Tag Archives: Jaren Yang

Gordon College graduation 2018

(Wenham MA) Five players connected to the Gordon College men’s basketball program graduated today; Jaren Yang, Dylan Marshall, Graham Tienhaara, Jake Hart, and Steve Vampatella.

Jake Hart

Graham Tienhaara

Steve Vampatella

Jaren Yang

Dylan Marshall

For those just now paying attention, my wife and I do all we can to attend Gordon graduations.  Why?  We get attached to the players (and their families) and want to get one more look at them on campus.  Some will come back next season to see how their former teammates are doing.  Others will move away and move on, rarely seen again.

The weather was set to be an issue today.  The forecasts during the week had rain falling on Saturday morning.  If that happened, then the event would have been in the limited-space Bennett Center.  I wasn’t even sure if we could get in!

But God is gracious.  I looked on the Gordon website last night and the graduation time was moved up to 9:30 and it would be held outdoors rain or shine.  I shuttered to imagine a graduation in the rain.  My camera was totally against it!

Sky above at the Gordon Commencement today

But I got up this morning and saw that the rain had been “shifted” to the afternoon.  God was in the details and gave us sun for the event.  I noticed something special about the clouds over the campus today.

Plenty of beautiful trees on campus

We love to see the flowering trees on campus.  They always seem to be at their peak in mid-May.  I know that God provides the sun and the rain but the maintenance crew was really on their game too.

Our goal at these graduations is to get as many pictures as possible of “our” players in different graduation spots.  We also look for the unexpected people, that we know, that happen to be on hand.

They’ve probably done this before, but I liked hearing the faculty applaud the students when they marched by them at the start and later when the students reciprocated as the faculty filed out at the end of commencement.

Three people (Kenneth Elzinga, Richard Stearns, Polly Wilson) received honorary degrees.

Richard came up with a wonderful line: “God doesn’t want us to be successful, He wants us to be faithful.”

I have known Polly Wilson for a long time.  As kids we were both on the Rumney (NH) Bible Conference grounds for a lot of summers. She was a talented piano player even then.  I was keen on ping pong.

At the commencement I took pictures of three caps.  One of them had Phil 4:13 (I can do all this through him who gives me strength.) on it.  One of the teachers-to-be had “Now it’s my time to teach.”  And then there was Jaren’s.

I saw Gordon coach Tod Murphy afterwards and asked him if had found players to replace the graduated ones.  He told me that he had two 6-4 players coming as well as a point guard.

Jake Haar, Noah Szilagyi, Luke Meyer, Garrisson Duvivier

Good to see four seniors-to-be, from the team, on hand cheering on their graduating teammates.  Some of them will be on the Gordon Quadrangle next year, about this time, wondering where their four years have gone.

Good luck to the five seniors.  We hope to see them again.

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

Graham and friend

Jaren and Julie

Jaren meets President Lindsay

Jake Hart and Julie

Julie and Val Gin

Teachers applaud students

Ivy George

David Rox

President Michael Lindsay

Susan Bobb is the Junior Distinguished Faculty award winner

Gordon graduate

Julie with Donna Loy

The Yangs

With Jerry Logan, a remarkable guard back in the day

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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 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.

Efficiency

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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Western New England ends Gordon’s win streak 101-83

Junior Mikey Pettway reached 1000 points in tonight’s game.

Garrisson Duvivier (26 points, 17 rebounds)

(Amesbury MA) They came to see junior Mikey Pettway get his 1000th point and that’s not all they got.

The entire Western New England team played like thousand-point scorers as the Bears (7-8) dominated the Scots from beginning to end.

The GC winning streak ended abruptly at six. Also ending was a nine-game winning streak the Scots had against the team from Springfield (MA).

Mikey Pettway got his 1000th point in the first half and he got GC’s top scorer (Eric Demers) in foul trouble in that first half as well.

The Golden Bears feasted from long range in the first half making nine from out there.  The home team never trailed.

Despite the loss, Garrisson Duvivier outdid his amazing game of two days ago against Roger Williams.  Tonight’s was better because Garrisson missed only seven shots.  Who knew that he would become such a good foul shooter (8-for-9)?  26 points, 17 rebounds, 5 assists.

That six-game win streak carried some weight despite the fast start by WNE.  The Bears will cool down and the Scots will shoot by them….at least that was what I thought would happen.

Eric Demers had 27 points in limited minutes

Into the second half, I was feeling pretty smart.  Eric (Demers) came out making shots and 3+ minutes into the second half the score was 55-50.  But then Eric picked up his 4th foul and had to come out.

I said to myself at the time, “Someone is going to have to pick up a lot of scoring or this game is going to get away from us.”  That “someone” never appeared and Western New England continued to roll offensively.  By the time Eric (and his four fouls) returned (9:39) the home team led, 74-57, and the cows had left the barn.

Eric put up some points, thereafter, and Garrisson had his way in close but the Bears offense never ran out of good shots as they collected 101 points.  That is the third time an opponent has scored 100 points against GC and none of the games ended happily for the team from Wenham.  Obviously, the Gordon defense had a subpar evening and it cost them.

Ahead, on Saturday, is a trip to Milton for a game with Curry.  The Colonels have yet to win a Commonwealth Coast Conference game this season.  Last year they nearly upset the Scots in Milton.

Jaren Yang continued his run of good numbers with fourteen points and six assists.  Jaren made four three’s for GC.

A key to the recent Gordon successes has been the contributions of the second unit.  Those contributions didn’t happen in this one.  Instead of closing the gap against WNE, the gap widened.

Meanwhile, the Bears had six players in double figures.  Their best stat?  They had twenty-one assists and six turnovers.

You watch the way Western New England played tonight and you could see how they could defeat Nichols.  The Bears consistently made shots and the Bison had some cool spots.  The “cool spot” for Gordon tonight was early on and they never recovered.

Avelino Damoura made his Gordon debut in the final minutes.

Efficiency Chart

Garrisson Duvivier 42

Mikey Pettway 25 (31 points,6 assists)

Jaren Yang 22 (14 points, 6 assists)

Eric Demers 21 (27 points)

Alex Sikorski 19 (14 points)

Western New England 121

Gordon 91

Box from the game

 

 

 

 

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Exciting win (87-83) over Roger Williams extends Gordon streak to six

Garrisson Duvivier had a dominating performance in tonight’s win over Roger Williams

Eric Demers (20 points) hit a huge three in the last minute

(Amesbury MA) There was plenty to cheer about for both teams but at the end it was the team from Wenham that extended their winning streak to six.

Roger Williams lost to Endicott on Saturday in double overtime.  Their shooting, early in this one, was off.  They were probably tired.

The Scots (10-5), on the other hand, were riding a winning streak and made shot after shot early on.

The Gordon lead was a comfortable 54-40 four minutes into the second half.  But along came Conor O’Brien with two 3’s and a dunk and the Hawks went on a 15-0 run to get the lead, 55-54!

The 6-6 senior had a memorable second half collecting 28 points and 8 rebounds.  Not bad for a player averaging 13 points per game!

Conor O’Brien scored 36 points for the Hawks

But as good as Conor was, the best player was wearing blue….Garrisson Duvivier.  Garrisson had a game his freshman year against ENC that was statistically better, but that was back when teams were trying to figure out what he can do.  Now they know, and yet he was still able to drop 28 points, 18 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 blocks in a tight game against a very good team.  Remarkable!

The Hawks (11-4) took the lead (55-54) with thirteen minutes left.  Then this game became exciting for both teams.  There were THIRTEEN lead changes the rest of the way.  Anyone’s game for sure.

RW took a one-point lead into the final minute but Eric Demers put a three on the home team with 43 seconds left to put the Scots ahead by two.  The Hawks had a two and a three to tie or go ahead but missed both.  Eric Demers was fouled after the second Hawks’ miss.

Jaren Yang had ten points and seven assists vs Roger Williams

Now this was where I became most impressed by Gordon’s play.  Trust me, it wasn’t the missed free throws!  Eric missed the front end of a 1&1 BUT Garrisson secured the offensive rebound and got fouled.

Garrison made one free throw and missed the second BUT Matt Valles secured the offensive rebound and got fouled.  With 11 seconds remaining Matt made 1 of 2 putting GC ahead by four 85-81.

Those offensive rebounds were special because they kept RW away from a last-second shot that could have been a game-winner for them.

Eric reached twenty points for the 10th time this season.  His three in the final minute, assisted by Jaren Yang, kept this game from going south on the Scots.  Eric tied his career-high in rebounds (8) against RW.

Hard to tell through the blurry RW feed of the game if Eric was covering Austin Coene.  Austin came in averaging nearly 25 points per game and had dropped 38 on Endicott this past Saturday.  Against GC?  Had a 5-for-17 evening and 13 points.  No question, however, that Conor O’Brien more than made up for Austin’s scoring dropoff.

One of the key players in Gordon’s recent string of successes has been senior Jaren Yang.  His ability to get the ball to teammates, especially Garrisson and Eric, has elevated his assist totals and dropped his turnover totals.  Last five game?  28 assists, 8 turnovers. Those are good numbers!

Best shot of the game?  Had to have been that last-second prayer by Jake Haar to end the first half.  Even with limited viewing visibility I could tell that it was an off-balanced shot, from long range, against two defenders, and at the last second. Those three points meant something in a game won by only four points.

Efficiency Chart

Garrisson Duvivier 40

Conor O’Brien 36 (34 pts,9 rebs)

Eric 19

Jaren 17 (10 pts, 7 assists)

Jake Heston 13 (13 pts,3 assists)

Gordon 112

Roger Williams 86

The Scots had twenty-four second-chance points and Roger Williams didn’t have any.

Gordon is now tied with Endicott (6-2) in the Commonwealth Coast Conference.  Nichols is a game ahead and were tested by both Wentworth and ENC in their last two games.

Gordon travels to Springfield (MA) to face Western New England on Thursday night.  The Golden Bears pinned a loss on Nichols earlier in the season.

Box from the game

 

 

 

 

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Gordon streak reaches five with 81-66 win over Salve Regina

Eric Demers (26 points) topped all scorers

Garrisson Duvivier (19 points,15 rebounds)

(Wenham MA) We’re starting to get spoiled.

Gordon (9-5) ran its winning streak to five as they defeated Salve Regina, 81-66, on Saturday afternoon at the Bennett Center.

The coming week looms large for the Scots with consecutive CCC road games against Roger Williams, Western New England, and Curry.  After losing their first two Commonwealth Coast Conference games, the Scots are on a five-game league win streak and just one game away from the top spot.

Gordon jumped all over the visiting Seahawks (6-9) in the first half leading by as many as twenty-eight points.  There was a sense that the lead would grow enough in the second half to turn this into a bench-clearing event.

Tight defense

But it didn’t go that way and GC coach Tod Murphy wasn’t pleased. “We played about the best basketball we have played all season for sixteen minutes.  Then we sat back and survived the last twenty-four minutes.”

Understand that Salve (6-9) never got within double digits of the lead, but they spent most of the second half hovering too close for GC comfort.

“We became passive in the final twenty-four minutes,” said Coach Murphy.  “They went into their zone and into that switching man defense and we stopped moving and looking for our cuts.”

There was a bigger picture, however, and that was to continue to get W’s.  “I would rather win ugly than lose ugly,” conceded Coach Murphy.

Gordon’s big first half did in Salve.  In a tight game for four minutes (10-8), the home team went on a 31-5 tear over the next thirteen minutes to escape 41-13.  The Seahawks never recovered.

Jake Haar finishes over Kevin Kelly

“Coaches look like they’re really smart when the team is hitting shots, and early on we hit a lot of shots,” said Coach Murphy.

Even with the team letdown in the second half, Eric Demers, Garrisson Duvivier, and Jaren Yang had terrific afternoons.

Eric continues to put up serious numbers, getting over twenty points for the 9th time this season. Teams have tried guarding him closely and even have attempted to deny him the ball, but he still finds openings.  His ability, this year, to cut back on the turnovers while handing out assists and adding steals has been noticeable.

Garrisson has impacted the GC program since the day he arrived in 2015.  He puts up double/double’s with regularity including this afternoon when he put nineteen points together with fifteen rebounds. It was his 9th double D this season.

Jaren Yang had a career game

Senior Jaren Yang may well have had the best game of his Gordon career this afternoon.  Accurate outside shooting (4-for-6) and perfect foul shooting (6-for-6), along with a good eye for the open teammate (8 assists) will get you a very good day.  Jaren reached the career-game level, however, when he added four steals to his totals.

Noah Szilagyi guarded by Gabe Granberry

So you can see that was plenty of good individual moments despite the margin-squandering moments of the second half.

The magic margin number in the second half seemed to be twelve.  Six times in that second half the better defending and better shooting Seahawks lessened their deficit to twelve.  And every time this happened, the Scots were able to react with enough offense/defense to re-enlarge their advantage.

Efficiency chart

Garrisson Duvivier 34

Jaren Yang 25

Eric Demers 18

Isaiah Bowman 18 (16 points)

Cameron Collins 16 (18 points)

Gordon 106

Salve Regina 75

Box from the game

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

Josh Crutchfield leads a break

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Gordon in the zone defeating Johnson and Wales 88-80

Eric Demers had 24 points and made 8-of-8 free throws

Garrisson Duvivier poured in 27 points and had 9 rebounds

(Amesbury MA) The Scots broke out a zone defense and it worked against non-league Johnson & Wales on Tuesday night in Providence, Rhode Island.

The final was 88-80.

GC had lost three of their previous four games.

Zone defenses don’t always work because too many open shots turn up.  On this night the Wildcats, however, couldn’t capitalize long-range missing twenty-three of thirty-one attempts. While J&W struggled from beyond the arc, the Scots had a season low in attempts (seventeen) but a season high in 3-point percentage (47%).

The Scots had terrific games from Garrisson Duvivier and Eric Demers.  Garrisson had twenty-seven points and nine rebounds.  Eric contributed twenty-four points and made eight-of-eight free throws.

This game had a crunch time and the talented two-some were both there to make sure that this one didn’t slip away from Gordon.

The visitors led by nine (79-70) with five minutes left.  Credit J&W, they rallied to 81-79 in three minutes assuring us of an exciting final two minutes.

The Scots produced points in every possession down the stretch while the home team marred their’s with a turnover, two missed three’s, and a missed free throw.  Eric Demers made both free throw attempts while his junior teammate, Garrisson, got to the basket for a layup, made a free throw, and had the GC bench jumping up and down with a thunderous dunk set up by Jaren Yang.

Sometimes the difference between winning and losing is taking good care of the ball.  Three days ago, Eric and Garrisson combined for twelve turnovers. Tonight? ONE turnover.

The Wildcats did get quite a few good looks on the perimeter but inside was a different story.  J&W had few drives to the basket.  They did pass their way into layups on occasion, but they were, for the most part, content to fire from long range.

Just as zone defenses can lead to good looks, so can full-court pressure lead to the same thing.  The Wildcats applied the pressure and when GC handled it they often turned up high-percentage shots.

A key player for Gordon was Josh Ribeiro.  The Scots struggled to score points in the first half, but Josh came off the bench and gave them ten points in ten minutes of playing time.

GC Coach Tod Murphy probably wondered about that zone defense in the first half as junior Matt Madoian poured in sixteen points to establish a career high in points.  You expected that a cooling off period might follow and it did.

Brian Hogan-Gary was terrific for the Wildcats.  His stat line included; twenty points, eleven rebounds, and seven assists.  Brian was closing in on a triple/double!

The Wildcats had won four straight.

I couldn’t tell from the J&W feed whether Wildcat Willie (official mascot) or Emiril Lagasse (celebrity chef who graduated from J&W) were in the house.

Gordon (3-4) host Emerson on Saturday afternoon in non-league play.  I wonder if we’ll see some more of that zone?

Johnson & Wales was 28-3 in 2015-16.

Efficiency Chart

Garrisson Duvivier 27

Brian Hogan-Gary 27

Eric Demers 24 (8-for-8 on free throws)

Matt Madoian 21 (24 points)

Jaren Yang 12 (13 points, 6 rebounds)

Gordon 92

Johnson & Wales 86

Box from the game

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Garrisson Duvivier reaches 1000 points as Gordon defeats Curry 86-66

Junior Garrisson Duvivier jams his way past 1000 points

Garrisson Duvivier scores from the right

(Wenham MA) Junior Garrisson Duvivier crossed the 1000-point threshold in an easy, 86-66, win over Curry on Tuesday night at the Bennett Center.

A slam dunk did the trick tonight for the 6-6 player from Brockton in the first half in Gordon’s home opener.

Curry (1-7) has now lost thirty-nine straight Commonwealth Coast Conference games dating back to February of 2015.

I spoke to Curry’s assistant coach Lambros Papalambros at halftime.  Lambros was Curry’s excellent playmaker back when the Colonels were winning CCC titles.  He told me it was tough to watch the way things were going for Curry.  “I would love to be out there playing,” he told me.  The Colonels could have used him.

Jaren Yang had four assists in Gordon’s breakaway run

The visitors from Milton (MA) hung in there for thirteen minutes of the first half (32-29) but then the wheels came off.  The Scots (2-3) tallied the next sixteen points over a 3 ½ minute span to escape to a 48-29 advantage.  The offense during the breakaway stretch was provided by Eric Demers (two 3’s), Garrisson Duvivier (dunk), and Jake Haar (two 3’s and a jump shot).  The key player in the segment?  Jaren Yang.  The senior point-guard handed out four assists.

Jake Haar making three’s was a welcome sight for the GC faithful.  After a 2-for-3 first game (Elms) Jake had struggled (by his standards) through a 4-for-14 stretch during Gordon’s recent three-game losing streak.  Tonight he was 3-for-4.  Welcome back, Jake!

Justin Kelley in flight.

Curry got itself into trouble in the first half with 3 ½ minutes of scorelessness.  Another dry stretch showed up for Curry to start the second half.  It took them 6 ½ minutes to get points on the board and the GC lead bulged to 64-33 with over thirteen minutes left.

That large lead enabled the Bennett Center crowd to get a look at Gordon’s entire roster.  It also enabled me to get pictures of the newcomers.

Eric Demers paced Gordon (2-3) with twenty-two points and four steals.  Eric has scored 20+ points in three straight games.  His ability to create space for shots and make a bunch of them has been notable recently.  Eric is a warm 14-for-27 from long range over the last three games.  Shooting like that should draw more defenders and open up better looks for his teammates in the future.

Jaren Yang had nine assists tonight.  That matches his career high.  His other nine-assist game was versus Endicott last season.

Three Scots from the past (Greg Walker, Richie Armand, and Jason Dempsey) were in the house.  Richie has a job with the Patriots.

Gordon gets non-league Becker on Saturday afternoon.

Curry and Gordon both had wins over Elms this season.

Box score

(Click on the pictures above and below to enlarge them.)

Freshman Marcus Retegues hears it from the crowd

Steve Vampatella

Luke Meyer in close

Brett Bowman fires

Graham Tienhaara

Cody Hunt

AJ Terry

Freshman Parker Omslaer

Josh Ribeiro

Noah Szilagyi

Freshman Josh Crutchfield

Freshman Matt Valles rebounds

Garrisson Duvivier from the left

Jake Hart layup

Freshman Parker Omslaer and senior John Coleman

Jake Haar finds his touch at the Bennett Center

 

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UNE changes approach and wins 121-113 shootout vs Gordon

(Biddeford ME) What a game!

The front-runner for Coach-of-the-Year in the Commonwealth Coast Conference has got to be Ed Silva of the University of New England.

A team content to nurse every possession down to the last few seconds in years past transformed itself into a run-and-gun club in the nine-month offseason.

Gordon ran into the new-and-improved Nor’easters tonight, and despite a second-half rally, lost 121-113 on Wednesday in the CCC opener for both teams.

I had seen the stats from UNE’s first five games and had seen a team that was putting up 3’s and forcing mistakes on the opposition.  Gordon (1-2) fell victim to both categories in the first half.  While UNE made nine 3’s in the first half the Scots committed an unremarkable EIGHTEEN turnovers in that same half.  Wicked bad combo!

Trailing 60-44 at the half, and the way UNE was playing, I had a sense that a serious blowout was about to happen.  That sense was nonsense as GC began to look for answers off the bench and found some.  The Nor’easters weren’t giving any ground but at least GC was better taking care of the ball.

Down twenty-four points (97-71) with seven minutes left the Scots put together the best combo of scoring and defense I may have ever seen for the next six minutes.  UNE’s quick shot approach turned sour as they cooled off and Gordon made appropriate passes and a steady flow of shots and got the lead down to five, 114-109, in the last minute.  That’s thirty-eight points in six minutes!

But it was too little too late.  UNE, and I credit Coach Ed Silva for this, changed the tempo to a more controlled approach.  He used his timeouts to rest his players and organize them.  It interested me that previously he called timeouts just to substitute players and then cut the timeouts short.  It was a whole new approach.

Anyhow, in the closing minutes the Nor’easters took advantage of GC’s need to overplay the UNE perimeter shooters and drove against single defenders.  That approach drew fouls and on this evening those foul shots dropped and the home team had a CCC win.

Gavin Dibble put up the big numbers for UNE with twenty-five points.  Just to get an idea of the style of play, UNE had FIFTEEN different players score in the first half!  They were coming in in waves with the green light shining for anyone with an opening.

One casualty in this game was the Efficiency Chart.  I usually put the top five in the game and normally there are at least two from each team unless the game was one-sided.

Gavin Dibble 32

Garrisson Duvivier 31 (19 pts, 16 reb, 4 assts)

Eric Demers 28 (29 pts, 8 reb)

Josh Ribeiro 16 (4 assts,3 blk, 2 stls) Birthday today

Jaren Yang 13 (6 assts, 8-for-8 FTs)

That’s the top five and you would want to think that Gordon dominated the game.  But UNE countered the GC top four with fifteen contributors.   Gordon finished with a remarkable 133 on the Efficiency chart while UNE earned only a 94.  Maybe that Efficiency stat isn’t as great as I think it is?

It certainly didn’t hurt the home team that they got hot in the first half and turned a 12-8 deficit into a comfortable 43-23 spread in eleven minutes.  That 31-15 segment (included six successful UNE 3’s) may have been the worst GC basketball I have seen in a while.

But it was that kind of game with plenty of good and also plenty of not so good.

One of the struggles GC had in the first half was finishing breaks.  When the Scots broke through the UNE’s backcourt pressure there were some glittering opportunities for layups.  Not all of them were made.

UNE (2-4) was picked by the coaches to finish 8th (out of ten teams) in the CCC.  I wonder where those same coaches would place UNE now?

Teams that rely on a few players playing long minutes to give them most of their points will be in trouble against the UNE style.  The team from Biddeford (ME) prevents teams from controlling the tempo and if their long shots are dropping, good luck.

You couldn’t help but be distracted by the three UNE students under the basket GC was shooting at.  Why they hadn’t painted UNE on the front of them was obviously an oversight.  My theory, based on the website visuals, was that this was the before part of the before-and-after weight-loss program they were starting.  Coming to the basketball court instead of the food court would be the key piece in the transition they would be undertaking.  Their calisthenics showed not only promise but plenty of loose baggage.  Changing their physiques from trunk to carry-on will take time but I, for one, admire their intensity.

Gordon gets Nichols next.  That may not be pretty.  Nichols blasted Endicott tonight.  The Scots will have to find ways to match up with some very good one-on-one players in Dudley (MA) on Saturday to win this one.

Box Score

 

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Gordon finishes regular season with 74-66 win over Salve Regina

Garrisson Duvivier (26 points) had a big afternoon against Salve Regina

Garrisson Duvivier (26 points) had a big afternoon against Salve Regina

(Amesbury MA) The Scots finished the regular season with a 74-66 win over Salve Regina in Newport (RI) on Saturday afternoon.

Gordon (15-10) needed the win to take fourth place in the Commonwealth Coast Conference and earn a home game (Tuesday 7PM) against Wentworth in the first round of the CCC tournament.

The Scots are in the same bracket as top-seed Nichols and #8 UNE.  The Nor’Easters have upset higher seeded teams in the first round the last two post-seasons.  Last year it was Wentworth and the year before it was Nichols.

The game with Salve Regina (8-16) was close.  The Seahawks trailed by just three points (61-58) with 4:21 to go.

Gordon had done well inside all afternoon as nineteen second chance points and forty points in the paint suggests.  Consecutive layups by Garrisson Duvivier and Jaren Yang gained GC separation and five-of-six made free throws in the last minute finished off the team from Newport.

Garrisson was Garrisson – 26 points, 9 rebounds, and 4 steals.

Sam Johnson had his 16th double/double

Sam Johnson had his 16th double/double

Sam Johnson was Sam Johnson – 13 points, and 16 rebounds.  This was Sam’s sixteenth double/double of the season.

Jaren Yang had a marvelous second half – 13 points including 8-for-8 from the foul line.

Those stats were wonderful but the one I liked the best was Gordon having only NINE turnovers.  The last time that number was matched was during an NCAA post-season loss to Williams three years ago.

With few turnovers and a strong inside presence, the Scots could play three more games and be standing behind a banner.

Efficiency

Jaren Yang was eight-for-eight at the line in the second half.

Jaren Yang was eight-for-eight at the line in the second half.

Garrisson Duvivier 26

Sam Johnson 22

Jaren Yang 13

David Blackwell 12 (12 points)

Gordon 86

Salve Regina 60

The Seahawks will face Endicott, at Endicott, on Tuesday night.  Last meeting between those two resulted in a 35-point SR defeat.

Gordon’s last-meeting win over Wentworth was hopefully a turning point in our relationship with the team from Boston.  Tuesday night’s game should be a good one.

Box from the game.

Cooper Wirkala's two free throws in the closing second sealed the win for Oceanside

Cooper Wirkala’s two free throws in the closing second sealed the win for Oceanside

Why is this so late?  Saturday morning I learned that my nephew’s son was playing in a high school tournament game that afternoon in Augusta, Maine.  Off I went with my equipment and gave the game coverage.  In it my nephew’s son cashed two free throws in the final seconds to separate his team from the opposition.

 

 

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