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Girmindl's Ghost

A diary of Shaker High School's 2005-2006 basketball season, a retelling of Shaker's fabled 1979-1980 season, and general commentary on high school hoops, updated daily...

"I like sitting in the back row. I found that sitting against the wall is just easier on your back." -Dean Smith, on the comfort of the H-gym bleachers

Game Recap: 12/16/05

Game recap - "Shaker Boys Hammer Shen": That was the headline of the Times Union article in this morning's paper. 61-47. The Troy Record? "Shaker, Rattled, and Rolled: Shen has no answer..." Yeee-haaaw! Younger readers may not know this, but Shen was a basketball force for much of my childhood - they won the Suburban Council regular season and appeared in the sectional championship game every year from 1985 until 1990. When Shaker (and Columbia) finally displaced them in 1991, it was quite the party.*** So anytime I can see a headline like the TU one from today, I'm smiling.

I couldn't go to the game last night, but we do have a variety of recaps. First, the TU summary:
Senior center Brad Sheehan scored a game-high 33 points -- including one 3-pointer and four dunks -- as the visiting Shaker boys remained unbeaten with a 61-47 Suburban Council basketball victory Friday night over Shenendehowa. The Blue Bison (5-0, 3-0) jumped to an 8-0 lead and never trailed.

Shaker led 28-18 at halftime and stretched its lead to 47-32 after three quarters. Shen (2-3, 1-2) pulled to within seven points in the final quarter but couldn't make a run. Salih Banks led the Plainsmen with 14 points. Mike Hammond added 12 for Shen.

I saw two of Brad's dunks on WNYT during the 11:00 news last night - it looked pretty clear to me that Shen had no way of stopping him. I've missed two games this year (Amsterdam and Shen) and Brad's hit a 3-ball in both of them. I've never even seen him attempt one.

Shaker senior Chris Caradori - who did attend the game - filed this report via email:
Tonight's game was clearly a mismatch from the start. Shen's starting 2-guard, Cameron (pardon the spelling attempt) Clitschclaw? [editor's note: Chris is referrign to Cameron Crichlow] was out for the game, and I believe he was their best player. Shaker jumped out to an early lead, 8-0 i believe, and ended the 1st quarter up 6 with brad scoring the first 6 of the game. An interesting event in the 1st quarter was when Shen's security guard came up to us and made a point of telling our cheering section that we weren't allowed to direct any cheers at Shen, as we were doing the cheers of "DRIBBLE, DRIBBLE, PASS" as the game goes. Nevertheless, Brad clearly proved his dominant status in tonight's game. A game-high 33 of Shaker's 61 points, including a 3 point bucket, and multiple dunks (including one while being fouled), sparked Shaker's victory. I believe the game was a good, but not great showing of what is to come for the bison as they prepare for Averill Park's rising team this Tuesday at home.
Thanks Chris. It's stuff like that - Shen being short its best player - that you would think would make it into to the Times Union blurbs. But whatever, they haven't yet figured out that Colonie and Guilderland switched division in the Suburban Council. Weird.

Finally, the Troy Record article had this to say:
It wasn't a spectacular performance by Shaker, but Brad Sheehan made the bottom line look just fine. Sheehan registered game-high totals of 33 points, 15 rebounds and four blocks to power the Blue Bison to a sluggish 61-47 Suburban Council victory over Shenendehowa Friday night.
It looks like Caradori was correct in his assessment that this was not the best showing from Shaker. Brad seemed to think that was the case:
"It wasn't our best game, but we hung together and we got the win," Sheehan said. "We have to continue to work to get better if we're going to reach our potential. Every game is a learning experience. We'll build on this...[W]e need to have our intensity up the whole time, not just during spurts. There were definitely times tonight when we weren't as focused as we should have been."
The turnovers continue to be a source of problems as well:
The Blue Bison also turned the ball over 22 times, made only 52 percent of their foul shots (14-for-27) and were outrebounded by the smaller Shen team, 45-44.
But hey, let's not dwell on the negatives. This is a solid win. You can't play your best every night. And it's nice to not play your best and still "hammer" Shen.

Here's the partial boxscore (click on any player to get their season scoring, game by game):

NameFGFTFTAFT %3-PtPoints
Matt Bogdan01250%01
Eddie Cross2010%04
Vernon Cross100--02
Ryan Dare100--02
Tom Duclos100--02
Pat Fallon11250%03
John Hans122100%04
Brian Hooks12450%04
Griff McLoughlin22633%06
Brad Sheehan1261060%133


Shaker 14141914 61

Shaker put 10 in the scoring column, very nice.

Final score: Shaker 61, Shen 47. Full box score here. Shaker improves to 5-0 and 3-0 in the Suburban Council. It's officiallly time to get excited.

Next Game: Tuesday night, home against unbeaten Averill Park.

***There wasn't any post-season Suburban Council tournament back then. Shaker and Shen came into the final regular-season meeting tied for the Suburban Council Blue division lead (it was the two-division setup at the time). Shaker won the game (it was at Shaker) in the final minutes. It was the first time I ever saw students storm the court in H-gym the new gym. It was also the day my friends and I decided we needed to start sitting in the student section. We were in 8th grade and had been sitting up to that point of the season (and up to that point of my life) with our fathers in the lower rows of the Shaker adult section.

We had been discussing it all year - my friend and I, that it - because as fun as it was to go to the game with our dads, the student section was becoming more and more of a party every game, and we wanted in. Not only had we just become old enough to appreciate the antics of the student bleachers, but for the first time in my conscious life Shaker was good enough that there were antics in the student bleachers (as i turns out, it was pretty much the only time in my life until last year that this was true).

I can remember telling our dads that we weren't going to be sitting with them at the opening round sectional game. That was a tense moment for us - it wasn't clear they were going to let two 13 year-olds go join what was quite a circus across the gym - and I think it was a sad moment for my father. I can remember 5 years later, when I was a freshman in college, going to a game with my dad over Christmas break and sitting with him in the Shaker adult section for the first time again. It was like a lifetime had passed, but nothing had changed.
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