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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

B. Spa and Colonie previews

A big week for the Bison: Two important games this week, tonight at Balston Spa and Friday at home against Colonie. Just to set the stage, here are the current Suburban Council standings:

Blue Division
Shaker
610.857830.727
Shenendehowa
430.571560.455
Guilderland
240.333550.500
Saratoga Springs
060.000180.111
Gold Division
Colonie
520.714740.636
Columbia
520.714540.556
Niskayuna
420.667530.625
Bethlehem
340.429380.273
White Division
Averill Park
601.000910.900
Ballston Spa
340.429540.556
Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake
350.375470.364
Mohonasen
070.000280.200

Two wins this week would really put some distance between Shaker and the rest of the field in the Blue division, and would certainly go a long way toward improving their record and letting everyone around Section 2 know they are contenders. Like it or not, there's a huge difference between being 10-3 and being 8-5. Huge. Luckily, I think the Bison will win both of these games.

Ballston Spa doesn't have the greatest resume - a 5-4 overall record that includes close wins over Columbia, Saratoga, Amersterdam, and BHBL, plus a blowout of hapless South Glens Falls. That's coupled with them getting blown out by Colonie, Averill Park, and Niskayuna, plus a close loss at Shen (click on links to access TU game recaps). Bascially, B. Spa is the kind of team that can beat the bad teams but can't beat the good teams. Nevertheless, they are riding a three game win streak, and have some dangerous players. The Scotties are led offensively by senior forward Nick Payne, who is averging just over 10 points / game. They also get scoring from 6'4" senior Vince Gonzalez and 6'3" senior Mike Gibson (full scoring stats here). B. Spa doesn't have a whole lot of height, so Brad and Griff should have their way inside. It's never easy on the road, but Shaker will be solid tonight Prediction: Shaker, 64-47.

Colonie on Friday presents a whole different story. The Garnet raiders are 7-4 (5-2 in the Suburaban). They have beaten Hudson Falls, B. Spa, Shen, Guilderland, BHBL, and Bethlehem twice - here and here. That's not too impressive, but on the other hand two of their four losses - on December 3rd and then this past friday in double overtime - came at the hands of Averill Park. They were also beaten by Columbia in overtime and Troy. So it's pretty hard to judge just how good they are. They have two serious scores in forward Kasan Hatches and guard Chuckie Lattimer, who is only 5'10" but a serious threat from the perimeter. Size might be an issue again, as Colonie gets the vast majority of its offense from undersized players. Still, this looks to be a good game. H-gym the new gym hasn't seen a weekend night home game since the CBA game, so expect quite a crowd for this one. Alas, I'm going to be out of town at a wedding, so I'll miss it. Send in a game report. Prediction: Shaker 58-51.

Coming tomorrow: Part I of the first half season review!
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