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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

Sectional Preview I

Sectional Preview, Part I of III: The most exciting three weeks of the season are upon us. It's time for the big dance. First a few notes:

1) The Ghost disappears: SJC and I are going out of town tomorrow until Tuesday. So Girmindl's Ghost will be taking a break Sunday and Monday. Of course, that means when I come back, it's serious go time. Yeaaaahhhhh!

2) Last night: First off, Troy/Queensbury was cancelled last night due to wind, I think. So Shaker still doesn't have an opponent. But more interestingly, CBA whipped Schenectady for the Big 10 title, 72-43. I know, holy crap! Here's the Times Union story. Here's the Troy Record story.

UPDATE: Queensbury has beaten Troy. Bring 'em on...

3) Election day over: Voting is now closed for the reader's choice awards. We got 31 voters, not bad considering how tedious it was to vote. Not great considering that we get almost 400 readers a day here. But we sure did get some interesting comments. You can check out the results in the post below this one.

Ok. This sectional preview is going to be three parts long. Today I'm simply going to do a brief review of Shaker's sectional fortunes during my lifetime, 1978-2006. On Tuesday, I'm going to talk about the gyms and arenas that are used for sectionals. And on Wednesday I'm going to talk about the crowds and make my predictions.

Shaker in the sectionals, 1978-2005

I'm going to divide this into two parts: BH and AH, that's "Before Holmes" and "After Holmes."

Before Holmes

You can find out a bit about Shaker hoops prior to '78-79 by reading this.

1978-79
: Undefeated Shaker won the section, beating CCHS 62-60 in the championship and advancing to the state semi-finals before falling. We've talked about this in detail.

1979-80: Well, I'm not going to give away the rest of the story of Girmindl's Ghost. But as of today in 1980, the team is 20-0 and ranked #1 in the state. Keep reading for the next month to see how they end up.

1980-81: Shaker entered sectional as the #1 seed, after going 19-1 during the regular season. But they were upset in the second round by a mediocre Albany High team. Leading 51-45 with a minute to go (and no 3-point line on the court), they missed three consecutive front ends of 1-and-1’s (including two by Tim Cain, who was 90% from the line that year), and lost 52-51.

1981-82: The last remaining player from the '79-80 team, Brian Warner (who was a sophomore call up in '79-80), led the team to its last decent season for what would be the next 10 years. The Bison finished 15-5 regular season and lost to Albany in the second round of sectionals.

1983 thru 1990: my prime childhood years of watching Shaker hoops. I haven't actually done the research, but this much I can tell you from memory: they were mostly mediocre or worse, there's really not that much to tell. They never made it past the sectional quarterfinals. It just always seemed like Shen or Albany would beat them in one of the first two rounds. Shen and Albany played in almost every final for this group of years, they were simply dominant. And the Bison stunk. Corey Anderson '88 was a stellar player, but even with him they were never better than about .500.

After Holmes

1990-91: a poor team. 6-15 regular season, lost first round of sectionals.

1991-92: a great team! 15-5 regualr season, beat state-ranked CBA and Columbia in the semis and finals to win the section! Lost to Liverpool in the regional final.

1992-93: lost in the first round after a disappointing 10-10 regular season.

1993-94: a good, but not great, team that made it all the way to the sectional finals before losing to Albany, 58-54, in a "coulda, shoulda, woulda" kind of game. Ugh.

1994-95: Miserable season (5-15), lost first round of sectionals.

1995-96: Ditto. Combined my junior and senior year they were 12-30. Yikes.

1996-97: 13-9 regualr season, lost to Maginn in the second round.

1997-98: Suburban champs! But upset by Colonie in the second round.

1998-99: very solid team (15-5) upset in first round by CCHS.

1999-00: subpar regular season (8-12), lost to Schenectday first round.

2000-01: 12-9 regular season, lost to CBA first round.

2000-02: 3-17. Lost first round.

2000-03: 4-16. Lost first round.

2000-04: 8-12. Lost first round.

2000-05: 13-7 regular season. Beat by Troy in second round after holding a sizeable late lead.

2005-06: 16-4 regular season. We'll write the rest soon enough...
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