Tag Archives: David Dempsey

Jordan Kelly and David Dempsey graduate from Gordon College

Jordan Kelly

Jordan Kelly

David Dempsey

David Dempsey

(Wenham)  Today Julie and I continued our tradition of going to Gordon College graduations.

That tradition offers us a special chance to be with the men’s basketball graduates as well as their families.  Over the course of four years, and many games, they all become part of our extended family.

The weather was totally cooperative for the two-hour event……bright sun early and a cooling breeze later.

GC basketball players Jordan Kelly and David Dempsey are both in the Class of 2013 so I picture stalked them and their families.

Val and Jennifer

Val and Jennifer

We were also pleased to be on hand to watch our friend Val Gin get a Senior Distinguished Faculty Award.  The Junior DFA?  Two words came to mind when I watched him get the award – “loose” and “cannon!”

I made a connection with honorary degree recipient Preston Mason when he encouraged the students to memorize Scripture.  I couldn’t agree with him more on that one.   Andrew Murray: “The more I get to know Him through His Word, the better I will understand His Will.”

The photos included don’t have too much order to them and some of you may not even know who some of these folks are.  The normal connection is Gordon College men’s basketball.

Class of 1963

Class of 1963

There was another reason for my being on campus today – 50th class reunion.  A lot has changed since my one year in Drew Hall and my three years in Hilton House.  Back then the Bennett Center was a maintenance barn.  The soccer/baseball fields have become a parking lot and a dorm.

I will admit that in the pictures that include Adam/Stephen Herod I chickened out trying to guess which one was which.  Where are the name tags?

(All of the pictures will enlarge considerably if you click on them.  Enjoy.)

Tod, Keith, and Sarah

Tod, Keith, and Sarah

50

50

President Michael Lindsay

President Michael Lindsay

Leisure Studies grads

Leisure Studies grads

Laura, David, and Don

Laura, David, and Don

Kelly family

Kelly family

Julie and Bess

Julie and Bess

Jordan Kelly

Jordan Kelly

Jason, the Herods, and Shawn

Jason, the Herods, and Shawn

Jason, David, and Alex

Jason, David, and Alex

Greg and Jordan

Greg and Jordan

Dempsey family

Dempsey family

David Rox

David Rox

David Dempsey

David Dempsey

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Gordon bows to Curry 69-63 in the CCC championship game

Park Thomas, Hans Miersma, and David Dempsey watch Curry celebrate afterwards

Park Thomas, Hans Miersma, and David Dempsey watch Curry celebrate afterwards

Jordan Kelly and David Dempsey with the CCC runner-up trophy

Jordan Kelly and David Dempsey with the CCC runner-up trophy

(Milton) Curry 69  Gordon 63

Gordon had three tries against Curry this season and couldn’t get the job done in any of them.  Their last try-and-miss was in the Commonwealth Coast Conference tournament final held today at Curry.

On this afternoon, neither team played very well.  Blame the championship-game tension.  Blame the noise that a crowd of 1,100 can generate.  Whatever, it wasn’t what you would have expected from the top two seeds.

Gordon spent most of the game trying to catch up.  Curry broke free from an 8-8 tie seven minutes into the game and never trailed.

The Colonels would boost their advantage to double figures in the first half.  Their lead at halftime was, 32-22.

The Scots put a 7-0 run together (Park Thomas layup, Taylor Bajema three, and Luke Hamilton layup) in the second half to cut the margin to six (39-33) with fifteen minutes to go.

AJ Stephens gets by Hans Miersma

AJ Stephens gets by Hans Miersma

Plenty of time to complete the comeback but that good Gordon segment was followed by a missed layup and two missed free throws. Before you knew it Curry was ahead by ten, 45-35, and the Scots were back chasing again from a distance.  The lack of consistency on defense and offense separated Gordon from the title.

Poor foul shooting was the first thing that came to my mind as the primary cause of the loss.   But then I checked the online stat sheet and saw that both teams missed ten free throws.

The Scots made 8-of-10 foul shots during the last five minutes, including five straight at the end.

Curry was even better from the charity stripe in crunch time.  Within five (61-56) and only 1:20 left, the Scots were clearly in the steal-or-foul mode.  The steals didn’t happen so the Scots fouled the Colonels on each of the next four possessions.  Curry calmly drained seven straight before an AJ Stephens miss.  Lambros Papalambros hit two, Carlos Ribeiro four, and AJ Stephens one.  Very simply, when foul shots had to be made, the Colonels were up to the challenge.

David Dempsey (22 points) and Sedale Jones (23 points)

David Dempsey (22 points) and Sedale Jones (23 points)

The best offensive players in the game were Sedale Jones (23 points) and David Dempsey (22 points).  Both of them had excellent stat lines:  Sedale – 23 points, 9 rebounds, 3 steals, 2 blocks, 1 assist.  David – 22 points, 12 rebounds, 1 assist.

Sedale achieved the top offensive efficiency rating with +26 and David was second with +22.

These two seniors will be sorely missed by their respective teams.

How did Curry win?  Once they took the lead they made enough shots to keep it.  Defensively, they took away Gordon’s inside game and played strong perimeter defense to lessen good looks.  The wildcard was AJ Stephens.  His size and mobility required help defense which limited him to ten points on 2-for-13 shooting.  But five times he passed out of the coverage to weak-side cutters for layups.

Why did Gordon lose?  Their good shooting of recent games took a big step backwards.  The Scots had shot over 50% during the past five games, all part of the nine-game winning streak.   However, against Curry their field goal percentage was only 40% (22-for-54).  To get that percentage up to 50%, Gordon would have needed to make five more baskets.  In a game you lose by six points, you can see where those five baskets would have gotten you.

The crowd was terrific.  Plenty of cheering.  Plenty of chanting.  Gordon sent a busload of fans.

The best response to a chant was by the Curry crowd.  When Sedale Jones put up a shot that missed everything, the Gordon crowd started in with, “Air ball, Air ball,” as they had done to Ryan Palumbo of  Roger Williams and Derek Mayo of Wentworth.  However, Curry answered the Gordon chant with, “MVP, MVP.”  Sedale was the CCC’s MVP.

Taylor Bajema at the foul line in the last minute

Taylor Bajema at the foul line in the last minute

In the biggest game of the season, Taylor Bajema had one of his best games.  He came in third in the offensive efficiency rating (+16).  The sophomore had eleven points, five rebounds, three assists, and missed only one shot.

Remarkable season for Gordon.  The Scots were 5-4 in the 2012 part of their season before dazzling us with 16-3 record in 2013.  They were consistently good with different players stepping up in different games.  They went from the team that found ways to lose to the team that found ways to win.

David Dempsey struggled during the 5-4 part of the season with a broken nose and the resulting distracting mask.  Once the new year rolled around (minus the mask) he was, well, David Dempsey………effort, rebounds, and points.  The talented senior managed to score his way up to seventh place in Gordon’s all-time scoring list with 1,463 career points.  Along the way there was never a hint of anything less than 100% effort.

David Dempsey ends his Gordon career with 1,463 points (7th all-time)

David Dempsey ends his Gordon career with 1,463 points (7th all-time)

Seniors David Dempsey and Jordan Kelly won’t be part of the 2013-14 team but the rest of the team will be back.  That bodes very well for next year’s team.  There surely will be high expectations but hopefully the 2013-14 team doesn’t forget what happened to last year’s CCC champion Endicott team.  The Gulls had most of their championship team back and the CCC coaches picked them to finish first……..they didn’t even make the tournament.

Plenty of credit for the terrific season goes to the coaching job done by Tod Murphy.  The Scots won twelve more games than last year including six more in the conference.  His role in helping Hans Miersma develop into one of the best interior players in the conference was substantial.

This finishes my eleventh year attempting to cover the Gordon men’s basketball games.  I have greatly enjoyed the coverage part as well as the opportunity to interact with others who support the Gordon team.  Lord willing, I expect to be back on board in November of this year.

Special thanks to my wife, Julie, for encouraging me to cover the games and for becoming one of the team’s biggest fans.  Don’t get her started on missed foul shots or referees!

God bless.

Top four in Offensive Efficiency Rating:
Sedale Jones +26
David Dempsey +22
Taylor Bajema +16
AJ Stephens +11

Team totals in Offensive Efficiency Rating:
Curry +78
Gordon +63

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

Boxscore

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

Sedale Jones shoots over David Dempsey

Sedale Jones shoots over David Dempsey

Park Thomas gets some repairs

Park Thomas gets some repairs

Luke Hamilton tries a three

Luke Hamilton tries a three

Curry gets the title

Curry gets the title

Antonio Jones breaks in after a steal

Antonio Jones breaks in after a steal

The reality of the outcome begins to settle in on the Gordon fans

The reality of the outcome begins to settle in on the Gordon fans

Luke Hamilton

Luke Hamilton

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Hot shooting Gordon wins 20th (81-59) over Roger Williams in CCC tourney opening round

Bennett Center crowd celebrates Gordon win over Roger Williams

Bennett Center crowd celebrates Gordon win over Roger Williams

(Wenham) Roger Williams did a pretty good job of taking away Gordon’s inside game – Hans Miersma six points, Jason Dempsey two points.

Luke Hamilton (16 points) is 18-for-23 from long range over the last five games

Luke Hamilton (16 points) is 18-for-23 from long range over the last five games

But that good interior defense left openings elsewhere and the Scots “elsewhere” players were on from beginning to end and the home team never trailed.

All that great offense enabled Gordon (20-6) to defeat Roger Williams, 81-59, before a big crowd on Tuesday night to advance to the Commonwealth Coast Conference semi-finals against Wentworth on Thursday at the Bennett Center.

The Scots have now won eight straight and thirteen of their last fourteen.  To say that this team is rolling, may be an understatement!

Six players reached double figures for the Scots against Roger Williams led by David Dempsey (20 points).  David was named to the CCC first team today.

Gordon had nine three’s in the game.  Luke Hamilton (16 points) had three of them in the first 5 ½ minutes as the Scots bolted to a quick, 17-4, start.

Ryan Palumbo (20 points) on breakaway after a steal

Ryan Palumbo (20 points) on breakaway after a steal

The Hawks (10-16) cut the lead to four in the first half (19-15) and in the second half (41-37) led by Ryan Palumbo (20 points), Adam Cook (15 points), and Mike Engelmann (12 points).

But the Gordon offense was never shut down for very long.  The #2 seed shot over 50% for the game and was a very warm 9-for-17 from long range.  The Scots were 6-for-6 from beyond the arc in the second half.

After the Hawks closed to 41-37, Gordon put a 10-2 segment together over the next 3 ½ minutes and stretched their advantage to twelve (51-39) with 13:09 to go.  The visitors from Bristol (RI) were never able to get inside double-figures the rest of the way.

That decisive 10-2 run featured three’s by Park Thomas (16 points) and Taylor Bajema (10 points) plus a layup and jump shot from David Dempsey.

Taylor Bajema (ten points and five rebounds in the second half)

Taylor Bajema (ten points and five rebounds in the second half)

Park and Taylor were huge in the second half.  Park had all of his points (16) in the second half as well as five assists.  Taylor scored all of his points (10) after the break and added five rebounds.

Park had a season-high nine assists.

Luke Hamilton’s sixteen points are a season high for him.  His long-range shooting (18-for-23) has been unbelievable over the last five games.

The best matchup to watch was at the point guard position where sophomore Ryan Palumbo and Park Thomas operate.  Both players earned honorable mention when the CCC All-League teams were announced today.

Top Five Players in this game in efficiency:
David Dempsey +24
Ryan Palumbo +21
Luke Hamilton +19
Park Thomas +18
Alex Carnes +16
Adam Cook +16

Team stats for this game in efficiency:
Gordon +115
Roger Williams +51

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).

Hans Miersma was named the Defensive Player of the Year by the CCC and landed on the All-League second team.  Hans had plenty of blocks during the season. His 6-9 presence in the lane has turned more than a few drivers into passers or outside shooters.

David Dempsey (20 points and eight rebounds)

David Dempsey (20 points and eight rebounds)

The advance to the semi-finals is an improvement from the last two seasons when the Scots bowed out in the first round.  Thursday night’s opponent, Wentworth, did it to Gordon last year.

Curry and Eastern Nazarene get together in the other semi-final matchup.  Is it too much to hope for a Gordon/Eastern Nazarene battle for the CCC title on Saturday afternoon at the Bennett Center?  Thought so, let’s just concentrate on Wentworth on Thursday night.

boxscore

(All of the pictures enlarge if you click on them.)

Hans Miersma (CCC Defensive Player of the Year) blocks the shot of Mike Engemann

Hans Miersma (CCC Defensive Player of the Year) blocks the shot of Mike Engemann

Ryan Palumbo (20 points) and Park Thomas (16 points and 9 assists)

Ryan Palumbo (20 points) and Park Thomas (16 points and 9 assists)

looking for a rebound

looking for a rebound

Alex Carnes (11 points) trapped by two RW defenders

Alex Carnes (11 points) trapped by two RW defenders

David Dempsey in for two

David Dempsey in for two

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Gordon (barely) wins 19th defeating Nichols 86-83 on Senior Day

Coach Tod Murphy with the Dempseys and the Kellys before the game

Coach Tod Murphy with the Dempseys and the Kellys before the game

(Wenham) Gordon finished a 19-6 regular season with a narrow, 86-83, win over Nichols on Senior Day on Saturday afternoon at the Bennett Center.

Seniors David Dempsey and Jordan Kelly and their families were honored before the game.

The Scots 14-4 Commonwealth Coast Conference record earned them the #2 seed in the post-season tournament.  They will host #7 seed Roger Williams (7-11) on Tuesday night (7PM) at the Bennett Center.

Gordon defeated RWU twice during the regular season.  In one of those victories Alex Carnes went off for thirty-nine points.

David Dempsey jam

David Dempsey jam

However, those previous stats versus the Hawks should be disregarded.

In most tourney games, the defense gets a lot tighter and the pressure builds.

Meanwhile, back to the game you thought you would read about, the Scots led from start to finish but nearly gave this one away after having a twenty-point (74-54) lead with 9 ½ minutes left.

The Bison (13-12) got to within one point (84-83) with nine seconds left after a Christian Horton three.

Taylor Bajema gets set to take two huge free throws

Taylor Bajema gets set to take two huge free throws

Gordon called a timeout and Coach Tod Murphy put Taylor Bajema into the game. That move paid off big-time.  Taylor received the inbounds pass, got fouled, and swished both free throws to get Gordon a three-point cushion.  Freshman Irving Eggleston’s good-look, 3-point attempt, from the top of the key with two seconds left, missed.  Overtime was avoided and the Scots had win #19.

Gordon has won seven straight and twelve of thirteen.  Those wins sure are nice but my most recent memory of the 2012-13 team will be of them getting outscored, 29-12, in the last 9 ½ minutes of the Nichols game.

Chief culprit in the shaky finish?  Turnovers.  Seventeen in the second half.  Three in a row to start the last 2:15.

Close second culprit?  Late-game free throws.  The Scots missed four-of-eight free throws in the last 2:45 of the game including the front-end of two one-and-one’s.

Jessy Michaud breaks in after a steal

Jessy Michaud breaks in after a steal

Despite those two downers, the Scots played a terrific first thirty minutes.  The shots were falling and the passing was as good as I’ve seen all season.

Gordon led, 51-36, at the half.

Gordon was credited with twenty-eight assists which was a season high and maybe a school record.  I went back five years and saw nothing better.

Park Thomas had eight assists which ties a season-high for him.  He made a long bounce-pass down the lane to David Dempsey cutting in from the right that was a thing of beauty.

Irving Eggleston takes the last shot of the game

Irving Eggleston takes the last shot of the game

David Dempsey (23 points) led all scorers.  He added six assists to offset six turnovers and ended up with an Efficiency Stat of +21.  Part of the reason for that good number was eight rebounds, two blocks, and a steal.

David had his sixth twenty-point game of the season.  He had two dunks in this game.

Luke Hamilton (15 points) had a season-high in points, making five 3’s.

James Ek had a career-high eight points including two 3-pointers.  One of the long ones had NBA distance.

Alex Carnes ended up with thirteen points and a rolled ankle.  The Gordon faithful will certainly be hoping that Alex is back to full speed on Tuesday night against Roger Williams.

The CCC’s top scorer (Ryan Sheehan) was limited to four points and had ice packs on his knees afterwards.

Matt Langadas (19 points) tries the baseline against Hans Miersma

Matt Langadas (19 points) tries the baseline against Hans Miersma

Nichols was paced in scoring by sophomore Matt Langadas (19 points) and freshman Irving Eggleston (18 points).

The Bison had thirteen players put up points.  My sense was that the visitors went heavy into their reserves after going down by twenty and it was the reserves who responded to make things very, very interesting over the last 9 ½ minutes.

A nice reception was held afterwards where I had good food and learned the difference between “filtered” and “unfiltered.”

I noticed in the Bennett Center rafters that there is a nice space next to the 2009-10 CCC basketball championship banner.

Is the 2012-13 team ready to fill that space?  I like their chances.

The teams that have defeated Gordon during the regular season (Curry twice and Western New England once) are in the other bracket.

Coach Tod Murphy talks about the famous Gordon blanket

Coach Tod Murphy talks about the famous Gordon blanket

The Scots have twice defeated the teams (Wentworth, Roger Williams, Nichols) that are in their bracket.

The 2009-10 championship team defeated Curry, 56-54, at the Bennett Center to win the title.  A championship rematch with the same team would be in Milton since the Colonels are the #1 seed.

Top Five Players in this game in efficiency:
David Dempsey +21
Luke Hamilton +21
Matt Langadas +17
Irving Eggleston +16
Alex Carnes +14

Team stats for this game in efficiency:
Gordon +112
Nichols +82

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).

Boxscore

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

Irving Eggleston (18 points)

Irving Eggleston (18 points)

Park Thomas (eight assists) and Marlon Bennett

Park Thomas (eight assists) and Marlon Bennett

James Ek (eight points) looks to pass

James Ek (eight points) looks to pass

2009-10 CCC championship banner

2009-10 CCC championship banner

Andrew Ellrod and Keith Krass

Andrew Ellrod and Keith Krass

David Dempsey gets two of his twenty-three

David Dempsey gets two of his twenty-three

Kyle Mascilak and David Dempsey

Kyle Mascilak and David Dempsey

Jeff Derr, Greg Walker, and Brady Bajema

Jeff Derr, Greg Walker, and Brady Bajema

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Gordon wins 18th defeating Salve Regina 87-64

David Dempsey paced Gordon with twenty-four points and is now seventh on the all-time scoring list

David Dempsey paced Gordon with twenty-four points and is now seventh on the all-time scoring list

Isiah Pringle (9 points) defended by  Luke Hamilton (14 points)

Isiah Pringle (9 points) defended by Luke Hamilton (14 points)

(Wenham)  In the first meeting, Gordon edged Salve Regina (64-62) very late on a Hans Miersma putback game winner.

Nothing close to that happened this time around at Gordon.  The Scots (18-6 overall / 13-4 in the Commonwealth Coast Conference) had a 52-point second half and routed the Seahawks, 87-64, on Thursday night at the Bennett Center.

That makes six straight wins and eleven wins in their last twelve games for the amazing 2012-13 Fighting Scots.

Senior David Dempsey had yet another big night for Gordon getting twenty-four points, including sixteen in the second half.  The points tonight give him a career total of 1401 and move him into seventh place all-time ahead of Tim Kehoe (1397).  Jon Marstaller is in sixth place with 1490 career points.

Curry buried out-of-the-tournament Endicott tonight and locked in the top seed in next week’s conference tournament.

Gordon will have the second seed no matter what they do against Nichols on Saturday at home.  The Scots first-round opponent for Tuesday night’s CCC quarterfinals will be either Nichols, Salve Regina, or Roger Williams depending on what happens this Saturday.

William Smiley (12 points) drives into traffic

William Smiley (12 points) drives into traffic

In this game, SR (12-12 overall / 8-9 in CCC) was able to recover from a 9-2 Gordon start (including a David Dempsey jam) and take their only lead, 14-13, with nine minutes left in the first half.

The Scots rallied to retake the lead, build it to ten points (31-21) and settle for 35-30 halftime advantage.

Recalling the first meeting, it was easy to imagine that the second half would be tight and some heroics might be needed at the end to get a victory.

Didn’t go that way at all.  Gordon shot over 50% and SR less than 40%.  The GC lead went to ten (46-36 at 15:42) and the Seahawks would never get closer thereafter.

The spread reached sixteen (54-38) and later twenty (69-49) with 6:14 left.

Park Thomas (18 points) guards Brendan Canova

Park Thomas (18 points) guards Brendan Canova

On this night, Salve Regina had no second-half answers and most of the second half was relaxing for the Gordon faithful.

Two takeaways from this game were that the three referees brought whistles and they knew how to use them!  There were fifty-four fouls called and sixty-four free throws shot.  Believe me, there was plenty of contact.

The Seahawks committed thirty fouls and they still were going after the Scots full-court until the end of the game.

David Dempsey took the top spot in the Efficiency Stat with a +27.  He had three assists and two steals to go with his twenty-four points.

Luke Hamilton matched his season-high with fourteen points.  He also chased Isiah Pringle around limiting the SR junior to six points.  Isiah got a three after Luke was through for the night.  Isiah came in with a 16.1 points per game average.

Park Thomas (18 points) shot a career-high seventeen free throws and made fourteen of them.

If you had told me that Hans Miersma had two points and four rebounds, I would have asked you, “How much did Gordon lose to Salve Regina by?”  But in a season where success doesn’t revolve around one player,  Jason Dempsey (nine points/nine rebounds) stepped up and so did Luke Hamilton (fourteen points).

Jason Dempsey (9 points/9rebounds) smirks at the foul line

Jason Dempsey (9 points/9rebounds) smirks at the foul line

Speaking of Jason, tonight was the first time I ever saw him smile on the court.  The smirk came right after he made a free throw off the backboard.  His brother and his on-court teammates were quick to apply some verbal abuse.

Salve Regina had twenty turnovers (without being pressed) that led to twenty-eight Gordon points.

William Smiley (12 points) and Brenden Fowler (11 points) were the top SR scorers.  William had thirty-two points on Tuesday night against Nichols.

The Scots will face Nichols on Saturday afternoon.  Gordon’s two seniors (David Dempsey and Jordan Kelly) will be honored before the game.

If I could get this team to do one thing on Saturday it would be for them to show their appreciation of the fan support right after the game.  Showing them that love may help them to remember where you want them to be on Tuesday night when the quarterfinals start.

Top Five Players in this game in efficiency:
David Dempsey +27
Park Thomas +20
Jason Dempsey +17
Jeff Bielefeld +15
Luke Hamilton +12
Brenden Fowler +12

Team stats for this game in efficiency:
Gordon +108
Salve Regina +50

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).

Boxscore

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

Craig McFarlane

Craig McFarlane

Jeff Bielefeld and Hans Miersma

Jeff Bielefeld and Hans Miersma

Senior Jordan Kelly blocks out

Senior Jordan Kelly blocks out

Tom Hurley

Tom Hurley

Roy Ray on the break

Roy Ray on the break

Dan Hurley

Dan Hurley

Taylor Bajema looks for an opening

Taylor Bajema looks for an opening

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Gordon clinches second with 71-58 win over Wentworth led by Hans Miersma

Hans Miersma, shown here against Wheaton, had 15 points, 15 rebounds, 7 blocks, and 3 assists against Wentworth.

Hans Miersma, shown here against Wheaton, had 15 points, 15 rebounds, 7 blocks, and 3 assists against Wentworth.

(Newburyport) Don’t wake me up if I’m dreaming this!

Gordon (17-6) gets another win and is now assured of at least second place in the Commonwealth Coast Conference tournament that starts on Tuesday (February 19th).

This latest edition of good news happened as a result of the Scots defeating Wentworth, 71-58, at Wentworth on Tuesday night.

Gordon is a few if’s away from moving into the top spot in the CCC.  Curry is the team ahead of Gordon, but after a loss tonight to Eastern Nazarene, the Colonels are 13-3 in the CCC while the Scots are 12-4.

To get to the top Gordon will need to win their two remaining games (Salve Regina & Nichols) while Curry will have to drop their final two (Endicott & Wentworth).

A tie in the final standings will go in Curry’s favor since they defeated Gordon twice during the regular season.

A good idea would be for the Scots to concentrate on their two final opponents and not worry about what Curry does or doesn’t do.

The star of this game?  Easily Hans Miersma.  The 6-9 sophomore put up his best efficiency stat (+37) of the season.  The double/double (15 points and 15 rebounds) was in place but he also handed out three assists and had a career-high seven blocks.  Plus he never missed a field goal.

Wentworth (11-7 in the CCC) struggled to get rebounds (Gordon won that battle 40-23) and shooting (36.5%).

But despite being down by double figures most of the game, the Leopards put the Scots in the let’s-see-if-they’ll-blink territory with 4:36 left as they closed to six (52-46).

However, over the next nearly three minutes, Gordon put together a nice 10-1 package, and up the lead went to, 62-47, and the Scots had the spurt that assured them of a road win.

The damage doers in the decisive run were: David Dempsey (jump shot), Hans Miersma (jump hook and tip in), and two free throws each by Park Thomas and Alex Carnes.

Wentworth was just the latest team to make a run at the Scots late and discover that the team from Wenham can be special in crunch time.

Gordon made a significant breakaway early in this game, scoring twelve unanswered points to turn a 4-3 deficit into a 15-4 advantage in less than four minutes.  Three’s by Park Thomas (10 points) and Luke Hamilton, two layups by David Dempsey (14 points), and a Hans Miersma layup gave the Scots the twelve points.

Colin Johnson paced Wentworth with fourteen points.

Alex Carnes had fourteen points and six rebounds.  Alex didn’t play in Gordon’s 66-53 win over Wentworth at Gordon in December.

Gordon has won five straight and ten of their last eleven.  Who saw such a terrific season coming??

The video feed on the Wentworth website was outstanding.  The announcer was excellent.  The score was posted and the time was visible.

What struck me as ironic was that at a school noted for its technology the clock would be such a problem.

Salve Regina comes to the Bennett Center on Thursday night (7:30PM).  The Scots narrowly won the first meeting.

Top Five Players in this game in efficiency:
Hans Miersma +37
Alex Carnes +15
Luke Hamilton +12
Scott Moran +11
David Dempsey +10

Team stats for this game in efficiency:
Gordon +96
Wentworth +46

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).

boxscore

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Gordon defeats Endicott 72-59 to sweep series

Hans Miersma had twenty points and thirteen rebounds in the Gordon win

Hans Miersma had twenty points and thirteen rebounds in the Gordon win

David Dempsey (18 points) drives on John Henault

David Dempsey (18 points) drives on John Henault

(Beverly) Probably a first.

Gordon (16-6) swept the season series with Endicott (9-13) defeating the Gulls, 72-59, on Wednesday night in Commonwealth Coast Conference action.

Hans Miersma (20 points and 13 rebounds) was the dominating player in the game.  The 6-9 sophomore was able to get the ball in the sweet spot down near the block many times and made Endicott pay.

Hans had thirteen points in the second half and teammate David Dempsey had twelve points.  Both those contributions were needed as the Gulls made things interesting late.

I guarantee you that anyone at the game will tell you that Hans and David had a hand in making things “interesting” by combining to miss eight free throws.  Then there was Hans’ air ball from the line…

But that scary free throw shooting aside, Gordon had the right answers when EC came close a couple of times in the second half.

Lance Greene (13 points) reaches the rim

Lance Greene (13 points) reaches the rim

In one such instance, the Scots had a fifteen point lead (40-25) with 14 ½ minutes left but the Gulls ran ten straight points (two Nick Mazzotta free throws, Lance Greene layup, Bennett Knowlton three, and Dan Powers three) to sprint to within five (40-35) with 12 minutes left.

Another time, Endicott trailed only, 58-52, with 4 minutes left.  Let’s face it, the Gulls were a couple of made shots away from pulling even.

However, in the next minute a Hans Miersma jumper and a David Dempsey old-fashioned three hoisted the lead back to, 63-52, and finished the Gulls.

David Dempsey (18 points and 6 rebounds) had a strong game.  His exit with his 4th foul with eight minutes left, and a six-point GC lead, was of concern but his teammates picked up the lack.  When the 6-5 senior returned to action 2 ½ minutes later the Gordon lead had grown to ten (58-48).

Matt Ellis in shot blocker territory

Matt Ellis in shot blocker territory

Endicott was done in by poor shooting.  They missed forty-two shots and ended up at 32.3%.  Good defense by Gordon?  Maybe, but the Gulls appeared to be intimidated by the Gordon shot blockers and settled often for low-percentage outside shots rather than driving.

One particular segment of poor shooting put Endicott in a hole they never recovered from.  This segment stretched from 2:59 of the first half to 18:30 of the second half.  Let’s call it 4 ½ minutes.  The Gulls came into those 4 ½ minutes leading, 20-17.  When it was over they were down 32-22.  That’s a 15-2 run for those of you keeping track at home.

The Gulls made just one-of-nine shot attempts during those unproductive minutes.  Luke Hamilton nailed two 3’s in the breakout time frame.

Park Thomas (14 points) signals another Gordon victory

Park Thomas (14 points) signals another Gordon victory

The Gordon victory (11-4 in the CCC) enables the Scots to keep pace with Wentworth in second place in the CCC.  Curry continues to win.  They have only two CCC losses with three games left.  They also hold the tie-breaker over GC because they defeated Gordon twice.

Meanwhile, Endicott (4-11 in the CCC) is in trouble at the other end of the standings.  They are currently in 9th place and out of the post-season tournament.  It will be difficult to imagine last year’s CCC champions, and the preseason pick to win the CCC this year, not making the tournament.

The Scots are back to rolling again.  They’ve won four straight and nine of their last ten.  They are 15-2 since the loss to Lynchburg in December.

Ahead, weather permitting, is a Saturday game with Salve Regina at the Bennett Center.  That matchup will be followed with a trip to Wentworth on Tuesday night and the regular season finisher at home on Saturday against Nichols.  Where did the season go?

It was great to witness yet another game in which the opponent made a strong second-half run yet the Scots found ways to persevere and get a win.  The best part is that no individual player stands out in these crunch-time responses game after game.

Hans Miersma dunk

Hans Miersma dunk

Who can forget the sixteen points Shaun Roach had in the first Endicott game to hold off the Gulls?  Shaun played just a few minutes in the rematch but up stepped Hans and David and Park Thomas (14 points and 5 assists) to carry home the win in the second half.

Lance Greene (13 points) and Lachlan Magee (12 points) paced Endicott.  John Henault (9 points) had an off night hitting just 3-of-14 shots.  John is 4th in the CCC in scoring averaging 16 points per game.

I was impressed with the precision of the Endicott dance team.  The Gulls also had a pretty good band.

The Scots shot 58% in the second half.

Boxscore

Top Five Players in this game in efficiency:
Hans Miersma +27
David Dempsey +17
Park Thomas +17
Andre Makris +13
Lance Greene +11

Team stats for this game in efficiency:
Gordon +87
Endicott +56

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 will enlarge if you click on them.)

Hans Miersma and Matt Kneece

Hans Miersma and Matt Kneece

Taylor Bajema dribbles

Taylor Bajema dribbles

David Dempsey gets mugged

David Dempsey gets mugged

Jason Dempsey goes under and up

Jason Dempsey goes under and up

loose ball

loose ball

Endicott dance team

Endicott dance team

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Gordon holds off Eastern Nazarene 56-49 to win 15th

David Dempsey (13 points and 13 rebounds) had a big game for Gordon

David Dempsey (13 points and 13 rebounds) had a big game for Gordon

Hans Miersma made two late-game free throws

Hans Miersma made two late-game free throws

(Wenham) This was a game that was not high in artistry by either team.

However, at the end, the mishandling Gordon College Fighting Scots had defeated the misfiring Eastern Nazarene College Lions, 56-49, on Saturday afternoon at the Bennett Center.

The Gordon win combined with a Western New England loss (to Endicott) assures the Scots, with four games left, of being seeded at least sixth in the Commonwealth Coast Conference post-season tournament.

That’s what a 10-4 CCC record gets you.  What a difference a year makes.  If you recall, last year Gordon had a serious struggle just making the playoffs.

The Scots (15-6 overall) are currently tied for second with Wentworth.  Gordon will face the Leopards in Boston on February 12th.

Chima Ezeigbo (17 points) jams on Jason Dempsey.  (Note the reaction of Coach Murphy)

Chima Ezeigbo (17 points) jams on Jason Dempsey. (Note the reaction of Coach Murphy)

Eastern Nazarene (14-7 overall/8-6 CCC) have now lost four of five and they can chalk this defeat up to horrible shooting.  Chima Ezeigbo (17 points on six-for-12 shooting) made shots for the Lions but the rest of the team missed forty shots (12-for-52).  That’s not even 25%.

As for the Scots, if you eliminate Jordan Kelly, all of the other nine participants had turnovers.  No one cornered the market on them.  It was a team-wide resurgence of bungles to the tune of twenty-seven.  Only the game with Salem State (29 turnovers), very early in the season, produced a higher miscue number.

But the ultimate good news for the Gordon faithful is that the Scots had enough down the stretch to hold off the Lions and continue to prove that they will find a way to win.

ENC made their last 3-pointer (they took twenty of them) with 6:19 left (Aaron Johnson) and then missed all eight attempts the rest of the way.

David Dempsey defends Justin Wagner late in the game

David Dempsey defends Justin Wagner late in the game

Despite this sort of shooting the Lions rallied to within four (53-49) with forty-one seconds left and had the ball.  But a missed Justin Wagner jump shot (harassed by David Dempsey) was rebounded by Hans Miersma and the 6-9 sophomore was fouled. He then sealed the win with two made free throws with twenty-four seconds left.

Just to make sure, Hans had a loud block on Max Barbosa’s layup attempt three seconds later.

A key segment in this game was after Jaylen Owens’ successful jumper at 5:45 brought the team from Quincy within three (46-43).  All of the scoring over the next 2 ½ minutes was by Gordon (six points).  Two David Dempsey layups and two Taylor Bajema free throws produced the points.

This run of points gave the Scots their largest lead of the game (52-43) with 2:16 left and ENC, on this day, just didn’t have the shooting accuracy to completely recover.

David Dempsey (13 points/13 rebounds) was the most efficient player with a +20.  The 6-5 senior has two more regular-season home games left.

Park Thomas had the quietest of quiet scoring days but the junior‘s points weren‘t needed this afternoon.  The last game (Thursday night) at UNE was a different story.  His two consecutive three’s in the second half turned that game for the Scots.

Jason Dempsey and Chima Ezeigbo

Jason Dempsey and Chima Ezeigbo

The unsung hero for Gordon was sophomore Jason Dempsey.  When starting center Hans Miersma picked up two fouls in less than three minutes, Jason came on for fourteen important first-half minutes.  The 6-7 sophomore contributed ten points and held his own against 6-9 Chima Ezeigbo.

The next game for the Scots is in the neighborhood with Endicott at 7:30PM on Wednesday night.  The CCC defending champion Gulls have lost nine of their last eleven and are only 4-10 in the CCC.  Endicott is currently tied with Roger Williams for the eighth and final tourney spot.

Shaun Roach went off for sixteen points in Gordon’s, 70-63, win in the first meeting this season between the two rivals.

Dylan Saenz gets caught in the air

Dylan Saenz gets caught in the air

Despite their struggles of late, Eastern Nazarene has had a spectacular season.  Picked by the other nine CCC coaches to finish dead last, they have put together a 14-win season so far.  They have a win over Curry among their eight CCC victories.

By the way, the CCC coaches chose Endicott to repeat as champions. Granted they could, but the Gulls biggest worry at this point is just qualifying for the tournament.  A win over the Scots gets them going in that direction.

Top Five Players in this game in efficiency:
David Dempsey +20
Chima Ezeigbo +17
Jason Dempsey +15
Hans Miersma +13
Taylor Bajema +12

Team stats for this game in efficiency:
Gordon +67
ENC +33

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).

Boxscore

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

Hans Miersma and Chima Ezeigbo

Hans Miersma and Chima Ezeigbo

Park Thomas drives

Park Thomas drives

Bennett Center crowd

Bennett Center crowd

Hans Miersma and Chima Ezeigbo

Hans Miersma and Chima Ezeigbo

Jordan Kelly looks for a pass

Jordan Kelly looks for a pass

Taylor Bajema

Taylor Bajema

Jaylen Owens and James Ek

Jaylen Owens and James Ek

Gordon bench

Gordon bench

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Alex Carnes gets 39 points in Gordon’s 93-80 win over Roger Williams

Alex Carnes (shown here against Wheelock) went off for thirty-nine points in a near-perfect performance.

Alex Carnes (shown here against Wheelock) went off for thirty-nine points in a near-perfect performance.

(Newburyport)  This will be an individual performance that anyone connected to the 2012-13 Gordon College Fighting Scots will be talking about for a long time.

Alex Carnes scored thirty-nine points in a near-perfect outing against Roger Williams as the Scots (13-6 overall/8-4 in the CCC) defeated the Hawks, 93-80, at Bristol (RI) on Tuesday night.

Alex Carnes (shown against ENC) had an exceptional stat game

Alex Carnes (shown against ENC) had an exceptional stat game

On a career-high-in-everything kind of night, Alex made 14-of-15 field goals, 5-for-5 three’s, 6-for-7 free throws, had 7 rebounds, and 3 assists.

Not on my watch (eleven years) has anyone scored that many points.  Brady Bajema (Taylor‘s brother) tallied thirty-seven at Nichols in 2009.  The school record in points was set by Steve Heinz (54 points) in the 1980’s.

This was a game in which the points were flowing freely for Gordon.  They reached a season-high in points (93) and shooting percentage (62.7%).

They also set a season mark in assists (24) and tied a season high in 3-pointers made (10) that they set against Roger Williams in the game at Gordon.

There were a lot of points and the Scots shot very well but this was not an easy win.  The Hawks gave up the lead in the first half but were able to stay close in the late stages of this game.

RWU was within four (74-70) with 5:17 left and later (80-76) with 3:22 to go.  This is where you knew I’d say that the 2012-13 Scot find ways to win……..and once again they did.

Despite a slim four-point lead and playing in front of a hostile crowd, Gordon didn’t blink.  They closed out the game with a 13-4 segment.

Luke Hamilton kept their first possession alive in the end game with an offensive rebound and that led to Alex Carnes getting/making two free throws.  On the next RWU possession Hans Miersma blocked a shot and that led to him getting/making two free throws.

This good work put the Scots ahead by eight and they went on to make nine-of-ten free throws the rest of the way to built their lead to thirteen at the end.

It was definitely not a thirteen point game but the Scots will take it gladly.

The win enables Gordon (8-4 in the CCC) to keep pace with Eastern Nazarene and Wentworth in second place behind Curry (10-2).  That game versus ENC at the Bennett Center on Saturday is starting to look like one with serious CCC implications.

But to think ahead to Saturday overlooks the fact that the next game (Thursday 7:30PM) is at UNE.  I won’t even post their record.  I will remind those reading that this team defeated Gordon at the Bennett Center in the first meeting.

Alex’s amazing performance overshadowed terrific games by Ryan Palumbo and David Dempsey.  Ryan had 21 points, 9 rebounds, seven assists, and five steals.  David had an 18-point, 9-rebound game.

I am a real believer in the efficiency stat because it takes note of all the statistical positives and negatives of a player.  Sometimes a player can score a lot of points but miss plenty of shots getting to the high number.  The efficiency stat factors in the missed shots.

I mention all that because Alex broke the efficiency stat bank with a +48.  He only had three points of negatives in a 39-point night.  Remarkable.

Top Five Players in this game in efficiency:
Alex Carnes +48
Ryan Palumbo +33
David Dempsey +25
Mike Igoe +18
Luke Hamilton +12

Team stats for this game in efficiency:
Gordon +118
Roger Williams +91

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).

Boxscore

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Curry ends Gordon’s five-game winning streak, 84-76, in a battle for the CCC top spot

David Dempsey, preparing to dunk, scored twenty-two points to move into eighth place on the Gordon College all-time scoring list

David Dempsey, preparing to dunk, scored twenty-two points to move into eighth place on the Gordon College all-time scoring list

Sedale Jones (16 points) tries to go under and up.

Sedale Jones (16 points) tries to go under and up.

(Milton) Gordon ended a five-game win streak and messed up a chance to tie for the top spot in the Commonwealth Coast Conference by losing to Curry, 84-76, on Saturday afternoon.

With the victory, the Colonels (9-2) stand alone in first with three teams (Gordon, Eastern Nazarene, Wentworth) two games out at 7-4.

There are still seven CCC games left to sort out the final standings.  However, Gordon has dropped both games to Curry and will have to wait until the post-season tournament for a possible rematch with them.

Curry (12-6 overall) had six players in double figures and had plenty of crowd-pleasing passes and individual moves.

Gordon (12-6 overall) was not as consistent offensively as we seen them in most of January.  In the first half they shot themselves into a 20-12 lead midway and then went five minutes scoring just two points and trailed, 23-22.

The Scots were down by five (31-26) at halftime.

Midway through the second half (10:19) Gordon found themselves down fifteen (57-42) and looking to be on their way to an embarrassing loss.  The Scots weren’t shooting badly, they just couldn’t stop Curry’s multi-faceted attack.

The Colonels lead (62-49) was still substantial with 6:48 remaining before the Scots made their move.  Three’s by Park Thomas and Luke Hamilton led Gordon on an 18-8 segment and finally they were close (65-60) with 3:24 left.

Lambros Papalambros (14 points) was one of six Curry players in double figures.

Lambros Papalambros (14 points) was one of six Curry players in double figures.

The next minute doomed the Scots.  While Sedale Jones (16 points) made a free throw, and Lambros Papalambros (14 points) made an old-fashioned three, Gordon had only a missed three by Luke Hamilton.  This action left Gordon down by nine (69-60) and there weren’t enough stops and shots the rest of the way to pull this one out.

I was very impressed with the balanced attack of Curry.  They turned up a host of layups for each other with their unselfishness.

David Dempsey (22 points) topped all scorers and jumped two places to eighth in the All-Time GC scoring list.  He now has 1306 points.  This afternoon he moved past Gene Fitzgerald (1297) and Nathan Uebelhoer (1305).  Ahead, currently in seventh, is Tim Kehoe with 1397.

A big positive in this game was Alex Carnes’ season-high eighteen points.  The 6-4 junior collected fourteen of them in the second half as a big part of the late run that made things interesting down the stretch. The 18 points were Alex’s second-best scoring game at GC.  He had 21 against Salve Regina last season.

Hans Miersma and AJ Stephens

Hans Miersma and AJ Stephens

The biggest reason Curry won?  The return of AJ Stephens.  AJ has been gone for eight games.  The 6-5 junior cannot be single covered and the extra defensive attention paid to him left openings for teammates.  He was part of the collection of Colonels in double figures.  AJ also gathered seven rebounds.

Good student crowd on hand.  Their biggest cheer may well have been for Sedale Jones’ block of Luke Hamilton’s attempted 3-point shot from the corner.

Gordon can not expect to do very well when they miss nine free throws.  They got away with that deficiency against Western New England last game but not this time.

Gordon can not expect to do very well when Hans Miersma takes only four shots and score three points.  The double-teams he faced should have led to open teammates elsewhere.  He had two shots in the loss to UNE, three shots in the loss to Lynchburg, and three shots in the loss early in the season to Western New England.  There is a pattern.

Carlos Ribeiro (14 points and 7 rebounds)

Carlos Ribeiro (14 points and 7 rebounds)

5-10 junior Carlos Ribeiro was the most efficient of the Colonels earning a +17.  He was definitely helped by getting a surprising seven rebounds to go with his fourteen points.

Tuesday night the Scots continue on the road with an 8PM meeting with Roger Williams at Bristol (RI).

Curry will have to deal with UNE in Biddeford (ME) on the same night.  The Nor’Easters upset Salve Regina this afternoon.

Having the snack bar and the cafeteria in the same building as the gymnasium sort of replicates home.  At home, lulls in the action on TV give opportunity for a dash to the refrigerator.  Here at Curry, many of the students exited at halftime for a snack bar visit.

The worrywart in me surfaces as I think about Gordon’s next three games.  Roger Williams (Tuesday) is a team that we have seldom defeated at their place.  UNE (Thursday) has already beaten us once and I’m not sure we’ve figured out how to handle Devin Thompson and their zone defense.  Eastern Nazarene (Saturday) has point guard Max Barbosa back and I know that they are a better team than what GC faced on January 5th.

However, that worrywart thinking fits better with the 2011-12 team.  This year’s edition won five straight, and ten-of-eleven before the Curry loss.  After their loss to UNE, they responded with five straight victories.

Top Five Players in this game in efficiency:
David Dempsey +20
Alex Carnes +19
Carlos Ribeiro +17
Sedale Jones +14
Jason Dempsey +14

Team stats for this game in efficiency:
Curry +86
Gordon +74

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).

Boxscore

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

Alex Carnes (18 points) in the middle of some rebounding action

Alex Carnes (18 points) in the middle of some rebounding action

Carlos Ribeiro and James Ek

Carlos Ribeiro and James Ek

Sedale Jones tries to dunk

Sedale Jones tries to dunk

Park Thomas

Park Thomas

cheerleader

cheerleader

David Dempsey puts up two in traffic

David Dempsey puts up two in traffic

Ted Amendola (11 points)

Ted Amendola (11 points)

Hans Miersma double-teamed

Hans Miersma double-teamed

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