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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

Maginn Holiday Tournament

Maginn Holiday Tourney Preview: First off, I'm assuming this a tournament, but it's not so clear. In a normal high school hoops tournament, there are two games the first night, and then the losers play early on the second night and the winners play later on the second night.

But in the Times Union, on highschoolsports.net, and on the tournament's own website, Shaker is already listed as playing Maginn on Thursday night at 8pm. Under normal tournament conditions, they would just list "TBA" or "consolation game" and "championship game." Of course, many sources - like the TU - just list out two opponents in these situations, so it probably is a tournament. But it's a little wierd that the tourney's own website lists actual teams instead of "Consoliatoin game" and "Championship game" for Thursday night. Who knows.

UPDATE (4:25 pm): It isn't a tournament! Shaker plays Maginn Thursday no matter what. And my sources tell me that the Girmindl tourney was the same way this year - Shaker would have played CBA even if they lost to Amsterdam. Some sort of Suburban Council/ Big 10 thing, in the mold of the old ACC/Big East challenge. Weird. What is this world coming to...

Anyway, here are outlooks for Maginn and Lasalle. You can access the old Shen outlook here (and the recap from the first Shen game is here).

Lasalle
(2-4, 2-2 Big 10) looks to be one of those middle of the pack Big 10 teams - better than the bottom feeders, but not in the same class as the big boys. They lost their first two games of the season to out of towners - a close game to Spring Valley (coincidentally, the team Shaker beat in the 1978-79 regionals) and an even closer game to Collegiate School. In the Big 10 they've posted convincing wins over two weaker teams - a solid victory over Troy and a thrasing of Bishop Gibbons. On the other hand, they've been and they've already lost to Bishop Maginn in a tight game and been blown out of the gym by CBA. The Cadets have a balanced offensive attack, with 3 players averaging double-digits and 5 other regular contributors. The Cadets do not boast a ton of size at center, but their forwards are big. They are led by 6'1" guard Kyle Dignum, and two forwards - 6'4" Jaamal Smith and 6'3" Patrick Reardon. Dignum is a three-point threat.

Prediction: Shaker is the better team here, but Lasalle can't be taken lightly. However, I think the Bison will play well at the Armory and overmatch the Cadets. 62-48, Shaker.

Bishop Maginn (4-3, 2-3 Big 10) will be a completely different opponent based on whether or not their star guard, 6'0" Taylor Battle, plays this week. Battle injured himself 10 days ago in a loss to Albany, and then didn't play in Maginn's lost to Schenctady last week. Battle, who is averaging better than 20 points/game, is one of the top prospects in the area and a deadly threat from outside and off the dribble. He is supposedly out for at least another week with a severe ankle sprain. Overall, Maginn is a young team and a small one. They list only one senior on their roster, and no player over 6'4". Prior to Battle's injury, Maginn posted a solid win against Guilderland, a come from behind victory over Niskayuna, a tight win over Lasalle, and and a blowout win over Gibbons.

Prediction (without Battle): Shaker is a strong favorite to beat Maginn in this case. The lack of size on Maginn, combined with Battle's absence, should give Shaker control of the game. 66-50, Shaker.

Prediction (with Battle): Different story all together. Shaker will be faced with a situation something like the Columiba game: either find a way to stop Battle or find a way to overcome him dropping 40 on you, like they did with Zampier. Shaker is still the better team, but in this situation they would have to play like it. Still, I think they will. 68-60, Shaker.

I'll definitely be at the Thursday game, and probably at the Wednesday game. Stop by and say hi. If you're going to the tournament and you'd like to write a recap for either game, feel free.
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