Tag Archives: Luke Hamilton

Gordon College Graduation – 2014

Packed house at the Bennett Center for the 2014 graduation

Packed house at the Bennett Center for the 2014 graduation

Carolyn Cassidy and Julie McClelland - two of the biggest GC basketball fans

Carolyn Cassidy and Julie McClelland – two of the biggest GC basketball fans

(Wenham MA)  I took in the 124th Gordon College commencement on a Saturday where there was rain when it started and bright sunshine when it was over.

This was the first rainy one I’ve been at.  That rain pushed the activities to indoors at the Bennett Center.  Logistical nightmare, no doubt!

My goal at the commencement was to get a final picture of the  seniors – Roy Ray, Shaun Roach, Alex Carnes, Luke Hamilton, and Park Thomas all members of this season’s CCC championship team.  I did get that done.  I also like to get pictures of their families too.  Didn’t do so well there………way too congested afterwards.

President Michael Lindsay

President Michael Lindsay

I loved the crowd and couldn’t help but wish that maybe next February the Fighting Scots could play the CCC championship game in front of many of them.

I also noticed that the 2013-14 championship banner isn’t in the Bennett Center rafters yet.

One of the memorable moments of this graduation was a medical emergency that happened when President Michael Lindsay was speaking.  The emergency staff was quick and efficient.  Later family members came back informing that the lady involved was okay.  I was pleased that President Lindsay did the role-model thing by taking the situation to God in prayer.  I can tell you, he wasn’t the only one in the crowd doing it!

I wish the players and their families well in the days ahead.  It has been a pleasure connecting with all of you.

Alex Carnes

Alex Carnes

Val Gin..........always serious!

Val Gin……….always serious!

Roy Ray and Shaun Roach

Roy Ray and Shaun Roach

The Rays

The Rays

Park Thomas

Park Thomas

Luke Hamilton

Luke Hamilton

Kevin and Linda Roach

Kevin and Linda Roach

Drew Hall - my dorm my freshman year (1959)

Drew Hall – my dorm my freshman year (1959)

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Gordon finds a way to defeat UNE 66-59

Sam Johnson had a marvelous game vs UNE getting 22 points, 10 rebounds, and an efficiency rating of 26.

Sam Johnson had a marvelous game vs UNE getting 22 points, 10 rebounds, and an efficiency rating of 26.

Udoka Obiora reached a season high in minutes (14) and points (5).

Udoka Obiora reached a season high in minutes (14) and points (5).

(Amesbury)  I was going to leave this one alone.  But that was then.

I turned Wednesday’s Gordon/UNE game on in the second half and it didn’t take too long for me to join any of you also watching in saying, “Hey, what’s going on?”

UNE’s absolutely outstanding game coverage not only had the video going but beside it you could follow the accumulating stats for both teams.

A quick look at the Gordon stats revealed that freshman Sam Johnson (22 points) was having a remarkable game.  However, an even closer look revealed that three starters (Hans Miersma, Taylor Bajema, and Jason Dempsey) were unlisted.  Something was definitely going on.

From my vantage point in Amesbury (my road-game, on-site coverage will start in the tournament) I couldn’t get an answer to the, “Where are they?” question.

I continued to watch and wonder as the game unfolded and the Scots came away with a nifty, 66-59, win on Wednesday night in Biddeford (ME).

In this game, Gordon (13-8/11-4 in the CCC) was able to hang around in the first half (29-25) thanks to fourteen points from Sam Johnson.

Luke Hamilton fires another key three

Luke Hamilton fires another key three

In the second half, the Scots took the lead for good at 9:35 (44-42) on a three by senior Shaun Roach.  UNE, however, was within four (58-54) with 1:54 to go but senior Luke Hamilton doused UNE’s chances with a 3-point shot.

Last time Luke hit a shot like that was in the Gordon win at Endicott in the final minute as a two-point Gulls’ lead vanished during a delightful evening in Beverly on January 29th.

In most games there are players that get into double figures in efficiency with some occasionally getting into the 20’s.  Nothing like that in this game.  It was Sam Johnson and then everyone else.

Sam had twenty-two points and ten rebounds to register a nice 26 in efficiency.  No one else, on either team reached double figures.  The team totals weren’t pretty either.

Efficiency stat
Sam Johnson 26

Gordon 67
UNE 61

Shaun Roach (11) and Luke Hamilton (10)

Shaun Roach (11) and Luke Hamilton (10)

I loved the way Gordon played on despite missing three starters.  Players stepped up offensively and defensively to fill the void and pulled off the ugly win.

Commendable performance by 6-5 sophomore Udoka Obiora.  Udoka had played a total of twelve minutes in the previous sixteen games but in this one gave GC Coach Tod Murphy fourteen minutes, five points, and three rebounds.

Gordon will face Salve Regina (9-6) on Saturday afternoon at the Bennett Center (3PM) weather permitting.  Isn’t there always a storm in the forecast??

The three missing players?  The three of them live off campus with James Ek.  Something happened there earlier this week that led to a two-game suspension for all four of them.  They will be out of uniform and on the Gordon bench for the Salve game.

Why was I going to avoid covering this game?  I didn’t want to get into the issue of the missing players.  I just knew that the missing players had to be part of any coverage I would give.

But a wiser head in my household, asked me these questions, “Don’t the players who were available to play deserve recognition for what they did without the three starters?  Why should those who weren’t there eliminate the coverage of those who were there?”  Good questions, I thought.  So I have ended up putting together this belated coverage of a great Gordon effort.

Boxscore from the game

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Gordon takes down Endicott 80-75 before a huge crowd

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

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

A small part of a very active Endicott student section

A small part of a very active Endicott student section

(Beverly MA)  What a crowd!

And for that matter what a game!

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

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

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

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

Lachlan Magee had 22 points for Endicott

Lachlan Magee had 22 points for Endicott

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

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

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

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

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

Jason Dempsey follows through on a late-game free throw

Jason Dempsey follows through on a late-game free throw

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

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

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

Hans Miersma goes for the block

Hans Miersma goes for the block

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

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

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

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

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

Daquan Sampson tries to dunk

Daquan Sampson tries to dunk

Endicott missed two dunk attempts.

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

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

Gordon 90
Endicott 81

Box

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

Taylor Rioux

Taylor Rioux

Jason Dempsey dunks

Jason Dempsey dunks

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

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

Taylor Bajema and Lachlan Magee

Taylor Bajema and Lachlan Magee

blocking out

blocking out

Park Thomas

Park Thomas

Shaun Roach defends Chris Lipscomb

Shaun Roach defends Chris Lipscomb

Richie Armand and Chris Light

Richie Armand and Chris Light

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Gordon rolls past UNE 84-59 for fourth straight

Richie Armand breaks ahead against UNE

Richie Armand breaks ahead against UNE

Luke Hamilton (12 points) had four long ones in the first half

Luke Hamilton (12 points) had four long ones in the first half

(Wenham MA) It worked last year.  Why not try it again?

A year ago (January 8th) the underdog University of New England played at the Bennett Center and upset Gordon, 59-50.   What did it for the Nor’Easters that night was a zone defense and a very, very patient offense.

For the first 7 1/2 minutes it was same-old, same-old.  UNE had a 19-13 lead hitting four late-in-the-shot-clock three’s.

But this time around, the rest of the game was all Gordon as they rolled away from UNE, 84-59, on Wednesday night before an active crowd of students in a Commonwealth Coast Conference contest.

Two good ways to wreck a zone defense are quick passes and good outside shooting.  The Scots (7-6 overall/5-2 in CCC) were outstanding at both as the game progressed.

Their offense in the second half was amazing.  They made 18-of-25 shots (72%!) and had thirteen assists in that half.  UNE never gave up on the zone defense despite the good looks Gordon turned up.  The score reached 65-45 with 7+ minutes left and the reserves from both sides saw significant minutes.

Gordon had eight 3’s in the first half (Luke Hamilton-4, Alex Carnes-3) as quick passes set up great looks.

Park Thomas drains a last-second three to end the half

Park Thomas drains a last-second three to end the half

UNE should have guessed that it might not be their day when Luke tried a late-in-the-half three.  His shot missed but the rebound caromed directly to Park Thomas in the right-hand corner.  Park’s successful three was in the air as the halftime horn sounded.

The Scots ended with eleven 3’s.  I had to go back to a January 2010 game with Curry to find an equal to that stat.

Gordon has now won four straight and only Nichols has won more games in the conference.  A common stat in the four wins is that the Scots have had more assists than turnovers.  The difference in this one was 23-20.  A bit misleading, however, because seven of the miscues happened after Gordon had built up the 20-point lead and a heavy dose of reserves were involved.

Hans Miersma dunks

Hans Miersma dunks

That good passing I mentioned not only opened up the outside but also gave Hans Miersma (17 points) some juicy opportunities in close.  Hans made seven of eight shots.  This was the 6-9 junior’s seven straight game in double figures.

Alex Carnes finished with fourteen points, six rebounds, and three assists.

Park Thomas had an eight-assist game.

UNE (1-13 overall/1-6 in the CCC) was led in scoring by Justin Pollard.  Justin tallied thirteen points but it took him thirteen shots to get there.

The Nor’Easters have now lost seven straight.  Their only win was against Western New England on December 7th.

Neither Josh Butler nor Devin Thompson played in this one.  Devin was injured in practice a while ago and has missed four games.  He was their top scorer.  Josh had sixteen points and fifteen rebounds in UNE’s upset win at the Bennett Center last year.

Gordon travels to Quincy on Saturday to face Eastern Nazarene.  Records don’t usually mean much in this rivalry.  ENC is 10-3 overall.

Roy Ray nails a three

Roy Ray nails a three

Roy Ray hit a crowd-pleasing three late in the game.

Efficiency Stat
Hans Miersma 25
Alex Carnes 21
Luke Hamilton 18
Park Thomas 16

Gordon 108
UNE 47

Box

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

Justin Pollard gets two

Justin Pollard gets two

tough UNE defense

tough UNE defense

Alex Carnes (14 points) floats in the lane

Alex Carnes (14 points) floats in the lane

Craig McFarlane

Craig McFarlane

Udoka Obiora

Udoka Obiora

Sam Johnson

Sam Johnson

Hans Miersma and Shaun Roach battle for a rebound

Hans Miersma and Shaun Roach battle for a rebound

action in close

action in close

good Bennett Center crowd

good Bennett Center crowd

Hans Miersma set to block Kurt Steiner

Hans Miersma set to block Kurt Steiner

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Gordon survives tight one with Endicott 68-66 in CCC opener

Bennett Center crowd celebrates

Bennett Center crowd celebrates

engo A3 Andre Makris shot 2

Andre Makris gets off final shot

Andre Makris gets off final shot

(Wenham MA) There was no question that Andre Makris got the straightaway 3-pointer off in time.

The question was whether Andre’s shot would win the game (by a point) for Endicott or would Gordon escape with a two-point victory and an opening win in the Commonwealth Coast Conference.

On this Wednesday night at the jumping Bennett Center, the Scots (2-4) won by two points, 68-66, in about as exciting a finish as you can imagine.

This was a game in which Gordon took the lead early and went up by as many as fourteen points (26-12) in the first half.

The visiting Gulls (4-2) got all the way back and took their only lead (42-40) a minute plus into the second half.

The Scots regained the lead and had their advantage up to seven (53-46) but Endicott wouldn’t quit.  The Gulls were within one possession most of the last ten minutes and were tied three times the rest of the way, the last time being 66-66 with 2:13 left.

That final 2:13 was wild.  Gordon turned it over.  Endicott missed a shot.  Gordon missed a shot.  Endicott turned it over.

But with forty-nine seconds left, Park Thomas beat Greg Jacques off the dribble and avoided the block attempt of Deven Richardson to give Gordon a two-point (68-66) lead.  Incredibly, the Scots would never get out of their defensive end the rest of the game!

Endicott had the ball, after Park’s layup, with plenty of time left and, as it turned out, plenty of shot attempts.   The Gulls put up three shots and had two of them blocked by Hans Miersma.

But there were still nine second left and Endicott still had the ball.  Andre Makris got a very good look at an NBA-length three from the top of the key right at the end of those nine seconds.  Granted, Hans Miersma (6-9) made a run at him but the look was clean.  Andre’s shot was wide left and the celebrating began in the student section.

Gordon has now defeated Endicott three straight times.

Last season in the home game with Endicott, Shaun Roach surprised everyone with a 16-point performance that had much to do with Gordon’s, 70-63, win on January 15th.

Luke Hamilton (15 points)

Luke Hamilton (15 points)

John Henault (21) defended by Luke Hamilton (10)

John Henault (21) defended by Luke Hamilton (10)

The big surprise this time?  Luke Hamilton.  He was awesome on both ends of the court.  Luke (6-3/senior) had a remarkable defensive game against John Henault.

John made the Commonwealth Coast Conference second team last season and came into this game averaging 19.4 points per game.  Luke defended John into a 0-for-13 evening!

The real surprise was on the offensive end.  Luke had been shutout the previous game versus Salem State and had scored a total of fourteen points through five games.  Against Endicott he gets fifteen points making 4-of-5 three’s.  Go figure!

Another surprise was the minutes (12) and points (5) from freshman Dominic Lauture.  Dominic had only played a minute in five games but he came on versus Endicott in the first half when Park Thomas picked up his second foul.  Dominic contributed early when his five points were part of a 10-0 Gordon run that gave them a fourteen-point lead (26-12) in the first half.

Greg Jacques (21 points) and Dominic Lauture

Greg Jacques (21 points) and Dominic Lauture

Senior Greg Jacques (transfer from Bentley) had a big night for Endicott with twenty-one points and four steals.

An important sequence was in the second half when Stephen Basden picked up his 4th foul.  The freshman from Lynn complained about the foul and got a technical foul.  That gave him five fouls and he was lost to Endicott for the last 16 1/2 minutes of the game.  Stephen (I saw him play the last two seasons at Governor’s Academy) had been doing a solid defensive job on Park Thomas.  Park had nine points after Stephen left including the winning basket.

Missing from Endicott was Lance Greene.  Lance is now a graduate assistant at Springfield College.  I can guarantee you that the ball would have been in Lance’s hands during much of Endicott’s final possession if he had been available.  Two years ago, in a tie game at the Bennett Center, Lance put up the winning score.

The home crowd was terrific.  On their feet the whole way, they never let up.

Hans Miersma defended by Andre Makris

Hans Miersma defended by Andre Makris

The Gulls did a nice job defending Hans Miersma.  An extra defender slid over to help every time Hans touched the ball.  Hans was held to eight points but still contributed in a big way with five blocks including two in the last seventeen seconds of the game.

Gordon travels to Dudley (MA) to play Nichols at noon on Saturday.  The Bisons routed Roger Williams in their CCC opener.

Endicott gets undefeated Eastern Nazarene at home on Saturday.

Alex Carnes had twelve points for Gordon while Daquan Sampson and Andre Makris did the same for Endicott.

Efficiency List
Greg Jacques 21
Park Thomas 20
Luke Hamilton 16
Daquan Sampson 15
Hans Miersma 14

Gordon 71
Endicott 76

Boxscore

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

Daquan Sampson (12 points)

Daquan Sampson (12 points)

Andre Makris (22) goes for a block

Andre Makris (22) goes for a block

Taylor Bajema breaks in

Taylor Bajema breaks in

Hans Miersma gets a late-game block

Hans Miersma gets a late-game block

Park Thomas shots technical foul shots

Park Thomas shots technical foul shots

Kamahl Walker and Dominic Lauture

Kamahl Walker and Dominic Lauture

Endicott coach Phil Rowe

Endicott coach Phil Rowe

Deven Richardson tries to jam

Deven Richardson tries to jam

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Gordon gains CCC finals with 73-54 win over Wentworth

Plenty of excitement at the Bennett Center as Gordon defeats Wentworth and reaches the CCC finals

Plenty of excitement at the Bennett Center as Gordon defeats Wentworth and reaches the CCC finals

(Wenham)  On to the finals.

Hans Miersma (14 points) spins in for two

Hans Miersma (14 points) spins in for two

Gordon (21-6) overpowered Wentworth, 73-54, on Thursday night at the Bennett Center and earned the right to a third try at the Curry Colonels.

The winner at Curry on Saturday (game time – 2PM) becomes the Commonwealth Coast Conference champion.

This will be the first time the Scots have been to the CCC finals since 2010.  Gordon won its first conference basketball title on February 27, 2010 against Curry (56-54) in arguably the most exciting game ever played at the Bennett Center.  Ask anyone who was there!

In tonight’s game, Wentworth had trouble scoring points (16 points in the first half).  The Leopards went down by double digits (23-13) with 7 ½ minutes left in the first half and never could never get inside of ten points the rest of the way.

The best the #3 seed could do in the second half was a fourteen point deficit (45-31).

Shots were falling for the Scots and for the second playoff game in a row the concern about a loss was missing for most of the second half.

Hans Miersma was the dominant player in the game.  He had an offensive efficiency rating of +29 because of a stat line that included: 14 points, 10 rebounds, 4 blocks, and 2 assist.  The CCC’s Defensive Player of the Year had no turnovers.

James Ek (nine points) hit three long ones

James Ek (nine points) hit three long ones

The Scots broke open a close game (15-13) with a run of eleven straight over 4 ½ minutes.  The catalyst was James Ek coming off the bench and nailing two 3’s in less than a minute.  Also contributing points was Hans with an old-fashioned three and a jump shot.

That surge gave Gordon a, 26-13, spread at 6:18 of the first half and Wentworth, on this night, couldn’t muster the firepower to put a collection of points together to get inside ten points afterwards.

In the second half, the Scots turned a 45-31 advantage into a twenty-one point lead (52-31 at 10:21) with a run of seven straight points.  The damage was done by Jason Dempsey (jump shot), Alex Carnes (free throw), Taylor Bajema (jump shot), and Hans Miersma (layup).

Gordon had things working inside and outside.  Nothing in either area was easy but patience often produced high percentage attempts.  The Scots shot 54.9% for the game.  That’s the sixth straight game they’ve shot over 50%.

In double figures for Wentworth were: Derek Mayo (13), Colin Johnson (11), Nico Donato (10), and JohnMichael Fragnoli (10).

JohnMichael and Colin had dunks during the game.

The Scots have won nine straight and fourteen of their last fifteen games.  Last loss was to Curry and Saturday they have a chance to avenge the defeat and take the title.

Jason Dempsey (10 points) hustles after an offensive rebound

Jason Dempsey (10 points) hustles after an offensive rebound

Jason Dempsey (10 points) had a season high in offensive rebounds (5).

James Ek’s nine points are a career high.  Nice to have players come off the bench and make positive contributions.

Luke Hamilton, with his folks from NC in the stands, tallied thirteen points all in the second half.  The junior has been in double figures in four straight games.

This was Hans Miersma’s eleventh double/double.  Talk about hot, in the last seven games the sophomore has made 28-of-36 shot attempts.  He was 6-for-6 in this game.

Park Thomas (11 points) and Nico Donato (10 points)

Park Thomas (11 points) and Nico Donato (10 points)

Park Thomas (11 points) tied a season high in rebounds (7).

David Dempsey was held to a quiet (for him) seven points.  The beauty of the 2012-13 team is that one player doesn’t have to carry the scoring load in every game in order for the Scots to win.

The Bennett Center crowd was large and noisy.  They filled the sixth man role very nicely.  I wonder how many of them will take the trip to Milton on Saturday to look in at a possible Gordon championship?  Having seen the title game at the Bennett Center in 2010 I can tell you that there’s nothing quite like it.

Special thanks to Gordon SID Bess Watson and her staff for taking care of my stat needs.

Scott Allenby and wife Lindsey were in the house.  They are expecting their third child.

Top five in Offensive Efficiency Rating:
Hans Miersma +29
Nico Donato +18
Jason Dempsey +16
Luke Hamilton +15
Park Thomas +15

Team totals in Offensive Efficiency Rating:
Gordon +101
Wentworth +55

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 if you click on them.)

David Dempsey gets into the lane

David Dempsey gets into the lane

Hans Miersma sets a screen

Hans Miersma sets a screen

looking for a rebound

looking for a rebound

David Dempsey and Corey Therriault

David Dempsey and Corey Therriault

Luke Hamilton (13 points) puts up a three

Luke Hamilton (13 points) puts up a three

Hans Miersma gets fouled by Derek Mayo

Hans Miersma gets fouled by Derek Mayo

Alex Carnes goes baseline

Alex Carnes goes baseline

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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 shoots well in 69-48 win over Roger Williams

Luke Hamilton (10) led all scorers with fourteen points including four from long range

Luke Hamilton (10) led all scorers with fourteen points including four from long range

Hans Miersma (10 points and 11 rebounds) draws a crowd of defenders

Hans Miersma (10 points and 11 rebounds) draws a crowd of defenders

(Wenham) Gordon (8-5) made shots early and never trailed as they defeated Roger Williams, 69-48, at the Bennett Center on Thursday night in Commonwealth Coast Conference action.

The Scots (3-3 in the CCC) posted season-high numbers long range (10-for-14) combined with 41-21 domination on the boards.

The undersized Hawks (5-8) showed plenty of grit as they fought back from a 29-13 deficit and closed out the first half with a ten-point run that left them trailing only, 29-23.

The team from Bristol (RI) was still in contention (47-38) with nearly eleven minutes to go but in the next five minutes Gordon doubled their lead to, 59-41, and the Hawks were finished.

The crucial breakaway 12-3 segment was started by a steal and dunk by David Dempsey.  Brother Jason then assisted Park Thomas on a three and made a jump shot himself.  The other points came via Park Thomas assists to Taylor Bajema (layup) and Luke Hamilton (three).

Will Gerencer (33) paced Roger Williams with eleven points

Will Gerencer (33) paced Roger Williams with eleven points

There was almost no way to gauge prior to this game how it would go.  Roger Williams had defeated UNE, 63-45, on Saturday while Gordon lost to UNE, 59-50, three days later.  The Scots had won five straight before the humiliating UNE loss and you had to wonder if they could recover or would they start to build a losing streak.

The wonderment disappeared real fast as the Scots came out making shots down one end while limiting shots down the other.  The visitors were down 11-0 after seven minutes before getting any points.  Gordon, however, injected uncertainty about the final outcome by going scoreless in the final 4 ½ minutes of the first half and allowing RW to get back within six.

The Nervous Nellies in the Gordon fan base continued to worry for about half of the second half.  The Hawks, like UNE did on Tuesday night, stayed close enough to be a good point spurt from making things very interesting.

RW, however, hit a 12-3 cold spell midway through the second half and never recovered.

Gordon shot 56.5 % for the game.  Wouldn’t it have been nice to have had some of that accurate shooting on Tuesday night!

Park Thomas defended by Myles Brilhante

Park Thomas defended by Myles Brilhante

Luke Hamilton led Gordon with a season-high fourteen points including four 3’s.  Taylor Bajema (11 points), Park Thomas (10 points), and Hans Miersma (10 points) also reached double figures.

Hans added eleven rebounds to his totals.  This was his seventh double/double of the season.

Will Gerencer (11 points) was the lone Hawk to reach double figures.

Taylor Bajema had his most efficient game of the season earning a +18.

Shaun Roach played well off the bench getting a career-high six assists.

Gordon finished with twenty-two turnovers getting an unconscionable seventeen in the first half.  However, a number of those turnovers were on offensive fouls.

The Scots registered twenty-two points in the second half in the paint.  No wonder their shooting percentage was so high!

Jason Dempsey jams

Jason Dempsey jams

Both Dempsey brothers had dunks in this one.

Gordon’s next game is on Saturday in Newport (RI) against Salve Regina (7-5) at 3PM.

The Scots next home game is Tuesday versus our neighbors from Beverly.  The GC students will be back and hopefully in the stands for that always interesting matchup.

Roger Williams (2-4 in the CCC) will host Wentworth on Saturday.

Top Five Players in this game in efficiency:
Taylor Bajema +18
Hans Miersma +18
Luke Hamilton +13
Jason Dempsey +10
Shaun Roach +10

Team stats for this game in efficiency:
Gordon +96
Roger Williams +37

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.)

Taylor Bajema heads for the basket

Taylor Bajema heads for the basket

David Dempsey dunk

David Dempsey dunk

Adam Cook and Hans Miersma

Adam Cook and Hans Miersma

Craig McFarlane and Travis Fonseca

Craig McFarlane and Travis Fonseca

Dan Hurley

Dan Hurley

Richie Armand passes

Richie Armand passes

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