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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: 12/22/21

Game Recap - "Warm up the Tractor": After a slow start, Shaker turned it on in the second half to pull away with a 54-40 road victory over Burnt Hills. I couldn't go to the game, but I think I have enough information about it - 2 emails and the newspaper reports - to reconstruct it pretty well. I'll analyze the boxscore and then let the various summaries do the talking. Let's start with the Times Union summary and box score. Here's the summary
In a makeup game from December 9th, Brad Sheehan scored 28 points to lead Shaker past Burnt Hills in a 54-40 victory. Despite being down by one at the half, Shaker (4-1 league, 6-1 overall) poured on the offense in the second half to come back and win, largely thanks to Sheehan's second half scoring. Sheehan scored 23 of his 28 points in the second half, including 12 points in the fourth quarter alone, when Shaker outscored Burnt Hills 22-14. Burnt Hills fell to 2-3 in league play and 3-4 overall with the tough home loss. Kevin Himmelwright led the scoring for Burnt Hills with 19 points.
And here's the boxscore:

Individual Statistics

NameFGFTFTAFT %3-PtPoints
Matt Bogdan100--02
Eddie Cross33
Vernon Cross000--00
Ryan Dare000--00
Tom Duclos100--02
Pat Fallon000--00
John Hans100--02
Brian Hooks100--02
Thomas Kahnle000--00
Griff McLoughlin15863%07
Steve Schaller1010%02
Brad Sheehan1161060%028
John Weinheimer000--00

Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake
NameFGFTFTAFT %3-PtPoints
Anthony Bevilacqua200--04
John DellaPia300--06
Kirk DeNero200--04
Kevin Himmelwright53475%219
Jacob McCrindle200--17
Chris Pearce000--00
A. J. Witkofsky000--00


Shaker 991422 54
Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake71271440

That's pretty scary that Burnt Hills only went to the line 4 times all game. They must have been completely unwilling to take the ball to the hoop against the Shaker defense. And man, does the defense look good in the boxscore, holding them to 7 points in the first and 7 in the third. I'm glad the offense got going in the 2nd half. It does look like the Shaker foul shooting took a mini-vacation tonight.

It's nice to see that on any given night, different Shaker players make the big secondary contribution. Eddie Cross with 9 is huge, especially in a game where his brother doesn't score and Hooks, Duclos, and Hans are held to a bucket each. And I guess you just can't say enough about Brad right now. Outscoring B. Hills in the 2nd half? Wow. He's upped his average to about 24 points/game, and seems to be unstoppable as of late. And it looks like Matt Bogdan logged some minutes and added a bucket.

The one thing I'm looking for from Shaker in the coming month is an increase in their ability to put their "A" game together for a full 4 quarters. Obviously, every win is a good win, but it will be important later in the season to play complete games with as few poor stretches as possible.

Here's a game/6th man report that was filed by Shaker senior Tom Maldonado:
Shaker got off to a rough first half. No real important plays, just a lot of sloppy action by both sides. Turnovers galore, like the AP game. Shaker failed to hit many important foul shots. At the half, Shaker was down 19-18. Not a big deal, but definitely unexpected.

Not much of a home crowd for Burnt Hills. Most of the time they were quiet and mumbling. They occasionally chanted "over-rated" at Brad, and they would also chant "special treatment" at him. Wierd because, yeah, he is special. I think it actually was a confidence boost for him.

But don't think that the 6th man would let them get away with this. We were about 20 strong, plenty to represent against the pitiful home crowd. Burnt Hills tried out a "Where's your posse?" chant, but we liked that because it meant we're known and feared. So we stuck to the basic chants during most of the game, and saved our beloved wittiness till late in the 4th.

Coming into the 3rd quarter, Shaker was unstoppable. They showed the potential they have to completely take over a game, both offensively and defensively. Burnt Hills tallied only 7 in the third quarter, and only 21 for the second half. Brad had 23 in the second half, 28 total. Griff was an absolute beast, grabbing tons of rebounds at both ends. And Eddie "X factor" Cross knocked down several key free throws when it mattered.

By the 4th, Shaker started to pull away little by little. Key plays included several nice blocks by Brad and steals by Schaller, V. Cross, and Brad. Burnt Hills made a small run with some outside shooting, but they were simply overmatched in the 2nd half, and we pulled away pretty easily down the stretch.

A few great moments occured in the stands toward the end of the game. During a timeout, Fox's camera crew came over to film the Burnt Hills student section. They instantly started a "we're on TV" chant while the cameras got them for about 2 seconds. Yup, you're on TV, watching your team lose at home. We thought about responding, but we wanted to show some class. Yes, you heard me. Maldo said we wanted to show some class. Then the Fox crew comes to film us, and they let the cameras run a good 10-12 seconds. We all know who the fan favorite is. I mean, what other crowd has their own Fox special report?

Toward the end, with about 40 seconds left we decided to whip out a few tricks we had up our sleeve. Since we were on the road and no one from Burnt Hills was going to be taking a bus home, we decided "warm up the bus" need to be replaced. Since we were in Burnt Hills, we got clever and started chanting "warm up the tractor!" A few B. Hills parents (who were confused and had sat in our section) didn't seem to like that. So we decided to show our class and we switched to "Thanks for having us!"

In a move that really got the 6th man going, Brad was spotted giving a wave to the Burnt Hills section in thanks for giving him "special treatment" and chanting his name. He gave them 100% reason to remember his name, his team, and their cheering section.
And here's a game/6th man report sent in by Shaker senior Joe Bianchino:
Burnt Hills was crazy. Both with teams and the fans. They thought they had a good 6th man, but it was garbage. I'm not sure if they thought they had a good team, but we can leave that assessment with the scoreboard.

I arrived late so missed a decent amount of the first quarter. But from what I gather Shaker had a slow start. Brad and others missed a bunch from the field but Burnt Hills did the same. It was a defensive game with pretty poor shooting on both sides throughout the first half. Shaker went into the locker room down 19-18.

They came out of the locker room red hot. They put in bucket after bucket and made steal after steal. Burnt Hills was able to keep it within striking distance in the 3rd, but Shaker really put them away in the 4th. They turned mostly to Sheehan, who fought through the triple teams and put in many floaters in the paint. All in all, they could have played better (especially in the see-saw first half), but they came together really well late to put it away. Sheehan had another clutch game, and it was nice to Bogdan make a surprise appearance and play pretty well in the first half.

In the battle of the 6th men, Burnt Hills did the standard cheers, and added a couple of negative things directed at Brad. We didn't have too many organized cheers, but we kept the yelling up. The highlight of the night came with us up 10 with about 30 seconds to go. We started a "warm up the tractor" chant as a pun on the standard "warm up the bus" routine.
Warm up the tractor indeed.

Final score: Shaker 54, Burnt Hills 40. Full box score here. Shaker improves to 6-1 and 4-1 in the Suburban Council.

Next Game: Wednesday night, Bishop Maginn Holiday Tournament, 1st Round vs. Lasalle, downtown at the Washington Avenue Armory.
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