Boys basketball: Semifinal loss still haunts seniors

Shaker’s veteran trio sets their sights on reaching Sectional finals this season

— “Will Francis is a big addition for us,” said Holmes. “He gives us an extra dimension with his speed.”

Andrew Holmes said the key to having success this year is getting the newcomers on the same page with them and Hoffman.

“I think they’ll be fine. They had success at the JV level last year, and they’ve worked hard during the off-season,” said Andrew Holmes.

“We have to find a way to come together as a team, but I think we have more skill this year,” added Jeff Holmes.

Shaker’s competition in the Suburban Council North Division has some unknown variables this season. Beyond Shenendehowa, which returns several players from last year’s team that finished second to Shaker, coach Holmes said new faces in the coaching ranks makes it more difficult to know what to expect.

“You’re looking at three new coaches in the North Divison at Saratoga, Burnt Hills and Niskayuna,” said coach Holmes. “Then, you’ve got John Lea at Ballston Spa, who always has his team ready to play.”

“We’re going to have to outwork (our opponents) and basically control the things we can control,” added Dare.

Shaker gets to see what the new-look Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Spartans will be like out of the gate, as the Blue Bison travel north to face them in the season opener Friday, Dec. 6. Four nights later, Shaker plays its home opener against Saratoga Springs.

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