry at 3PM on Saturday afternoon.

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Filed under 2010-11 Gordon College men's basketball, Curry, Gordon men's basketball 2010-11, Roger Williams