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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: 1/20/06

Game Recap: Home vs. Mohonason, 1/20/06

Executive Summary: Shaker 66, Mohonason 30. And believe it or not, it wasn't even that close. Mohon is just absolutely terrible. Imagine a Saratoga team without Stevens. That team would whip Mohon. Shaker just ran them out of the building from the opening tip. Two minutes in, it was 8-0, and five minutes in it was 17-2. At that point, Holmes put on the brakes and began used a liberal rotation of all 12 players the rest of the game. It was 39-20 at the half. Shaker's defense actually picked up in the second half, as Mohon was held to 6 in the third and 4 in the fourth. None of the starters played the fourth, and the second unit won it 15-4. All 12 Shaker players scored: Brad had 16 in about half a game's work, EC and Duclos had 9 each, and Ryan Dare added eight. It's just a shame that we have to waste these Friday night home games on blowouts: the crowd was never really into it. One bad note: Griff reinjured his ankle in the 2nd quarter. He never returned to play, but he was walking on it. Luckily, they have a week off before their next game. Final score: Shaker 66, Mohonason 30. TU box score here. Shaker improves to 12-3 (10-1 Suburban Council). Next game: 1/27/06, away against Bethlehem.

Full Report, "Over before it started": Arrived at Shaker around 7:10 for a 7:30 tip, and I was surprised to see the varsity teams already warming up. Must have been a quick JV game. Had SJC in tow as well as my mom. My mom is one of the few Capital Region natives who thinks the H-gym new gym is small and that Shaker has pathetic crowds at home. This is because she went to Troy high in the 1960's. Whatever. Some other pre-game notes:

1) Nice to be back at Shaker: I hadn't been to a weekend home game since the CBA game. Of course, they've only had one Friday home game since then, so it's not really my fault. Surprisingly though, the crowd isn't that big. The student section is 3/4 full and the adult Shaker section is almost full, but Mohon has brought almost zero fans. I guess that happens when you are 2-11.

2)Mom goes on a tear: My mom threw out these four gems before the game even started. First she asked, "what's wrong with the sound system?" during the player introductions. Ahhh, H-gym, we still love you. Then she mentioned that the Mohonason cheerleaders looked "skanky," which almost made me fall over laughing. Then she commented on how ridiculous the hall monitors look in those yellow security outfits. And finally - in her greatest moment - she asked me, "which one is Brad?" while the Shaker team warmed up. I pointed to Bogdan and she said, "For some reason, I thought he was taller." Nice.

1st Quarter

Shaker started Sheehan, Hans, Duclos, Griff, and E. Cross. Brad won the tip, and Eddie knocked down a short jumper. Mohon missed. Duclos puts one in. Mohon missed. Eddie banked in a soft one. Mohon turns it over. John Hans hit a jump shot. 8-0. Timeout Mohon. Mohon got one back on a jump shot. Shaker just misses an alley-oop to Brad. Brad then gets a steal and feeds Duclos with a nice lead pass for a dunk and the foul. Mohon misses. Eddie hits again. Then Brad Scores. Then Dare steals an outlet pass and scores. And yup, that's 17-2. Ballgame over. Just like that. Mohon sinks a couple of threes late in the quarter, but Holmes is already emptying the bench. The quarter ends 23-10.

1st quarter notes:

1) Mohon is outrageously bad...: I'm pretty sure they could beat the Shaker JV, but I'm not positive. They definitely couldn't beat the Shaker 2nd string. They have one inside player who looks decent, but he's totally ineffective against Brad. And the Couball kid can shoot, I guess. But I don't think any of their starters would start on Shaker. And that's rare in high school basketball - to play someone who doesn't have a single player who could start for you. They just look completely overmatched in every facet of the game. My mom feels sorry for them, and I guess I do a little bit as well. It takes some heart to play for a team that must get crushed night after night. And you can't say they don't play hard. They do. It's like the Teen Wolf team before Scott turns into the Wolf. (And yes, I know that's two Teen Wolf references in two consecutive recaps. But the shoe fits. So don't bother emaililng.)

2)...and Shaker is playing really well: You can never really tell against the bad teams if you are playing well or if it's just too easy. I think it was both last night. The passing was excellent - they were finding layups all over the place. Brad had a great pass to Dare for an easy one underneath. And the shooting percentage is sky-high. They hardly missed a jumper in the first quarter. They were also pushing the tempo. Hans was getting it upcourt to Eddie on the wing consistently off of rebounds. I like that. They took their time in the halfcourt set and found good shts.

3) No whistles in sight: The only foul in the first quarter was on the Duclos dunk. That's it, one foul.

4) This game is O-V-E-R, over: I've seen the Bison hand back some big leads this year, but not in a million years will they give this one back. It's going to be a relaxing night of watching the juniors play some ball. The only downside is the crowd was never in this one. Not for a second. It was 8-0 before a lot of people had sat down. And now it's time to relax and hope for some sweet dunks or other great individual plays. Man, if Brad had just scored 10 in the first quarter, this would have been the night to try and get him the single-game scoring record (43 by Perkins on 3/3/1980), but he only had one basket.

2nd Quarter

Tne bench players get extended time in the second quarter as a unit. Tom Kahnle gets a great offesnive rebound and executes a perfect pass to Fallon for an easy two. V. Cross hits a very nice jumper from just inside the top of the key, and also makes a nice baseline drive for a hard-fought layup, and should have gotten a foul as well, except the refs literally will not blow the whistle. On one sequence, Shaker gets three offensive rebounds and I swear to you they could have blown the whistle five times during the squence as Griff, Brad, and Eddie keep trying to putback the misses. But they don't. Finally, the ball squirst out toward the corner and Griff runs to save it. He doesn't, but he does come up limping. Oh, no. Not in this meaningless game. He heads to the bench for treatment, and at least he's walking on it. Brad then goes on a tear, scoring 5 times in the quarter, including a really nice two-handed jam. Shaker had opened the quarter on a 10-2 run to make it 33-12, and this thing is officially embarressing. Mohon hits a few shots, and the teams trade baskets for the rest of the quarter, and at the half it's 39-20.

Second quarter notes:

1) Where the hell are the refs?: I've never been to a high school basketball game where there were only two fouls called in an entire half. And you know what, one of those fouls was a garbage foul on Brad. That's right - the refs missed about 25 fouls and then they decided to pin a ridiculous one on Brad in the second quarter. Hillarious.

2) Let's hope Griff is ok: it just sucks getting hurt. And it sucks even more when the game is totally out of hand to begin with. I'm pretty sure Griff is ok, because he didn't looked that mad on the bench and he was walking around on his ankle reasonably well. He didn't warm-up for the second half, but that would be consistent with even a minor injury in a game like this. Apparently, Griff injured his ankle in the Colonie game (I wasn't there) and this a reinjury of hte same ankle. The good news is that they have a week off and then a relatively easy opponent in Bethlehem next Friday. I'm just glad this didn't happen in the sectional quarterfinals.

Shaker's scoring looked like this at the break:

Brad 6 0 12
Duc 3 1 7
Hans 1 0 2
Grif 1 0 2
EC 2 0 4
Dare 2 0 4
VC 3 0 6
Fallon 1 0 2

Total 19 1 39

Halftime notes:

1) Hey, a close matchup: The game was tight, the crowd was roaring, and it came down to the final shot. Final score: 6-4, blue team. Yes, the halftime game between the two 3rd grade rec league teams literally drew bigger crowd reaction than the varsity game. It was pretty darn exciting, actually.

2) On the record: I sat down at haltime with Shaker senior and Colonie Spotlight reporter Matt Rycinski, to do an interview about Girmindl's Ghost. We talked a wide range of things - Shaker hoops then and now, the 6th man, why the heck I've been to 250 Shaker games and why I'm writing a blog about it. Fun. Don't know when it's coming out, but the interview caused me to miss most of the...

3rd Quarter

When I got back to my seat, there were two minutes left in the 3rd and Shaker was winning 46-22. My mom and SJC clamied that they kept track of the scoring for me. They said, "Brad hit a basket, someone else hit a basket, and someone definitely hit a three, we think it was Hans." I believed them. And then I looked at the box score this morning. Rule of thumb: if my wife and mother are sitting together during a blowout, don't ever believe for a second that they actually were paying attention to the game. I saw Hooks make a foul shot and then the Brad retired to the bench for the night after a nice block. Apparently, I also missed a Mohon kid tumble over the Shaker coaches diving for a ball. Shaker won the quarter 12-6 to make the score 51-26. Except for a brief appearance by Eddie in the 4th, all the Shaker starters were done for the night.

Third quarter notes:

1) The other student section: One thing I don't think I've ever talked about is the "other" student section at the top of the adult section. Ever since I can remember, the last few rows at the top of the Shaker adult section have been where the 8th grade boys tend to congregate, at least until they get the courage to go over to the actual student section. And the other thing they do is mimic the student section cheers. Normally, it's cute. But last night, with Shaker up 51-26, it was pretty embarressing when they started doing boink. I know they're 14 and they don't know better, but I definitely did cringe, hoping the Mohon parents and the players didn't hear it.. The actual Shaker student section was much more polite - they never chanted at all in the second half until the last 10 seconds of the game, when they whipped out a "Na na na na, hey hey hey, goooood-bye!"

4th Quarter

We got a decent look at some of next year's team in the 4th quarter. The lineup for most of the quarter was Schaller at 1, Hooks at 2, Boggs at 3, Kahnle at 4, and Fallon at 5. With about 2:30 to go, Eddie came in and played the 1. Dare played some at 4 as well. With Mohon also letting a lot of their bench players see some extended time, it was tough to gauge how well the Bison second unit played, but I was definitely impressed. They won the quarter 15-4 (yes, Mohon only scored 10 in the second half). Hooks made a nice three-pointer, and Schaller really impressed me at the point. He made good decisions and had some nice drives to the hoop. Kahnle had a nice post move. The offensive ran pretty well. At one point, Bodgan missed a shot in the lane and got knocked over, starting a Mohon fast break. But they turned it over and Shaker threw a cherry-pick pass back to Bogdan all alone. I think about 200 people shouted "Dunk it!" at the same time, but Matt wisely just put in the layup. Shaker coasted home to a 66-30 victory, and every player on the team scored. Nice.

4th quarter notes:

1) Whistles everywhere: I don't know what happened, but all of a sudden the refs started calling the game really, really tight. Shaker took 9 foul shots in the game, eight of them in the 4th quarter I believe. After a foul on Shaker, I heard Holmes say - in his ever-so-calm voice - "You called two fouls in the whole first half. What's going on?" Very humerous.

2) Notorious: Just as Bodgan opted not to dunk the ball, I noticed a sign in the 6th man that said "NOTORIOUS B.O.G.," except that there was a heart symbol instead of the O. Awesome. You gotta love that. I also saw a girl wearing angel wings in the 6th man at one point.

Here is the partial boxscore:

NameFGFTFTAFT %3-PtPoints
Matt Bogdan11250%03
Eddie Cross333100%09
Vernon Cross300--06
Ryan Dare400--08
Tom Duclos411100%09
Pat Fallon100--02
John Hans100--02
Brian Hooks01250%14
Thomas Kahnle100--02
Griff McLoughlin100--02
Steve Schaller111100%03
Brad Sheehan800--016


Mohonasen 101064 30

Four major things to sum up:

1) That's six in a row: It's almost hard to remember now that this team lost 3 of 4 games in late December and was reeling with a 6-3 record. Since then, they've asserted themselves and made their case as the best team in the Suburban.

2) They have a chance to really build their resume:With Bethlehem, Shen, and Saratoga remaining, I see no reason that we shouldn't expect them to finish the regular season 15-3. Obviously, all bets are off in the Suburban Council tournament, but I'm optimistic now that they have a realistic shot at heading into sectionals 17-3. Man I'm looking forward to a rematch with AP. That will be a great revenge win. And that better be good enough for the 3rd seed in sectionals. I'm going to write a whole column on Monday about how ridiculous the TU area rankings are right now, even if you judge it by their own "logic." But we'll get to that on Monday. Ugh. It makes me furious to even think about it.

3) I love the up-tempo play: Mohon didn't press, so we didn't get a chance to look at the pressbreaking last night, but they assertively attacked off of defensive rebounds, and they looked good doing it. Very impressive.

4) They are definitely improving: Duclos, Hans, and Eddie seem to really be picking it up as of late. John is looking for his shots, Eddie seems incredibly comfortable in a larger offensive role, and Duclos seems custom-built for an up-tempo style. VC and Dare also seem to be playing very well. Brad and Griff are as solid as ever at both ends, and passing better than ever. I'm very excited about the next two weeks as we wrap up the regular season.

Summary and notes

I believe that they have wrapped up the Suburban Blue division title, they're up 4 games with 3 to play...Shaker has midterms next week, so there is no game Tuesday...Friday night's game at Bethlehem is actually at JCA, since Bethlehem's gym is still recovering from its flood...

Final score: Shaker 66, Mohonason 30. TU box score here. Shaker improves to 12-3 (10-1 Suburban Council). Next game: 1/27/06, away against Bethlehem.
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At 4:08 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said:

brad needs to start playing like a man. he has the ability to take them to a state championship, but he plays weak and is afraid of contact. Can u imagine if they ran the ball through him every play. If you could switch his heart with almost any other man on the team you would have a 6-10 monster. he has the ability to go to a big school, but its only based on his size. he's a good kid, but craig forth was more dominant back in the day.Shaker is a good team but wont be great until sheehan gets mad.    

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