Tag Archives: Garrisson Duvivier

Endicott ends Gordon’s season 86-70 in the CCC semi-finals

Matt McDevitt lifts a corner three. The Endicott freshman hit five 3’s in the second half

Eric Demers was well covered by the Gulls

(Wenham MA) Gordon had beaten their neighbors from Beverly twice this season but a third time didn’t happen as the Scots fell to Endicott, 86-70, on Thursday night in the conference semi-finals.

The battle was for the right to face top-seed Nichols on Saturday afternoon for the Commonwealth Coast Conference title.

The Gulls (19-8) have two losses to the Bison this season but as one spectator was overheard saying after tonight’s game, “If they play the way they did tonight, they might have a chance.”

The two previous games between the Scots (18-9) and the Gulls were down-to-the-wire close.  This game appeared headed in the same direction in the second half.  Neither team had heated up for a serious run and EC only had a 56-54 lead with 10:45 left.

But less than four minutes later this game had gotten away from Gordon.  What happened?  The Gulls put a 17-2 run together, sparked by lights-out, long-range shooting by freshman Matt McDevitt.

Matt, who was the Player-of-the-Year in Maine (Greeley) last year, had four three’s in the separation segment.  Senior Joey Villa had an old-fashioned three as part of this decisive run.

Sophomore Keith Brown had a 19-point second half

The player who didn’t score a point in the run was Keith Brown, but the EC sophomore had nineteen points during the rest of the second half to keep the Scots from getting any late-game, comeback ideas.

Gordon, on this night, landed only eight 3-pointers while the visitors drained fifteen from long range.

“We didn’t play very well,” said Coach Tod Murphy afterwards, “but that’s a really good team.”

The Gulls defense was impressive: “We don’t get held to 70 points very often but that happened tonight,” said Coach Murphy.

The Scots had only 54 points in California against Redlands during Christmas break with tonight’s 70 being the second lowest of this season.

Eric Demers shoots over Joe Shehadi as Coach Tod Murphy watches

The Gordon students turned out and Endicott had some folks at the Bennett Center too.  Some of the missing EC students may have been in Bristol (RI) tonight watching the EC women in the CCC semifinals against Roger Williams.

One of the keys to the EC win was doing a better job defending Eric Demers. In the first two games Eric had 33 points and 25 points.  This time around, 14 points.  He had defenders everywhere he went tonight, and the rare open shots weren’t falling.

Eric reached 1000 points this season and tonight he moved into 21st place (1056 points) ahead of Park Thomas.  Jim Petty is the all-time Gordon scorer with 1902 points.  Eric is only a sophomore.  You have to like his chances. But we’ll see what happens.

Garrisson Duvivier (20 points) looks to shoot over Vinny Clifford

Garrison Duvivier continued to do what he does best; reach double figures in points and rebounds (19th time this season) and discourage shots around the basket. Joe Shehadi (5-10) tried one with GD nearby and the sound of his hand blocking the ball was like a volleyball spike!

Garrisson joined the 1000-point club this season and he now has 1401 points.  He is currently in 8th place on the all-time list passing Tim Kehoe tonight.  I mentioned Jim Petty’s all-time total (1902) earlier.  We’ll see how Garrisson does in his senior season.

The last game is always memorable because it’s the last look we get at the departing seniors.  The Scots lose four; Jaren Yang, Jake Hart, Steven Vampatella, and Graham Tienhaara.

Noah Szilagyi gets a steal

My wife Julie and I usually appear at the Gordon graduation in May to say our farewells and to take a few photos of the graduating players.

A special thanks to Gordon coach Tod Murphy for talking to me after games whether they were wins or losses.  Most coaches have plenty to say after wins but will retreat to the locker-room after losses.  Not Tod.  Class act!

Efficiency Chart

Keith Brown 27 (25 points,12 rebounds, no turnovers)

Garrisson Duvivier 25 (20 points,13 rebounds)

Joe Shehadi 23 (12 points,8 rebounds)

Matt McDevitt 20 (19 points)

Jaren Yang 19 (11 points,7 assists)

Endicott 101

Gordon 79

Box from the game

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

Jaren Yang with Coach Tod Murphy

Steven Vampatella and Graham Tienhaara finished their GC careers tonight

Freshmen point guards Josh Crutchfield and Jordan Pettway

Jaren Yang (four-year starter)

Eric Demers (14 points) shoots a three over Joey Villa

Joey Villa guards Jaren Yang

Garrisson Duvivier gets fouled by Matt McDevitt

Junior Jake Haar (11 points)


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Gordon advances in the CCC tourney with 99-85 win over Salve Regina

Jake Haar (20 points) made six of seven 3-point attempts

Garrisson Duvivier gets inside for two

(Wenham MA) No surprise here.

Gordon advanced to the Commonwealth Coast Conference semi-finals after a 99-85 win over Salve Regina on Tuesday night at the Bennett Center.

This was the third victory over the Seahawks this season.  Pattern has been similar each time: Gordon gets a big lead, Salve narrows the lead but doesn’t have enough offense to get things to the dicey level.

“We didn’t finish the way I’d hoped,” said Coach Murphy, “but it was nice to get most of the bench into a playoff game.”

The beauty of this game (to me) was the balanced scoring.  There were six Scots in double figures.  Usually the two first-team All-CCC’ers (Garrisson Duvivier and Eric Demers) get there with an occasional 3rd player joining them.  Tonight, every starter got there, and reserve Noah Szilagyi added ten points.

Jake Haar gets a steal

The one they were talking about afterwards was junior Jake Haar.  You watch enough GC games and you have seen “The Iceman” drain three’s.  Nothing like tonight, however.  Jake was six-for-seven from long range. “When the Iceman has it going, if you’re not right up in his shirt, he’s going to hit the shot,” said Coach Murphy.

I’ll call this Jake’s best game.  He put up twenty points, missing only one shot, and added four assists.

Gordon (18-8) gained separation late in the first half.  A 36-34 lead bulged to 47-34 in less than three minutes.  The Scots had four baskets in the breakaway run and ALL of them were assisted.  That’s called, finding your teammates.  On the night, GC had twenty-four assisted baskets and ONLY ten turnovers.  You win games with those numbers!

Two of the CCC’s best players; Rodney Morton and Garrisson Duvivier

In the second half, you knew it would happen.  What?  The lead got big (twenty points) and then SR, led by Rodney Morton (28 points) cut into it.

With seven minutes left, the Gordon lead was 83-69.  Coach Murphy called a timeout, and those paying attention, heard his “outdoor” voice.  No doubt the team caught it loud and clear.  The next 2+ minutes GC turned to layups and free throws and pushed things to the safety zone (93-72).

The Scots shot over 60% in the first half.  “Offensively we were unbelievable in the first half,” said Coach Murphy.

Garrisson Duvivier turned in his 18th Double D of this season.  He added five assists.  The immeasurable stat would be the number of shots opponents don’t take close to the basket because GD is lurking ready to hand out a rejection.

Jake Hart shows some hops in a pass reception

Next for Gordon will be Endicott at the Bennett Center (7PM) on Thursday night.  The Scots have beaten EC twice this season but both games were tight.

“Anytime you can play a great team that is your cross-town rival in a big game it’s fun,” said Coach Murphy.  I have to confess that “fun” isn’t the first thing I think of when we face the Gulls!  I think of Yankees/Red Sox where wins are exhilarating, and losses hurt for days.  To each his own on that one!

The bleachers were pulled out at the Bennett Center for this game.  The crowd was underwhelming in my opinion.  That should not be the case on Thursday night.  Playing/Beating Endicott is a happening!

Efficiency Chart

Garrisson Duvivier 35 (19 points,14 rebounds,5 assists)

Jake Haar 27 (20 points,4 assists)

Jaren Yang 18 (14 points)

Rodney Morton 18 (28 points)

Gordon 122

Salve Regina 81

Box from the game

(The pictures enlarge if you click on them.)

Jake Hart (15) in for two points

Eric Demers challenges Rodney Morton’s layup atteampt

Parker Omslaer fouled on a layup

Freshman Kevin Kelly forces a turnover

Josh Ribeiro drives in Seahawks traffic

Noah Szilagyi (10 points) takes off with a steal





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Gordon ends regular season with 80-67 win at Salve Regina

Senior Jake Hart (16 points, 7 rebounds, 3 steals) had a career afternoon in his last regular season game for Gordon

Rodney Morton (27 points) led all scorers

(Amesbury MA) Now it’s time for the reason you lace them up……The Commonwealth Coast Conference Tournament.

The Scots (17-8) finished the regular season with a didn’t-matter win (80-67) over Salve Regina on Saturday afternoon.

But it did matter because on Tuesday night (7PM) at the Bennett Center the same two teams will face each other in the CCC quarter-finals. Gordon is the #2 seed (13-5) while Salve Regina (7-11) is the 7th seed.

They say that “familiarity breeds contempt” but after seeing the Seahawks twice, I’m afraid that familiarity might breed over-confidence.

Salve (10-15) has not played well against Gordon in either game.  In both games their first-half lack of accurate shooting has put them down by double figures and they have been unable to rally to put late-game pressure on GC.

But one thing that the Seahawks have been able to do is hang around.  They’ve now done it twice.  They get down, but they never allow the game to reach the bench-clearing level until the last minute or two.

Salve defeated Endicott a few days ago.  They are dangerous even if we haven’t seen that side of them.  May it not happen on Tuesday night.

A win or loss in today’s game was not going to change the tournament seedings for either team.  So you had to take today’s game with that in mind.

One thing that was certain right away was that SR’s lone senior (Rodney Morton) was going to take a lot of shots and score plenty of points…and he did.  Rodney finished with 27 for the afternoon even with a 1-for-10 from long range.

Sorry Rodney, the best senior on the floor was Gordon’s Jake Hart.  You talk about putting everything together in one game!  Jake matched his career high in points (16) and never missed a shot.  Last time I checked Jake was listed at 5-11 but that may be a typo as he landed seven rebounds including four offensive ones.  Add on two assists and three steals and you’ve had yourself a ballgame.

The breakaway segment came in the last five minutes of the first half when Gordon expanded a 25-23 lead to a 44-32 advantage.  Eric Demers (16 points) had three of his four 3-pointers during that closing spurt.

Garrisson Duvivier (13 points) collected eleven points from the foul line and added thirteen rebounds.

Steve Vampatella picked up his first GC points against Salve Regina

We waited almost four years for this to happen but it did happen in the closing seconds: Steven Vampatella put himself in the scoring column.  Nice pass from fellow senior.  Steven lifted his defender with an up-fake and dropped in two from the right.  Bench went nuts!

Eric had twenty-six last time against SR.

Efficiency Chart

Jake Hart 27

Rodney Morton 23 (27 points,6 steals)

Garrisson Duvivier 15

Gordon 91

Salve Regina 64

Two postgame concerns; (1) inability to put an opponent away and (2) the boatload of turnovers.

If GC plays three more CCC games, they will all be against teams capable of putting points together. I suspect that our team will have few chances to gain separation. Must take advantage of the opportunities.

Turnovers: Am I the only one troubled by them?  If the Scots had twenty-five turnovers in the first game of the season it might be understandable, but to get that season-high total in the LAST game of the regular season is disconcerting.  SR often double-teamed dribblers and defensive rebounders. Why not anticipate this and quickly outlet the ball to an open teammate? Layups and/or open shots often result.

I know, the team won, lighten up!  It’s just that I want to be writing about something realllly good next Saturday.  I don’t want to be looking for reasons why GC lost.

Box from the game



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Eric Demers reaches 1000 points in 87-71 Gordon win over Roger Williams

Eric Demers (21) in the middle of teammates celebrating his 1000th point.

Eric Demers (27 points) breaks into the 1000-point club on this free throw

(Wenham MA) Eric Demers reached the 1000-point club as Gordon (16-8) defeated Roger Williams, 87-71, at the Bennett Center on Tuesday night.

Eric’s teammate, Garrisson Duvivier, joined that same club during this year’s home game versus Curry five games into the season.

Eric needed nineteen points against the Hawks to reach 1000 points.  The historic point came on a free throw in the second half.  The game was then stopped.  Eric went into the stands and hugged his parents and then joined his celebrating teammates for the second 1000-club photo of the season.

“I’m proud of Eric for scoring his 1000th point,” said Coach Tod Murphy afterwards.  “I think that he forced it a little bit early to get there quicker, but then he settled down.  He also had quite a few assists (five).”

The Hawks came to the Bennett Center on a six-game roll but on this night couldn’t make shots consistently.  Their final total of twenty-two field goals was the lowest against the Scots this season.

Parker Omslaer takes part in a rebound battle

“I thought that our defense tonight was great,” said Coach Murphy.  Who could argue? Austin Coene (23.2 points per game) had a 4-for-14 night for twelve points.  Nick Marini (14.5 points per game) had eight on 3-for-14 shooting.  Conor O’Brien, who had thirty-four points in the first RW/GC meeting had just eleven this time around.

The Hawks (17-7) fell behind by twenty-one in the first half.  The team from Bristol (RI) would reduce the lead to nine (55-46) before the Scots scored the next eight points to boost the margin to seventeen.  Later, with 1:54 remaining, RW was back within ten (81-71) forcing Coach Murphy to get his starters back in the game to keep the score from getting closer.

“I didn’t want to put the starters back in,” said Coach Murphy, “but we were playing silly.  I keep telling the team that every possession matters.  They need to treat each possession as if the game is on the line.”

Garrisson Duvivier gets two of his twenty-five points

It did not take much of a memory to recall Saturday’s shocking loss to ENC during which a seventeen-point lead disappeared.  It didn’t happen against RW but there were times when GC lacked the organized offense that winning tournament games requires.

Junior Garrisson Duvivier, currently 9th on the all-time scoring list, put twenty-five points together with four blocks and three steals.  There is no stat for it, but there were several occasions when Hawks’ drivers saw Garrisson in the lane and changed their driving plans.

While most of the RW players struggled, freshman JJ Pfohl (25 points) had the game of his life filling for injured Jaylen Jennings.  The young man from Trumbull (CT) had been averaging only five points per game before catching fire at Gordon.

The win over Roger Williams combined with Endicott’s loss tonight to Salve Regina, guarantees that the Scots will finish second in the Commonwealth Coast Conference no matter what happens at Salve Regina on Saturday.

Austen Coene guarded by Jake Hart

“I don’t know when the last time was that we swept Roger Williams, Endicott, and Wentworth in one season,” wondered Coach Murphy.  “We need to figure out a way to beat Nichols if we can get that far.”  The CCC tournament starts next Tuesday.

The stat that worried me from this game was Gordon’s twenty turnovers.  Too many pointless possessions.  All of the TOs were in the half-court since the Hawks didn’t press. Most of the miscues were the result of low percentage passes.

But the team won anyhow.  Stop whining!

Seniors Graham Tienhaara and Jake Hart continue to use limited minutes to energize the Scots with their all-out hustle.  The two of them kept several possessions alive by coming out of nowhere to take control of 50/50 balls.

Conor O’Brien (30) tries to block Eric Demers’ shot

The Scots have a 9-5 record against Roger Williams over the past six seasons.

Gordon is now 12-5 in the CCC.  Roger Williams drops back into a tie with Endicott at 11-6.  Those two teams will face off this Saturday in Bristol with the winner earning the #3 seed in the tournament.

Efficiency Chart

Garrisson Duvivier 34

JJ Pfohl 29

Eric Demers 21

Gordon 117

Roger Williams 64

Box from the game

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

Steve Vampatella looks for a free throw miss

Senior Jake Hart cuts in for two

JJ Pjohl blocks Josh Ribeiro’s shot

Eric Demers powers to the hoop

Noah Szilagyi looks to pass

Eric Demers makes room for a shot

Graham Tienhaara defends against Conor O’Brien

Eric Demers shares the big moment with his father

Teammates congratulate Eric Demers

Jaren Yang (5) finds an opening






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Gordon gets caught in a trap game losing 93-88 to ENC

Eastern Nazarene sealed the win with eight consecutive free throws in the closing minute. Brenndan Rogers is at the line.

Jacob Wladroop and Jaren Yang try to get control

(Quincy MA) What is a trap game?

A trap game is one in which there is some certainty that one team will win.  Could be the comparative won/loss records for the season.  Might be the result of a previous meeting between the two teams during the season.

Gordon entered this afternoon’s game in second place in the Commonwealth Coast Conference.  ENC resided in ninth and was already eliminated from the post-season tournament.

Gordon entered this afternoon’s game with the memory of an easy, 81-59, win over the Lions on January 6th.

And sure enough, the team that wasn’t supposed to win did on Saturday afternoon in Quincy.

“No question this was our biggest win of the year,” said ENC coach Scott Polsgrove afterwards.  “It’s something we can build on.”

Garrisson Duvivier (15 points) looks for an opening

Gordon coach Tod Murphy admired the way the Lions played: “They wanted it more than we did.  They played harder than we did.”

This was a game where in both halves ENC had double digit deficits.  At Gordon in early January, the first double-digit deficit sent the Lions quickly downhill into a large loss.  Not this time.

The Scots had a seventeen-point lead (74-57) and it wouldn’t have taken much for Gordon to push the lead to twenty and then coast in as expected.  But this time around ENC just wouldn’t pack it in.

One of the reasons was senior TJ Vazquez. Honored before the game on Senior Day, TJ had the game of his ENC career.  “TJ may have scored more points today (13) than he has in his entire career,” explained Coach Polsgrove.  “He made a memory today that we won’t forget for a while.”

Let me help you remember, with a picture, which one was TJ.  He was the one making the verrrry long 3-point shot just before the first-half ended. (The picture is at the top of the page.)

Eric Demers (25 points) gets an unguarded three

The Lions (8-15) melted the Gordon lead to nothing but it was still anyone’s game (85-85) with 2:10 left.  I thought at the time that our normally effective inside/outside game would kick in.  I also thought that the Big Moment might get the home team to miss a few late-game shots.  It didn’t work out that way.

In today’s end game (2:10), the team from Wenham made one-of-five shots and had two turnovers.

Meanwhile, ENC started with a missed three and two turnovers (Opening the door for Gordon?) before knocking down eight straight free throws to secure the victory.

David Lopez (23) flips up a shot

The loss drops the Scots (11-5 in the CCC) into a 3-way tie for second place with Endicott and Roger Williams.  Roger Williams will be in the Bennett Center on Tuesday’s last regular home game. Has the makings of huge game with second place on the line.

Not so to GC Coach Tod Murphy: “I am not worried about where we finish.  We have to win three tournament games (starting February 20th) to win the title.  And they’re going to be three very good teams we have to beat.”

“We took a step backward this afternoon,” said Coach Murphy, “but we’ve got a very good team.  We didn’t show up this afternoon, but we’ll be okay when it comes to playoff time.”

“This was a huge game for us for a lot of reasons,” explained Lions coach Scott Polsgrove. “We have struggled at times and lost a lot of close games.  We are also incredibly young.”

It certainly didn’t help the Gordon chances late in this one for Eric Demers to miss two 3’s as well as two free throws.  And Garrisson fouled out with forty-seven seconds left.  Having the team’s top scorer off and the second leading scorer on the bench, just won’t lead to a positive result.

In his breakout season, Eric has had double figures in every game but one.  Two missed free throws were a shock because the 6-2 sophomore had been 38-for-39 shooting free throws the last seven games.

Jacob Waldroop gets a layup

I think that it is important for Gordon (15-8) to win the two games (Roger Williams, Salve Regina) next week to end the regular season on a roll.  We’ll get second place in the CCC and, assuming we win, get two home games in the tournament.  I like our chances at home against any of the six teams we might face.

Coach Murphy dusted off a piece of history to fuel his optimism about the tournament: “I know that the last time we won the championship we played ENC in the last game of the regular season on our Senior Night and lost.”  Sounds as if losing to ENC today, on their Senior Day, may not have been as bad as it seemed!

Coach Polsgrove: “We have all the respect in the world for Gordon.  They’re probably our main rival.  To be able to come back against them is special.”

Richie Armand was in the house.

Efficiency Chart

Garrisson Duvivier 29 (15 points, career-high 7 assists)

Eric Demers 22 (25 points,4 assists,3 steals)

Josh Rice 20 (20 points)

Noah Cheney 18 (18 points,3 assists,6 free throws in last minute)

Jacob Waldroop 16 (12 points,7 assists)

TJ Vaszuez 15 (13 points)

Eastern Nazarene 106

Gordon 104

Box from the game

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

ENC works the weave

Garrisson Duvivier leans in

Battle for a rebound

Josh Rice

Noah Szilagyi shoots a three over Josh Rice

Eric Demers puts up a three

Noah Szilagyi (9 points) leads a break

pregame jammer






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Gordon scores 23 straight points to reach/control OT and shock Endicott 85-77

Garrisson Duvivier overwhelmed Endicott with 31 points, 17 rebounds, and 6 blocks

(Amesbury MA) Gordon (15-7) scored twenty-three straight points against Endicott and shocked the Gulls in overtime, 85-77, in Beverly on Wednesday night.

The GC (11-4 in the CCC) win gives them control of second place in the Commonwealth Coast Conference, for the moment, with three games left.

Those two wins against the Gulls (15-7) mean that the team from Wenham owns the tie-breaker over Endicott (10-5 in the CCC) should that become relevant in the CCC tournament seedings.

The Scots needed sixteen of those unanswered twenty-three points to reach overtime.  The next seven got Gordon off to a lead in overtime that did in the Gulls.

I decided to believe the forecast (snow) and not my lying eyes (rain) and watched this terrific game from the shores of the Merrimack River in Amesbury.

Eric Demers (25 points) heated up when the game was on the line

Tonight’s game featured two unbelievable scoring droughts, one for each team.  Fortunately, for our Scots they had their shooting famine first and were able to recover.  The Gulls weren’t so lucky.

Garrisson Duvivier set his best-game standard to a new high with a 31-points, 17-rebounds, six-blocks stat line.  None of those numbers were career highs by themselves but together they did the trick at least as far as the Efficiency Chart revealed. Garrisson also moved into 10th place on the all-time Gordon career scoring list ahead of my friend Gene Fitzgerald.  Garrisson is now one point out of 9th place.

It took career games by Hans Miersma and Jason Dempsey, three seasons ago, to take out Endicott in Gordon’s last win in Beverly.  That game also went into overtime. It was also the first game that EC coach Kevin Bettencourt coached on the home court.

In this season’s first matchup with Endicott, the Scots were forced to come from behind to reach overtime.  Once in OT the Scots put together an eight-point lead and EC couldn’t recover.

The sizable droughts by both teams were eye-catchers.  With the Gulls in front, 62-52, with 12:28 left in the game, the Scots piled into the scoring freezer.  For how long?  Six minutes and eleven seconds!  In that hard-to-watch segment Gordon missed all seven shot attempts and had three turnovers.

It was dreadful enough to watch that my wife talked of leaving the room!  That’s dreadful!

The good news?  Endicott wasn’t a whole lot better.  They only expanded their lead to fifteen (67-52) and there was still over six minutes left.

That should have been enough for the Gulls, however, but it wasn’t because their time in the freezer was ahead and it would cost them the game.

With 4:44 left EC led, 72-56.  Take care of the ball, make a few shots and this one’s history.  The problem was that they didn’t make ANY shots for the rest of regulation, not one!  They missed all seven shot attempts including five 3’s.

Josh Ribeiro sent the game into overtime

The Gulls wisely used plenty of clock in each possession but just couldn’t make a shot.  Gordon, down the other end, was also more deliberate but their shots (4-for-7) began to fall.  Eric Demers, who had been treated for frostbite he was so cold (Just kidding), hit a jump shot, two three’s, and assisted on Josh Ribeiro’s game-tying jump shot with fifteen seconds left in regulation.

In the overtime, the EC scoring freeze continued plus there was way too much Garrisson Duvivier for the Gulls to handle.  The remarkable junior tallied GC’s first seven points and kept two possessions alive with offensive rebounds.  Endicott, on this evening, had no answers and suffered a tough loss.

Vinny Clifford finally ended the 8+ minutes of scoring frustration for the Gulls three minutes into overtime.

Eric Demers finished with twenty-five points.  He was a cool 3-for-12 from long range but two of those 3’s were part of the late-game run that pushed this game into OT.

Gordon is 10-2 in the new year and have won five of their last six games.

Trap game ahead!  Eastern Nazarene on Saturday afternoon.  The Lions may not make the playoffs, but this has been a rivalry that has been unrelated to win/loss records.  Scots beware!

Efficiency Chart

Garrisson Duvivier 46

Jaren Yang 20 (10 pts, 6 assists)

Nick Thibeault 18 (19 pts, 7 rebs)

Vinny Clifford 18 (14 pts, 7 rebs)

Gordon 100

Endicott 82

Box from the game






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Gordon holds off Western New England 84-77 on Senior Day

Gordon seniors and their families

Eric Demers (41 points) reached a new career high in points

(Wenham MA) Don’t let that final score fool you.

Western New England led by a point (74-73) with 2:38 left in this game. The outcome was anything but certain.

But the Scots (14-7) were offensively efficient down the stretch and posted a, 84-77, win on Saturday afternoon at the Bennett Center.

Special day for the Gordon faithful as the Scots four seniors (Jaren Yang, Steve Vampatella, Jake Hart, and Graham Tienhaara) were honored.

Traditionally, the Gordon seniors start on Senior Day.  That put first-time starters Steven Vampatella and Graham Tienhaara out there to open the game.

The senior foursome plus Eric Demers got off to a terrific start.  “I thought that Gordon came out with terrific energy,” said Western New England coach Colin Tabb afterwards.

Graham Tienhaara spins left for two in the early going.

By the time Graham Tienhaara went to the bench, he had six points and Gordon had a seven-point lead.  “Graham got us off to a great start,” said Gordon coach Tod Murphy.

Behind Eric Demers’ twenty-point first half the Scots were ahead, 48-38, at halftime.

Sixteen days ago, the Golden Bears (8-12) routed the Scots, 101-83, in Springfield so you had to expect that they would make things interesting in the second half.  And they did.

Mikey Pettway had thirty-one points and scored his 1000th point in the previous meeting.  This time around Mikey was off (13 points) but freshman EJ Day (28 points) more than made up for it.

“EJ Day is going to be a load to go against over the next three years,” said Coach Murphy.  EJ, like Mikey, displayed the ability to get shots off from anywhere despite being 5-10.  EJ made three’s and showed his quickness getting to the rim.

Freshman EJ Day (28 points) carried the Bears

Gordon led by sixteen (60-44) with 16:44 left.  But WNE didn’t go away.  Over the next 6+ minutes they overwhelmed the cooled off Scots.

An 18-2 run evened the teams at 62-62.  We had ourselves a ballgame!

What happened during that stretch?  Gordon made one of nine shots, including five three’s, and had three turnovers.  Then there’s Western New England: The Bears made seven of thirteen shots, with three of those seven baskets coming after they had grabbed offensive rebounds.

Gordon recovered to regain the lead but could never push their margin past three points.  Finally the Bears caught GC and went ahead (74-73) with 2:38 left on two EJ Day free throws.

Jaren Yang made pressure free throws late in the game

The rest of the way: “We made the plays we had to,” said Coach Murphy.  Eric Demers immediately made a three to give GC the lead for good as it turned out.  But there was also a key layup by Garrisson Duvivier in the last minute assisted by Jaren Yang.  Free throws were crucial and Jaren, Eric Demers, and Jake Hart made them.  Actually, Jake missed one but miraculously the ball stopped dead on the back of the rim with fifteen seconds left.  That’s a jump ball and the possession arrow favored the Scots. So Jake’s missed shot gave Gordon a fresh possession.

Eric Demers put up a career-high forty-one points with twenty in the first half and twenty-one in the second half.  In this breakout season, Eric has been able to get off shots against defenders of all sizes and speeds and shoot over 50% in twelve of the games.

Junior Garrisson Duvivier had his 15th double/double of this season.  He had sixteen points and fifteen rebounds.

Ahead is a neighborhood battle with Endicott on Wednesday night (7:30PM) in Beverly.  The winner of that game will be in second place in the Commonwealth Coast Conference behind Nichols.  In the previous Gulls/Scots matchup it was GC winning in overtime.  Realizing how hostile the atmosphere can be at Endicott, it would behoove the Scots to defeat the Gulls and avoid having to play a tournament game in Beverly.

Mikey Pettway (13 points) drives against Garrisson Duvivier

Two concerns in this game (for me) were the squandered lead and the twenty turnovers.  Players not named Eric and Garrisson need to lighten the scoring load on those two to prevent point-droughts when either of them cool off.  This afternoon’s twenty TO’s was the third time it has been that high.  The other two times were losses.  The Bears’ pressure had no part in the turnovers.  It was the passing.  Too many high-risk attempts.

Nice gathering afterward to hear the coaches retell the exploits of the four seniors.  The players will be missed.

Three weeks from now I could be writing about Gordon’s third CCC title in the last eight years.  Hope so.

Jaren Yang collected his 4th career block this afternoon for those keeping track at home!

“I was hoping to get Steve and Graham back into the game at the end, but it was so close,” said Coach Murphy.

Battle for a rebound – Garrisson had 15 rebounds vs Western New England

“Gordon took us out of the normal flow of our offense today,” said Coach Tabb.  “They didn’t leave certain shooters and it kept us from getting clean looks.”

“Good teams have to win tough games like this one,” said Coach Murphy.

Gordon has won ten of their last twelve games.

Gordon has now won nine of their last ten games with Western New England.

Western New England had a win over top-ranked Nichols at Nichols in early January.  They meet again in Springfield next Saturday.


Eric Demers 30

Garrisson Duvivier 28

EJ Day 23 (28 points)

Tim Reilly 17 (15 points)

Gordon 95

Western New England 70

Box from the game

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

Jaren Yang with parents

Jake Hart and family

Graham Tienhaara and family

Steve Vampatella and family

Coach Tod Murphy talks about his four seniors

Eric Demers layup with senior Steve Vampatella in the background

Jake Hart

Garrisson Duvivier (16 points) puts up a shot

Jaren Yang shoots a technical foul shot

Tim Reilly (15 points) contests an Eric Demers’ layup attempt

Two of the CCC’s best go head-to-head

Eric Demers makes a tough shot late in the game




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