In a night of memories, Nazareth (6-1) beat Gordon Tech (4-3) 48-32 in a game played at Northwest Middle School.
Northwest, the home of a now closed Catholic school named Archbishop Weber, was a rival to current Gordon coach Tom Kleinschmidt and a home to Nazareth head basketball coach John Bonk.
Gordon decided to hold Weber Alumni Night, and the Rams invited Bonk’s squad to face Gordon in the old gym at Northwest Middle School.
The teacher bested the former player on this night with former Weber students in the stands.
“I had some great years at Weber,” Bonk said after the nonconference win. “We had a lot of great games in this gym. I had goosebumps. I still have goosebumps. It’s a special place. I feel that way about Nazareth.”
“Coach Bonk has been a huge part of my basketball life,” Kleinschmidt admitted. “My dad went here. I’ve been in this gym 10,000 times. Ken Redfield (Former Weber star) was my idol. He’s my favorite player in high school. Weber is a great school.”
Tyler Jackson, who is a 7-0 sophomore future star, led the Road Runners with 14 points and 14 rebounds while Bonk’s son who is the point guard at Nazareth added 11 points including nine points in the second half.
Gordon struggled making only 13-of-52 shots in Weber’s old gym. Jerry Davis led the Rams with 11 points.
Offense has been a problem for Gordon this season under Kleinschmidt.
“That’s the best defense we’ve played all year,” Bonk said.
“We are having trouble scoring,” Kleinschmidt said. “We knew it was going to be a problem. We’re getting layups. We are not finishing. You have to be able to score.”
These are two teams going in different directions. Gordon is off to an 0-2 start in the Catholic League losing to ranked teams Seton and St. Rita. Nazareth is hoping to contend with Marist, Notre Dame, St Pat’s and Benet in the East Suburban Catholic Conference.
Nazareth took control the contest in the last two quarters behind Bonk and Jackson. Jackson scored eight points in the fourth quarter while Bonk directed the offense and contributed with four baskets in the second half.
Nazareth led 28-18 at halftime.
Bonk’s message for Gordon fans is be patient.
“He’s going to do a lot of great things at Gordon,” Bonk admitted the game.
“They are a nice team,” Kleinschmidt said.
Kleinschmidt is happy with his team’s defense.
“We have to stop dealing with nonbasketball issues,” Kleinschmidt said after the loss. “That’s the type of stuff that I am dealing with right now. We are trying to change the culture. They play extremely hard. I love the kids. We are five weeks into a process that’s going to take three years.”