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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

Today (3/4) in 1980

Today (3/4) in 1980: Everyone was gearing up for the upcoming week of basketball. The schedule looks like this:

Semi-finals

Fri., March 7th, 1980 (7:30pm): #1 Shaker (22-0) vs. #13 Troy (11-11)
Sat., March 8th, 1980 (7:30pm): #2 Mont Pleasant (18-4) vs. #3 CBA (16-6)

Finals

Tuesday, March 11th, 7:30pm: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner

People were getting very excited about the prospect of a Mont Pleasant-Shaker showdown. MP had one of the few players in the area - 6'6" Brendan Mitchell - who had shown (in a preseason scrimmage) any willingness to even challenge Perkins inside. And after last year's sell-out crowd of 4,500 at the Siena ARC for the Catholic Central-Shaker title game, everyone was confident that the new Civic center would be filled to capicity of Tuesday's title game.

The Times Union ran pretty good previews and coverage of the games all week long. Most of it suggested Shaker simply could not be beaten. One exception to that was Al Hart, who had written a rather ominous column a few weeks back, arguing that maybe Shaker could be beaten in the sectionals:
Undefeated Shaker has to be the overwhelming favorite to capture the Section II, Class A basketball tournament. But I think that...they can be beaten.

I know. Shaker is [unbeaten] this year and has lost just one game in the past two years. And 6-foot-9 Sam Perkins is one heck of a performer. But I think Mont Pleasant, for one, can beat Shaker.

Why? Brendan Mitchell, Mont Pleasant's junior ace, is 6-foot-6 and could hold his own against Perkins. Richard Dix and Bobby McDouglad can neutralize Shaker forwards Tim Cain and Jeff Tuecke, and Pleasant's backcourt of Mark Sausville and Vic Isabella is - in my opinion - far superior to Shaker's. True, Shaker has a better bench, but MP coach Dave Bleau has his team in good shape and he might not need to rotate more than 6 or 7 players...that is, if they meet.

Then again, perhaps [no one will come close] and this treatise will be pointless. I'm just saying that I don't think a Shaker trip to the regionals on March 14th should be taken as a foregone conclusion. The Big 10 plays some pretty good basketball, too.
Most observers thought this was utter nonsense. And, as we'll see tomorrow (3/5/1980) in a Times Union cover story, even the coaches of those "pretty good" Big 10 teams didn't have a whole lot of hope that they were going to take down the Bison.
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