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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

BHS Preview / Odds and Ends

BHS Preview / Odds and Ends: I'm going to preview the Bethlehem game today, because tomorrow I'm posting the long-anticipated Bogdan/Dare interview, and I'm pretty sure that deserves stand-alone status. But first, a bunch of loose ends to tie up:

1) Game location tomorrow night: A bunch of people have emailed me about the location of the game tomorrow. It's at Sage College of Albany (used to be JCA) on New Scotland Ave. I think Bethlehem had a flood or something that took out their gym a while back. Here's a link to the Bethlehem athletics page that confirms the location.

2) Increased readership, thanks TU: I've been pretty hard on the Times Union lately - I've trashed their rankings, I've mocked their "fantasy" article - so it's worth mentioning that they have tripled my readership since they began advertising Girmind's Ghost on their website. Thank you, TU.

3) Colonie Spotlight Article: In this week's edition of the Colonie Spotlight, there's a nice profile of Girmindl's Ghost by Shaker senior Matt Rucinski. Sweet, even more readership. If you'd like to read it, it will be here for the remainder of the week. It's a good read, and I even accidentally slam Brad at one point.***

4) On the record with the Coach: On Tuesday I sat down with Coach Holmes for a 40-minute interview. Went well. Look for it on Girmindl's Ghost sometime next week.

5) Picture this: This is just a funny story. When I went to get the picture of the banner for yesterday's post, it turned out that the model airplane club was using the gym. So I asked their advisor if he minded if I took a few pictures while they were in there, and I think he thought I was going to take pictures of the club. He proceeded to tell the kids to "look at the camera" when they threw their planes. Um, no. I'm just here to photograph the felt hanging from the wall. Very awkward when I left after taking zero shots of the club. But very hillarious.

6) Must have been interesting: My tracking software can tell me how people got to Girmindl's Ghost - if they used a search engine, or what website they linked from, etc. So I was looking through that stuff today when I found that one visitor got here by searching msn.com for "Mohonason cheerleaders," which brought them to the Mohon recap in which my mom called the Mohon cheer squad "skanky." That's so awesome on so many levels. So many levels.

BHS Preview

Shaker plays tomorrow night at Bethlehem. SJC and I will be there. For those of you who followed the team last year, you might recall that the Bethlehem game was a disaster: coming off a blowout at Mohon, Shaker never really got it going and lost at home to a BHS team that really wasn't very good. And so now we find the team again coming off a blowout of Mohon. Let's hope we get better results that we did a year ago against BHS.

I think we will. Bethlehem is 4-7 in the Suburban this year, with losses to AP, B. Spa, Nisky, Columbia, Shen, and Colonie twice. They've beaten BHBL, Saratoga, Mohon, and Guilderland. That's not very impressive. The Eagles are led by 6'0" junior Kevin Stempsey, who is one of the top scorers in the league, as well as a top 10 pick in my section 2 fantasy draft. Averaging 18 pts/game, he's hit 32 3-pointers this year. Definitelt dangerous. The Eagles also get decent production from senior guard Craig Orner, who is averaging about 10 pts/game. The real danger, though, is the 3's - they've made more of them than Guilderland this year, and we all know how trigger happy that team is.

Still, Shaker is clearly the superior team in this matchup. Four things I'm watching for tomorrow night:

#1) Griff's ankle: Everyone I've talked to says he's doing much better and should be good to go tomorrow night. I hope that's the case.

#2) Guard play: My wife claims that the frontline - Brad, Griff, and Duc - is going to give you a darn good offensive performance virtually every night - something like 40 points. Given that, she says the real key for the Bison this year has been how well the guards play. She notes that Hans and EC have been fantastic during the current winning streak. So we're going to pay special attention to the guards tomorrow night.

#3) Defensive rebounding: Looked much better against Mohon, but on the other hand, what didn't look good against Mohon? I usually track a few of the secondary stats at the game. Tomorrow I'll be looking at boards.

#4) 6th man creativity: I'll admit it - I sometimes like the "road" 6th man better than the home one. Since there are usually fewer members on the road, you get a less polished and more improvisational repetoire - spontaneous individual catcalls, the trying out of new chants, and some generally wacky behavior. Saratoga definitely comes to mind in that regard, as does the miniature 6th man at Guilderland.

Prediction: Everything points to a convincing Bison victory. I have no reason to think otherwise. BHS is not very good, Shaker is on a roll, I feel confident. Shaker 67, BHS 51.

I'll have the teaser recap up when I get home from the game tomorrow night. Full report Saturday AM. Hope to see you at the game, stop by and say hi! Gooooooooo, Vernon!

***I was asked to compare Brad to Perkins, and I intended to say 3 things: that Perkins had a more dominating high school career overall, and that Perkins was a better rebounder, but that Brad has better range than Sam did in high school and Brad is also a better passer. Either I forgot to say it that way (probable) or Rucinski threw me under the bus (doubtful), because nothing after the "but" got into the Spotlight. Good times.
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