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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: 1/10/06

Game Recap - "An almost flawless victory": The Bison rolled into Ballston Spa last night riding a two game winning streak, and rolled out all smiles after posting one of their best efforts of the season, beating the Scotties 69-47, almost the exact score I predicted yesterday. I wasn't able to make it to the game, but Shaker senior Joe Bianchino filed the following comments this morning:
Shaker too the tip and got the lead on their first possession, a lead they'd never relinquish. B. Spa was competely outclassed from the start. Shaker was just too much offensively. At the end of the first, it was 24-16 Shaker, and Spa was only sticking around thanks to some hot three-point shooting.
Nice. It's good to see them get off to a fast start. In a number of games - particularly against poor opponents (Saratoga comes to mind) - they haven't played all that well in the first quarter. Anyway, back to Joe.
The second quarter was complete domination. They shut Spa down, forcing them to take many bad shots. On the offensive side, Shaker worked the ball around with great vision and make basket after basket. They won the quarter 20-12 to take a 44-28 halftime lead.
It's always nice to have two twenty point quarters in a row. Wow. Wish I had been there. Taking a page out of my own playbook, Joe followed up with some halftime notes:
Halftime Notes:

1) Shaker is just too much offensively. The ball movement was great, the shooting was dead on, and the offensive rebounding overpowered Spa. Scoring was varied - short jumpers, long jumpers, put backs. Just a great performance.

2) Turnovers were way down. Less than 5 in the first half.

3) Spa is a bit of a dirty team. Shaker was in the double bonus very quickly in the first half.

4) No Twix at the concession stand. But candy is a dollar.
Geez, what is it with these gyms and the twix bars - first Nisky, then 'toga, now Spa? Back to Joe:
The game was pretty much over at the half. And I think that affected Shaker's mindset in the 3rd quarter. Some of the sloppiness came back and the shooting wasn't as good. The defense was still decent. Shaker won the quarter 9-8 to take a 53-36 lead into the 4th.

The 4th is where things started to get bad. It started on a play where Hans was dribbling along the sidelines. A B. Spa player game over to guard him and caught him with an elbow to the face. Hans immediately fell to the ground while the entire Shaker section held its breath. But he got up and appeared to be fine (i'm told he's got some swelling and a cut). The game got progressively rougher from there. Brad got fouled hard in the lane, and responded by handing the ball to the B. Spa player, as if to say 'I'm better than you,' which he didn't take very well. Moments later, Sheehan was upended while in the air, and he fell hard. You could almost feel the thud. Now everyone in the Shake section was really holding their breath, but he was fine.
I'm glad I wasn't there for that. It's plays like that, late in a game that is already over, that can really ruin a team's season. I hope John and Brad are completely recovered today.
Later in the 4th, Hans was fouled at the start of a Shaker possession, and it was clear that he'd had enough. He gave a small shove back, and was then thrown to the court. Both benches erupted, Hans ran up and got in the Spa player's face, and Shaker kids came off the bench to the court. Holmes was literally ripping Shaker players off the court. It was crazy.
Geez. Not good. I'm glad it didn't get out of control. Looking back on it, I'm not sure that I've ever seen a rumble or near-rumble at a Shaker basketball game. I guess I do remember some kid taking a swing at Brain Galuski '94 during his senior year, but I don't remember the benches clearing. That's scary.
But in the end, Shaker just destroyed the Scotties. The closest it ever was in the 2nd half was 11 points, and Shaker cruised to a 69-47 win after winning the ugly 4th 16-11. Shaker was simply the far better team tonight. Despite the sloppiness creeping back in during the 2nd half, the turnovers were way down. Brad and Griff was solid as usual, Hooks was clutch with three 3-pointers, and Vernon (9 points) and Eddie (12 points) were impressive. Schaller got some serious minutes off the bench and played well, as did Dare.
I can't tell you how nervous I was about this game. That's because the last time I missed a game against what I thought was an easy opponent - Lasalle - they lost. I'm glad they took care of business -beating bad teams soundly is an important part of being a good team.
Honestly, the only real competition ever up in the air was the award for "Best Dancer," which was vigorously persued by both a male cheerleader from B. Spa and the Shaker cheering squad. I have to give it to the Spa kid, he was amazing. Now Shaker looks forward to a huge matchup Friday night against Colonie.
Hillarious. Did you ever notice that Shaker is one of the only cheerleading teams that doesn't have something really weird about them? Seriously, it's like the only traditional cheerleading squad in the Suburabn Council. Think about it. Nisky had the X-rated dance routine, Saratoga has the 45-person squad complete with tumbling mat, and B. Spa apparently has someone doing Napoleon Dynamite style dance moves. Unreal.

Here's the partial boxscore (comments below):

Shaker
NameFGFTFTAFT %3-PtPoints
Eddie Cross44667%012
Vernon Cross41250%09
Ryan Dare222100%06
Tom Duclos211100%05
John Hans200--04
Brian Hooks000--39
Griff McLoughlin2020%04
Steve Schaller022100%02
Brad Sheehan581080%018
TOTAL21182572%369



Score

1234Total
Shaker 2420916 69
Ballston Spa161281147


Once again, Shaker is just killing teams at the foul line. 18 for 25 is pretty good, but it's super duper tremendous when you consider that Spa was only 4 for 8 from the line. Eight foul shots. Good lord. And that's a credit to Brad's defense of the lane. Teams don't even bother testing him anymore.

I like how V. Cross is back in the picture in a serious way. And Hooks, thank god. I've always thought one key to really making this team great is for someone to pick up the pace from outside the arc. And I always thought it would be Hooks. If he can keep up that kind of shooting - or better yet make 5 a night like he did against Columbia - this offense will be really unstoppable.

Since I didn't go to the game, I don't have much more to say. I'm not going to be in town this weekend, which totally sucks because I was really looking forward to the Colonie game before I realized I had a wedding to go to. Should be a great atmosphere, hopefully it rivals the CBA game.

Final score: Shaker 69, B. Spa 47. Full box score here. Shaker improves to 9-3 and 7-1 in the Suburban Council.

Next Game: Friday night, home against Colonie. Get out your air horns...
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