Tag Archives: Taylor Bajema

Gordon reaches 125

(Wenham MA) Another commencement and with it the loosening of connections with some players/families from Gordon College men’s basketball.

This time around there were four players: Taylor Bajema, Hans Miersma, Craig McFarlane, and Jason Dempsey. And with each of the players comes family that we have gotten to know in special ways.

The graduation “casualties” don’t hit me until the opening game of the next season.

The weather was a major consideration for this outdoor event. It was raining in Connecticut and we experienced drizzling on our way to Gordon from Amesbury. We were on campus an hour early and there were plenty of umbrellas in place. BUT GOD kept the showers away from campus. PTL

Julie and I wish the graduates well. Hopefully they will turn up at some games next season.

Below are an assortment of the pictures I took at the 125th Gordon Graduation.

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

Craig McFarlane

Craig McFarlane

David and Jason

David and Jason

Jason and Dominic

Jason and Dominic

Dempsey family

Dempsey family

Jason and significant other

Jason and significant other

Josh

Josh

Shawn Roach

Shawn Roach

Pam & Jeff with Taylor

Pam & Jeff with Taylor

Bajema brothers

Bajema brothers

Craig with his mother

Craig with his mother

Miersma family

Miersma family

Graduation crowd

Graduation crowd

Hans, Taylor, Jason

Hans, Taylor, Jason

Birdseye view

Birdseye view

 

 

 

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Hans Miersma dominates in Gordon’s 68-57 win over Curry

Hans Miersma (20 points) starts the Gordon scoring with a dunk

Hans Miersma (20 points) starts the Gordon scoring with a dunk

Hans Miersma gets one of his nineteen rebounds.

Hans Miersma gets one of his nineteen rebounds.

(Wenham MA) Hans Miersma didn’t take any chances on Senior Recognition Day.

The 6-9 senior already had his 38th career double/double taken care of by halftime as he led Gordon to a 68-57 win over Curry on Sunday afternoon.

Hans finished with 20 points and 19 rebounds in a dominating performance.  He also tied a career mark in made free throws with eight.

Curry (4-17) had an early lead at 10-8 but a 10-1 GC run followed, including two Sam Johnson layups, that put the Scots (9-12) in front for good.

Gordon would push their advantage to double figures and led at the half, 33-24.  Hans had three blocks in the final thirty-four seconds.

Antonio Jones (18 points) looks for an opening

Antonio Jones (18 points) looks for an opening

In a familiar pattern, the Scots looked very strong for part of the second half but then saw an opponent close on them.  Antonio Jones (18 points) dropped thirteen of those points in the second half and had the Colonels within six (63-57) with 1:45 left.  A loss on Seniors’ Day to the last-place team in the Commonwealth Coast Conference was averted by clutch shots in the end game.  Curry missed two 3’s while Gordon collected two free throws (Hans) and a run-down-the-clock three by Craig McFarlane to close the game on a happy note.

Plenty of returning players on hand for the Gordon Alumni game in the morning.

With the win the Scots broke an ugly string of four straight losses at the Bennett Center.  In a 9-12 season (so far) the 2-7 record at home probably tops the unexpected list for the 2014-15 season.  Gordon has two more chances (UNE and Roger Williams) to improve the home slate.

James Pina (12 points) drives baseline

James Pina (12 points) drives baseline

The win over Curry puts GC in a tie with Western New England for fifth place in the CCC.  The Scots hold the tie-breaker over Western New England and would face 4th place Wentworth at Wentworth if the CCC playoffs started this week.  However, there are four CCC games left.

Jason Dempsey was back after missing four games with a knee problem.

Taylor Bajema has a cast on the thumb he badly injured at the end of the Western New England game four days ago.  He could be back playing before the season is over.

Jaren Yang had a big second half making three 3’s.  With his quickness and dribbling skills he is able to create his own scoring opportunities.

Craig McFarlane (9 points) defends Danny Brooks

Craig McFarlane (9 points) defends Danny Brooks

Nice event after the game honoring GC’s four seniors (Craig McFarlane, Taylor Bajema, Hans Miersma, Jason Dempsey).

Efficiency
Hans Miersma 39 (he also had a 39 vs. Endicott)
James Pina 12 (12 points)
Jason Dempsey 10 (8 points/6 rebounds)
Sam Johnson 10 (9 points/5 rebounds)

Gordon 85
Curry 56

Boxscore

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)cugo A17 Keith Krass

Dominic Paradis and Paul Preziosi

Dominic Paradis and Paul Preziosi

Jaren Yang tries to save

Jaren Yang tries to save

Jake Hart breaks in

Jake Hart breaks in

Danny Brooks dunks

Danny Brooks dunks

Hans Miersma gets one of his six blocks

Hans Miersma gets one of his six blocks

Jaren Yang defended by Jordan Vieira

Jaren Yang defended by Jordan Vieira

Blasts from the past

Blasts from the past

cugo A13 Hans familycugo A14 Taylors familycugo A15 Jasons familycugo A16 craigs family

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Richie Armand’s late three saves Gordon 59-57 at Western New England

Richie Armand (shown here against Babson) hit a three with five seconds left against Western New England to give GC the win

Richie Armand (shown here against Babson) hit a three with five seconds left against Western New England to give GC the win

Taylor Bajema (shown here against Roger Williams) had 12 points, 8 rebounds, and assisted on the winning basket

Taylor Bajema (shown here against Roger Williams) had 12 points, 8 rebounds, and assisted on the winning basket

(Amesbury MA) Wow!

Richie Armand hit a three with five seconds left and Gordon pulled off a tense 59-57 Commonwealth Coast Conference win at Springfield over Western New England on Tuesday night.

Frustrating loss for the Golden Bears (8-12).  The home team led most of the game and reached a 16-point margin (44-28) five minutes into the second half.  But the Scots (8-11) ran twelve straight (baskets by Sam Johnson, Taylor Bajema, Dominic Paradis, and Hans Miersma) to get back into contention.  With four minutes left, Hans tied the game, 52-52, with a free throw.  The rest of the game was a search for a really big shot.

Taylor tied the score with a jump shot with 55 seconds left.  WNE’s Musa Elsir followed with one of two free throws at 37 seconds putting the Golden Bears in front by a point (57-56).

The Scots needed two for the win but instead got a three from Richie with an assist to Taylor with five seconds left.

Mike Gelineau of Western New England shoots for the tie

Mike Gelineau of Western New England shoots for the tie

The last time the two teams played Mike Gelineau took a buzzer-beating shot from mid-court for a tie and missed.  In this game it was Mike shooting again, this time from in front of the WNE bench.  Mike’s shot just missed as the buzzer sounded.  That make would have been a game-winner!

Gordon played without Jason Dempsey (fluid on the knee) again.  Jason had 18 points and 10 rebounds in the first meeting.

Taylor Bajema, who had missed the first game versus Western New England, topped the Efficiency chart with an 18.  He had twelve points and eight rebounds.

The GB’s had won four straight Commonwealth Coast Conference games before the Gordon loss.

Similar to Gordon, the Golden Bears struggle mightily at home (2-10) but are 6-2 on the road.  Gordon is 1-7 at home and 6-4 away from the formerly friendly confines of the Bennett Center.

The Scots will be in Dudley, weather permitting, to face undefeated Nichols on Thursday night.  Now that’s a road win that would get some serious attention!

Freshman Jaren Yang has a string of twenty straight free throws going

Freshman Jaren Yang has a string of twenty straight free throws going

Jaren Yang has now made twenty straight free throws.

Sam Johnson (six points/seven rebounds) and Dominic Paradis (10 points/six rebounds) came off the Gordon bench to make significant contributions.

Efficiency
Taylor Bajema 18
Hans Miersma 14 (14 points/9 rebounds)
Musa Elsir 14 (13 points)
Sam Johnson 12
Dominic Paradis 11

Gordon 73
Western New England 63

Boxscore

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Eastern Nazarene wins 71-68 thriller at Gordon

Taylor Bajema (28 points) had nineteen points in the first half

Taylor Bajema (28 points) had nineteen points in the first half

Jaylen Owens (three assists in the end game)

Jaylen Owens (three assists in the end game)

(Wenham MA) I don’t generally enjoy losses but this afternoon’s game with Eastern Nazarene was downright entertaining.

Yes, ENC won, 71-68, but this game had plenty to cheer about for the Gordon faithful.

Unlike the other two losses this past week, the Scots got off to a great start and stayed strong when ENC came back at them.

Taylor Bajema (career-high 28 points) had nineteen in the first half. ENC chose to over-defend Hans Miersma and left lanes open to the basket with no shot-blockers available to help. Taylor took advantage time after time.

Despite the great start (Gordon was up by twelve at one point) you knew the now 14-1 Lions could come back. Too many good shooters (9-for-18 long range). Too many good defenders (10 steals).

The beauty of this game was that once ENC took their biggest lead of the day (41-36) in the second half Gordon refused to go away.

In the last 9+ minutes of this game there were six lead changes, seven ties, and neither team led by more than three points. That’s why this game was such a delight to watch. And with sizable group of ENC followers in the house there was plenty of noise from both fan bases as this one played out.

If this were an ENC blog what you’ll read in the next few paragraphs would have been at the beginning.

Justin Wagner and Jaylen Owens rescued the Lions from a huge upset at the hands of Gordon in the closing 1+ minutes.

Justin had a steal (from Craig McFarlane) with twenty seconds left as Gordon tried to run down the clock in a tie game and get the last shot.

Instead of trying to break with the steal Justin pulled up and now it was ENC’s time for the last shot. Enter Jaylen Owens. The first-team CCC guard (an assist in each of the final three ENC possessions) looked to penetrate as time ran down but then dribbled to the right and set up Justin for the game-winner in front of the ENC bench. The shot by Justin (only his second of the game) was clean and the visitors from Quincy had a 3-point lead and the win (71-68) after Gordon threw away an attempt to set up a desperation shot at the buzzer.

Justin Wagner sets after getting a pass from Jaylen Owens (#3)

Justin Wagner sets after getting a pass from Jaylen Owens (#3)

The game-winner in the air

The game-winner in the air

Justin Wagner (#22) mobbed by teammates

Justin Wagner (#22) mobbed by teammates

Exciting win for Eastern Nazarene. Ahead for them on Tuesday night is hosting undefeated (in the CCC) Nichols.

ENC’s only loss this season was to Endicott.

The Lions have only one senior.

Gordon (6-9) will look to stop a 3-game slide at Roger Williams on Tuesday night.

Hans Miersma (11 points - 18 rebounds) gets two points

Hans Miersma (11 points – 18 rebounds) gets two points

One of the subplots in the ENC/Gordon game was whether or not Hans Miersma would reach 1000 points. He needed fourteen points but ended with eleven points. Don’t bet against the 6-9 senior getting to 1000 on Tuesday night in Bristol, Rhode Island.

I love the efficiency stat for estimating how well players and teams perform. That stat is figured by deleting the negative stats from the positive stats. Generally the team totals coincide with the actual winner of the game. Not this time.

Efficiency

Taylor Bajema 26 (28 points)
Hans Miersma 25 (18 rebounds)
Jason Dempsey 17 (12 points/4 steals)
Corey Doran 13 (13 points on 6-for-8 shooting)
Jeremy Wagner 13 (9 points/5 rebounds/1 missed shot)

Gordon 84 (shot over 50%)
ENC 80 (10 steals)

Where’s Jaylen Owens on the list? Yes, he scored fifteen points and had six assists but he missed twelve shots.

Roy Ray was in the house along with Jordan Kelly.

Boxscore

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

Corey Doran (13 points) jams

Corey Doran (13 points) jams

Taylor Bajema gives Gordon the lead

Taylor Bajema gives Gordon the lead

Justin Wagner defends Richie Armand

Justin Wagner defends Richie Armand

Waiting for play to resume

Waiting for play to resume

Craig McFarlane gets to the rim

Craig McFarlane gets to the rim

Jason Dempsey fouls out on this block attempt

Jason Dempsey fouls out on this block attempt

Roy Ray returns to the Bennett Center

Roy Ray returns to the Bennett Center

Hans Miersma defended by Alex Jarman

Hans Miersma defended by Alex Jarman

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Gordon tops Curry 58-49 notching 4th straight

Taylor Bajema (15 points) helped Gordon to get off to a fast start

Taylor Bajema (15 points) helped Gordon to get off to a fast start

(Amesbury MA) It wasn’t smooth (I’m not referring to the delivery of the “live stats”) but Gordon (6-6) got it done at Curry, 58-49, on Thursday night in a Commonwealth Coast Conference matchup.

Like Tuesday’s Western New England game, the Scots (3-2 in the CCC) built up what seemed to be a comfortable lead and then squandered it.  But, also similar to the WN game, Gordon had the finishing touch needed to win.

Curry (2-10) lost its seventh straight game.  They have not won since late November and are 0-5 in the CCC.

Gordon has now put four straight victories together.  Their next game is hosting Salve Regina on Saturday (3PM).

Hans Miersma had a quiet evening (for him) statistically but the Curry defense on him opened up chances for his teammates

Hans Miersma had a quiet evening (for him) statistically but the Curry defense on him opened up chances for his teammates

Hans Miersma had season lows in points (5), rebounds (4), and shots attempted (2) but the 6-9 senior’s teammates picked up the slack on this evening in Milton.

Frustrating game for the Colonels.  They came back from sixteen points down (30-14) in the first half to tie the score at 40-40 in the second half with 10:46 left.  The Scots then put eight straight together and Curry never recovered.

Taylor Bajema (15 points) returned after missing a game and had nine points in the first half as Gordon led, 36-22, at the half.  Glaring statistics revealed how uneven both teams were playing.  Gordon had fourteen turnovers while Curry had one assist.

The Scots gave away the halftime margin in less than ten minutes.  They did make two layups but they also missed four three’s and committed two turnovers.  Meanwhile, the Colonels played better putting an 18-4 run together and had a 40-40 tie with almost half of the second half to play.

Dominic Paradis had three 3-pointers versus the Colonels

Dominic Paradis had three 3-pointers versus the Colonels

But Curry could never get the lead.  In fact in the next 2+ minutes Gordon did all the scoring and restored an eight-point spread.  A three by Dominic Paradis (he had three of them), a layup by Jason Dempsey, and a layup and a free throw by Sam Johnson produced the break-away points.

Curry did cut the lead to four (53-49) with 2:12 left but thereafter Gordon made 5-of-6 free throws, had a block (Hans Miersma) and a steal (Jaren Yang) to preserve the win.

Efficiency

Jason Dempsey 15 (15 points/9 rebounds)
Danny Brooks 15 (18 points/8 rebounds)
Hans Miersma 11 (3 blocks)
Taylor Bajema 10 (15 points)

Gordon 65
Currier 41

Curry had one sequence in the first half in which they missed four shots and had three offensive rebounds.  Shooting has hurt the Colonels all season.  Three assists for the game would suggest that too much one-on-one play is going on.

When Hans gets only two shots you know even from Amesbury that the Curry defense was sagging in around him.  That help-defense opened up the long shot for Hans’ teammates and they attempted a season-high twenty-one of them.  They made seven.

Udoka Obiora blocked four Curry shots

Udoka Obiora blocked four Curry shots

Ukoka Obiora had four blocks.

Watching the live stats from Curry was an adventure.  They would appear in a clump.  In the second half a batch took Gordon from a comfortable lead to a tie game.  Later Curry was within four with a couple of minutes left.  Believe me, those few minutes of waiting seemed like ten minutes!  But all is well, if the team you favor finds a way.

Box from the game

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Turnovers key in Gordon’s 79-76 loss to nonleague Fisher

Hans Miersma (18 rebounds)

Hans Miersma (18 rebounds)

Taylor Bajema (21 points)

Taylor Bajema (21 points)

Jason Dempsey (18 points)

Jason Dempsey (18 points)

 

 

 

 

 

(Newtown CT) Gordon did almost everything right.

When the game with Fisher ended, however, an ongoing Scots’ deficiency overrode the positives and led to a 79-76 loss on Thursday night.

(My wife and I are in Newtown tending our granddaughters.)

Negligent ball care (26 turnovers) ruined the glow of outstanding performances by Hans Miersma, Jason Dempsey, and Taylor Bajema.

The contest was non-league and played in Lynn (MA).

Even factoring in the frightening turnover total, the Scots (2-6) were more efficient (96) than were the 8-3 Falcons (88).  For those new to what “efficient” means let me explain how the total is figured: I take the negative stats (missed field goals, missed free throws, turnovers) and subtract them from the positive stats (points, rebounds, blocks, steals, assists).  Usually the losing team comes out on the wrong end of the efficiency stats but not this time.

A look at the efficiency numbers however did reveal remarkable games by Hans (37), Jason (23), and Taylor (19).  If all you knew were those personal efficiency numbers you’d almost be certain a GC win had happened but instead even those numbers weren’t enough to avert a third straight loss.

Gordon had a field day in close to the basket getting 46 points in the paint.  Taking most of their shots in high-percentage areas helped the Scots shoot a remarkable 55.4%, which was a season high.

This game was close throughout.  The Falcons from Boston took the lead for good with five minutes left.  The rest of the way backbreaking 3’s by Kyle Holmes (2) and Tyler Shuler (1), plus seven straight made free throws in the last thirty-four seconds, denied GC comeback attempts.

Kyle ended up with sixteen points and four steals.  Tyler added eighteen points and three steals.

Carter Bras - 7 points and five rebounds vs Fisher

Carter Bras – 7 points and five rebounds vs Fisher

This was easily Gordon freshman Carter Bras’ best game.  The newcomer contributed seven points and five rebounds.

The Falcon’s game-long tenacity on defense was the ultimate game decider.  Fisher forced twenty-six Gordon turnovers and even more important turned the miscues into thirty-three points!  So the average cost to GC for every turnover was over one point.  That is very heavy price to pay.  From my long-range vantage point that looks like a game with an overdose of “steal-two’s” to me.

In the games I’ve actually seen, most of the turnovers have happened because guards try to dribble through double teams or because players in the paint are untuned to weakside defense giving help.  In both scenarios GC players are getting ganged up on by multiple defenders and are still trying to dribble in such a high risk setup.

The bottom line is that if Gordon had tamed the turnovers they would have won the game.  The Scots will get a chance to attempt some of that “taming” at 5PM on Saturday versus 1-5 Lesley in Cambridge.  Last game before the Christmas break.

Name drop for me from the Lesley roster: Casey Blanchard.  The name seemed familiar to me.  Sure enough research revealed that the last time I saw the Lesley junior play was in the Division 3 Massachusetts state baseball championship against Newburyport in June of 2011. Casey had two hits in Pioneer Valley’s 9-4 loss.  That game was played on the same day the Stanley Cup Boston Bruins had their parade through the streets of Boston.

It is hard to imagine a college, like Fisher, not having its own gymnasium, isn’t it.  But it wasn’t that long ago that Gordon played its home games at Beverly Memorial.  Okay, it was long ago but the luxury of having an on-campus athletic facility is not lost on those of us who go back to those off-campus days.

Efficiency
Hans Miersma 37 (16 points/18 rebounds/7 blocks)
Jason Dempsey 23 (18 points/8 rebounds)
Tyler Shular 21 (18 points/3 steals)
Taylor Bajema 19 (21 points/4 assists)
Kyle Holmes 15 (16 points/4 steals)

Gordon 96
Fisher 88

Boxscore

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Taylor Bajema career game not enough as MIT tops Gordon 64-51

Taylor Bajema (19 points) led all scorers

Taylor Bajema (19 points) led all scorers

Ryan Frankel (18 points and 8 assists)

Ryan Frankel (18 points and 8 assists)

(Wenham MA) A career game by senor Taylor Bajema was a sight to behold but not enough to carry the Scots past MIT in the home opener on Tuesday night.

The Engineers (1-0) of Cambridge had size on Gordon and a much more consistent flow of offense as they won this non-league contest, 64-51.

The bright light in the loss was Taylor Bajema.  His points (19) led all scorers and matched his career high.  He had nineteen against Wheaton (Norton MA) as a sophomore.  Versus MIT, Taylor paced Gordon in rebounds (7) and assists (5).  One game doesn’t make a season, but in this one Taylor put up the numbers of the graduated Alex Carnes.  That’s a good thing!

MIT did a terrific job of neutralizing Gordon’s inside game.  Any team that shuts out Jason Dempsey (0-for-8) and limits Hans Miersma to six points and five rebounds will handle the Scots.  In last year’s loss at Cambridge, Hans had eighteen points and thirteen rebounds.  Certainly nothing close to that in tonight’s sixth straight loss to the Engineers.

Andrew Acker (16 points) keeps the ball from Hans Miersma

Andrew Acker (16 points) keeps the ball from Hans Miersma

Andrew Acker turned in a double/double for MIT with 16 points and 10 rebounds.  Justin Pedley (18 points) clicked five times (in ten tries) from down town.  Point guard Ryan Frankel (18 points) was excellent with zero turnovers and a game-high eight assists.

The bottom line?  MIT is very good and the team we saw at the Bennett Center was missing its best player, Matt Redfield.  The 6-8 senior last year averaged 13 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks.  Okay, MIT is potentially scary good!

Two serious scoring droughts did in Gordon.  In the first half, a 14-14 tie evolved into a 25-15 deficit during a 4 1/2 minute stretch.  In the second half, MIT put an 18-4 run together (GC was 1-for-7 with 3 turnovers) and moved to complete control (56-39) with 7:49 left.

The key to Taylor Bajema’s big game?  Taking the ball to the hoop even against the traffic of taller defenders.  Taylor’s ability to finish off the dribble should loosen some of the tight defenses Hans Miersma faces.

Jaren Yang guards Ryan Frankel

Jaren Yang guards Ryan Frankel

With last year’s point guard Park Thomas graduated, I wondered if GC would be able to handle pressure.  MIT never used it so time will tell in that area.  Freshman Jaren Yang handled the point for 31 minutes.  He certainly is quick and he certainly can dribble.  Shooting? Four-of-eleven including two-of-eight from long range.  The best stat for Jaren, in my opinion, was zero turnovers.  The stat that needs to change?  One assist.

Besides Jaren, those at the Bennett Center got their first looks at Dylan Marshall, Jake Hart, and Graham Tienhaara.  Dylan (5-10) ended up matched against 6-6 Justin Pedley.

It was nice to see the banner in the rafters for Gordon’s 2013-14 Commonwealth Coast Conference basketball championship season.  The wonderful after-taste of the Scots remarkable comeback in the championship game at Nichols may never leave.

Dominic Paradis (12 points) sees an opening

Dominic Paradis (12 points) sees an opening

MIT has won 20 or more games for six straight seasons.

MIT (NEWMAC) and Gordon (CCC) were both picked to finish second in their conferences in this year’s preseason poll.  WPI is the choice in the NEWMAC while Easter Nazarene gets it in the CCC.

Second game for the Scots is at Rochester (NY) at 6PM on Friday night.  No, I won’t be there.  Saturday may provide a rematch with Utica.  Gordon faced Utica in the NCAA D3 post-season in 2006 at WPI.

Efficiency stats: Taylor Bajema 25, Ryan Frankel 20, Andrew Acker 20, Justin Pedley 13, Dominic Paradis 13

Team efficiency stats: MIT 73, Gordon 56

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

Andrew Acker and Udoka Obiora

Andrew Acker and Udoka Obiora

Jason Dempsey goes for the block

Jason Dempsey goes for the block

Mine!

Mine!

Jason Dempsey gets over Tim Butala

Jason Dempsey gets over Tim Butala

Justin Pedley and Taylor Bajema

Justin Pedley and Taylor Bajema

Jaren Yang gets two

Jaren Yang gets two

Hans Miersma in scoring position

Hans Miersma in scoring position

Freshman Jake Hart

Freshman Jake Hart

Justin Pedley (five 3-pointers)

Justin Pedley (five 3-pointers)

Freshman Jaren Yang

Freshman Jaren Yang

Freshman Graham Tienhaara

Freshman Graham Tienhaara

 

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“We’re going to the ‘ship”

Jason Dempsey registered a career-high 18 points against Wentworth

Jason Dempsey registered a career-high 18 points against Wentworth

Park Thomas reached 1000 points in his last game at the Bennett Center

Park Thomas reached 1000 points in his last game at the Bennett Center

(Wenham MA) “We’re going to the ‘ship,” the Gordon faithful chanted as time ran out on Thursday night at the Bennett Center.

Yes, indeed, Gordon is back in the Commonwealth Coast Conference championship game after defeating Wentworth, 66-55, in a rematch of last year’s semi-final matchup.

The setting to settle the 2013-14 CCC champ will be held in Dudley (MA) at the home of the #1 seed Nichols Bison on Saturday (2PM).

Last year the Scots were at jam-packed Curry (1100 spectators) for the CCC championship game.  Gordon fell behind early in that one and never could find a way of catching up and ended up losing, 69-63.

Nichols (22-5) squeaked by Salve Regina in overtime tonight to reach the CCC basketball championship game for the first time ever.  The Bison have two wins over Gordon this season.

Hans Miersma blocks the shot of Derek Mayo

Hans Miersma blocks the shot of Derek Mayo

Versus Wentworth (12-15) in the CCC semi-finals, the Scots never trailed.  Hans Miersma opened the scoring with a dunk and Gordon was off to dominating performance around the basket.  On this night, Gordon would register twenty-eight points in the paint.

Wentworth resisted the urge, most of the night, to try getting to the basket.  They settled for jump shots and 3-point attempts.  They had only eight points in the paint the entire game.

The Leopards hoped to control tempo, make outside shots, and keep the ball away from 6-9 Hans Miersma.  The visitors from Boston got the last one done but not the other two.

However, by defending Hans with 1+ defenders, WIT opened the way for 6-7 Jason Dempsey to see single coverage.  Jason was able to collect a career-high eighteen points including thirteen in the second half.

In his final game at the Bennett Center, senior Park Thomas reached the 1000-point plateau with a free throw late in the game.

Jason Dempsey was 8-for-9 shooting free throws

Jason Dempsey was 8-for-9 shooting free throws

The eye-catching thing for me in the game was the Gordon foul shooting.  It was an amazing 25-for-29.  Jason was 8-for-9 while Park was 8-for-10.  Maybe those free throws flow a bit easier when your team never trails and leads by as many as twenty points in the second half.

The Scots (16-10) broke open an 8-5 lead with nine straight points.  Hans had two inside scores while Park had a fancy layup and Alex Carnes nailed a 3-pointer in the Gordon run.

Gordon led, 31-21, at the half.

That lead would grow to a comfortable twenty (49-29) with 10:39 left on a how-did-he-do-that tip by Jason Dempsey.

Jherson Colon (20 points) gets a layup

Jherson Colon (20 points) gets a layup

But Wentworth didn’t drive to Wenham to be blown out.  They had upset ENC two days earlier and they had defeated Gordon at the Bennett Center in early January.  Over the next six minutes the Leopards put a 16-6 run together and with 4 1/2 minutes left trailed by only ten.  A couple of three’s by Scott Moran paced WIT in their comeback.

The Leopards were within nine (57-48) with 2:57 to go in somebody’s season.  It was nervous time in Wenham.

Junior Taylor Bajema, however, followed with two huge plays to douse WIT comeback plans.  First he snagged an offensive rebound and turned it into an old-fashioned 3-point play.  Then Taylor had a steal that led to two Park Thomas free throws.  When those plays were done Gordon was back in command (62-48) and on their way to the championship game.

Sam Johnson draws a charge on Ronnie Turner

Sam Johnson draws a charge on Ronnie Turner

Best player on the floor?  Derek Mayo.  The Leopard senior ended his career with another terrific stat line: 10 points/9 assists/7 rebounds/5 steals.

Efficiency stats
Derek Mayo 21
Taylor Bajema 15
Jason Dempsey 15
Hans Miersma 15 (11 rebounds)
Jherson Colon 14 (20 points)

Gordon 82
Wentworth 58

Box from the game

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

Jherson Colon tries to get past Hans Miersma

Jherson Colon tries to get past Hans Miersma

Alex Carnes tries to get open

Alex Carnes tries to get open

JohnMichael Fragnoli goes for the block against Hans Miersma

JohnMichael Fragnoli goes for the block against Hans Miersma

Luke Hamilton grabs a loose ball

Luke Hamilton grabs a loose ball

Taylor Bajema (#2) heads in for a key offensive rebound late in the game

Taylor Bajema (#2) heads in for a key offensive rebound late in the game

Park Thomas and Jherson Colon

Park Thomas and Jherson Colon

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Balanced attack gets Gordon past nonleague Lesley 76-68

Hans Miersma led a balanced Gordon attack with 17 points, 12 rebounds, and 6 blocks.

Hans Miersma led a balanced Gordon attack with 17 points, 12 rebounds, and 6 blocks.

Taylor Bajema (11 points) drives on Justin Rosa

Taylor Bajema (11 points) drives on Justin Rosa

(Wenham MA)  Gordon closed the 2013 part of their season with a, 76-68, nonleague win over Lesley University on a snowy Saturday afternoon at the Bennett Center.

The visiting Lynx (2-7) were a made shot or two down the stretch from putting a serious scare into the Scots and their fan base.

Leslie was within three (63-60) with 3:23 to go but the Scots (3-5) had a balanced scoring attack in place in this one and would not allow the Lynx to get any closer the rest of the way.

A big help for Gordon was a season low in turnovers (11).  The previous low was sixteen.

Senior Park Thomas (18 points) took charge in the last minute setting up Hans Miersma (15 points) for a crowd-pleasing breakaway dunk and drilling six straight free throws. lego A1 Park pass to Hanslego A2 Hans gets passlego A3 Hans set to dunk

Alex Carnes (17 points) and Taylor Bajema (11 points) were also in double figures for Gordon.

Alex Carnes (17 points/11 rebounds) recorded his first double/double

Alex Carnes (17 points/11 rebounds) recorded his first double/double

Both Alex and Hans came up big on the stat sheet in rebounds as well.  Alex recorded his first career double/double with his eleven rebounds.

For Hans it was his 5th double/double of this season.  The 6-9 junior also added six blocks today.

Freshman Trevonn Lewis led all scorers with twenty-one points.  It was a season-high for the talented guard.

Luke Hamilton shadowed Mike Kaufman (10 points).  The Lesley senior hit six 3’s in Lesley’s last game to collect 18 points.  Luke lowered that number to two in this game and therein contributed to the final outcome.

Trevonn Lewis (21 points)

Trevonn Lewis (21 points)

Nikalus Oliver (12 points) also reached double figures for Lesley.

Kris Bennett totaled twelve rebounds for Lesley.

Park Thomas struggled from long range (2-for-10) but did get one to fall (off the backboard) just beating the halftime buzzer.

Gordon defeated Lesley last year, 62-61, as Hans Miersma was fouled just before the final buzzer and sank a free throw.

Efficiency numbers:
Hans Miersma 27
Alex Carnes 19
Nikalus Oliver 15
Mike Kaufman 14
Park Thomas 14

Gordon 93
Lesley 68

Park Thomas made six straight free throws in the last minute

Park Thomas made six straight free throws in the last minute

The Scots don’t play again until January 2nd when nonleague Wheaton visits the Gordon campus.

Those home games played in the first half of January are usually attended only by family and friends.  Gordon also hosts Wentworth (January 4th) and Curry (January 9th) at home in Commonwealth Coast Conference games during that student-less part of their schedule.  Good seats will be available!

Boxscore

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

Park Thomas looks to pass

Park Thomas looks to pass

Park Thomas hits a three at the halftime buzzer

Park Thomas hits a three at the halftime buzzer

Richie Armand (12)

Richie Armand (12)

Hans Miersma tip-in

Hans Miersma tip-in

Kris Bennett (4) had twelve rebounds

Kris Bennett (4) had twelve rebounds

Coach Tod Murphy chats with Park Thomas

Coach Tod Murphy chats with Park Thomas

Luke Hamilton defends Mike Kaufman (10 points)

Luke Hamilton defends Mike Kaufman (10 points)

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Gordon’s late rally falls short in 78-72 loss to Nichols

Ryan Sheehan (23 points) had 18 points in the second half including 11-of-12 free throws

Ryan Sheehan (23 points) had 18 points in the second half including 11-of-12 free throws

Christian Horton plays tight defense on Park Thomas

Christian Horton plays tight defense on Park Thomas

(Dudley MA) Nichols can play!

The Bison blitzed Gordon in the first half and then held off the Scots late with free throws to earn their second Commonwealth Coast Conference victory, 78-72, on Saturday afternoon.

Maybe it was the noon start, but the Scots (2-5 and now 1-1 in the CCC) reacted poorly to first half pressure.  Nichols (5-3) turned up good looks and ran a 7-5 lead to 24-8 over a five minute stretch.

Coach Tod Murphy was forced to pull starters just to get better matchups against the small but speedier Bison.  Nichols led, 42-27, at halftime.

The scary thing about that halftime lead was that Ryan Sheehan (CCC first-teamer) had only five points in the first half and Nichols still led by fifteen.

The Bison maintained that lead (51-36) 4+ minutes into the second half.  Then Gordon started to chip away at the Nichols advantage.

Believe me, “chipping” was the best they could do since the 3-point shot was not there (1-for-11) in the second half.

Nichols struggled with their shooting as well, going 6-for-24 in the second half.

It took the Scots almost ten minutes to whittle that 51-36 spread to a very much more manageable 58-54 with 5:37 left.

Hans Miersma (16 points/14 rebounds) moves in for a dunk

Hans Miersma (16 points/14 rebounds) moves in for a dunk

Hans Miersma (16 points) had three straight baskets, including a dunk, during the 18-7 Gordon run.

The Scots, however, were never able to get within one possession the rest of the way.  Missing 3’s and some free throws certainly hurt their chances.

Gordon was forced to foul and Ryan Sheehan (Remember him, five points in the first half) seemed to always have the ball when the fouls were given.  The 6-4 senior canned 11-of-12 free throws in the last five minutes sealing this one for the Bison.

Ryan ended up with twenty-three points.  He is currently in 3rd place on the all-time Nichols scoring list with 1746 points.  With at least seventeen games left, Ryan is 185 points out of 2nd and 270 points out of first.  You have to like his chances of getting to the top.

Hans Miersma shoots over Marlon Bennett

Hans Miersma shoots over Marlon Bennett

Hans Miersma (6-9) was a matchup nightmare for Nichols with only one player at 6-5.  So the Bison tried everything to keep Gordon from setting up a half-court offense.  It worked well in the first half but Hans had 11 rebounds and 13 points in the second half.

Junior Joe Gallant had a strong all-around game for Nichols with 8 points/8 rebounds/5 blocks.

The size mismatches enabled GC coach Tod Murphy to play Dominic Lauture and Richie Armand together.  Not sure about their offense but they have the quickness to play some serious defense.

Let’s blame it on the noon start and the lighting in the Nichols gym.  I recall five air balls.  Two were on Gordon 3-point attempts.  The three others were on free throws.  Five in a college game!

A bit of an ominous pattern has developed so far in the Gordon season.  The Scots (2-5) have won both home games and lost all five road games.  I guess the good news from that is that the next game is at home Saturday (Lesley 3PM).

Joe Gallant (5 blocks) gets one on Jason Dempsey

Joe Gallant (5 blocks) gets one on Jason Dempsey

Pressure was part of Gordon’s problem in the early going.  I would also credit Nichols for some well-run backdoor cuts that set up layups.  The Bison have gotten much better at getting Ryan Sheehan the ball.  Ryan had only nine points the last time Gordon visited Dudley.

Efficiency leaders
Hans Miersma 28
Ryan Sheehan 21
Joe Gallant 19
Taylor Bajema 12
Park Thomas 12

Nichols 86
Gordon 65

The lighting at Nichols would be a nightmare for even a real photographer.  At least those folks know how to compensate.  I’m learning. I finally decided to shoot from a low angle after getting some very unimpressive results

loose ball coming my way

loose ball coming my way

standing up.  Sure enough, there I was down low as Ryan Sheehan and Chris Johnson came sliding my way.  There was a collision and they got up worried about me, thinking that they had knocked me down.  They hadn’t but I appreciated their concern.

Boxscore

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

Gustave Koumare (10 points)

Gustave Koumare (10 points)

Park Thomas (14 points) floater in the lane

Park Thomas (14 points) floater in the lane

loose ball

loose ball

fast break

fast break

Richie Armand (12) in close

Richie Armand (12) in close

Taylor Bajema (14 points) gets into the lane

Taylor Bajema (14 points) gets into the lane

Taylor Bajema and Chris Johnson

Taylor Bajema and Chris Johnson

Alex Carnes guarded by Ryan Sheehan

Alex Carnes guarded by Ryan Sheehan

Dominic Lauture looks for an opening

Dominic Lauture looks for an opening

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