DRIVING FORCE — Springville-Griffith Institute basketball player Heaven Rollek (center) drives through the lane, during the Lady Griffs’ win against Lake Shore. Photo by Dave DeLuca.
SPRINGVILLE — Springville-Griffith Institute’s girls varsity basketball team was handed a 43 – 42 loss by the visiting Cheektowaga Warriors, on Dec. 14.
During the game, S-GI’s Alena Woodarek scored 15 points. Tia Woodarek made 10 points, seven rebounds and four steals. Erin Kwiatkowski added 7 points and Heaven Rollek had 6 points and seven rebounds. Tainne Dallas, Sarah Byrne and Kate Darling added to the Lady Griffs’ “impressive defensive effort,” according to Coach Chris Mathewson.
On Dec. 18, the girls looked to avenge their 1-point loss, with a game against visiting Lake Shore. The girls trailed 10 – 2, early in the first quarter, but would go on a 19 – 9 run, to tie the game at 21, heading into halftime.
Sophomore Heaven Rollek gave the Lady Griffs their first lead of the game on a midrange jumper, early in the third quarter and Springville held onto the lead, from there.
With the Lady Griffins up 38 – 32 and, with 2:20 left in the fourth, a technical foul was called on a Lake Shore player. Subsequently, another technical foul was called on a Lake Shore coach, giving the Lady Griffins four free throws and the ball.
Springville won the game 43 – 32.
Erin Kwiatkowski led Springville with 12 points and Alena Woodarek added 10 points. Tia Woodarek chipped in, with 8 points and nine rebounds. Rollek had 6 points.
Rounding out the scoring was Dallas, with 3 points and Byrne and Darling, with 2 points each.
Kwiatkowski is Springville’s second-leading scorer. “Erin gives us another ball handler and scorer off the bench and she is consistently improving on her understanding of our defensive concepts,” Mathewson said. “With the ability that Tainne, Tia and Heaven have to play three or four different positions, Erin gives us great flexibility, in that she can sub in for any of the five starters and we can reshuffle Tainne, Tia, Heaven and Alena around, as needed, in terms of offensive and defensive roles.”
Mathewson added that his other players chipped in to contribute to the win, as well. “Kate has been good, defensively, and rebounding the ball and improving offensively every game,” he said.
The Lady Griffs racked up 17 steals in their win against Lake Shore and are averaging 10 steals per game, so far.
“With our athleticism, we need to play tenacious team defense,” Mathewson said. ”There’s a tradeoff with playing that way, because, if you’re going to contest ball handlers, cutters and the post position and you’re going to compete for rebounds, there are going to be fouls, just because you have two teams competing for space, on the court. Last night, Lake Shore never got to the bonus and we were in the double bonus in the second half. I’ll take that, because we were the more aggressive team, last night. Also, we’ve had more free throw attempts than our opponents, in each of the first three games.”
During the Lady Griffs’ 19 – 9 run, Erin Kwiatkowski got a steal and created an layup out of it. Moments later, Alena Woodarek did the same. Mathewson said that creating turnovers into points is one of the goals he pushes his team to accomplish.
“We talk a lot about winning three areas, to be successful,” he said. “Points in transition, second chance points and points from turnovers. Each of these areas has two sides to the equation. We want to get offensive rebounds, but we want to protect against our opponents transition and we want to push the ball, but we don’t want to leave early, until we secure the defensive rebound. Playing fast is good, as long as the other team is the one making the bad choices and turnovers. Pushing the ball can be another form of pressure on a team. Each game has its own challenges, but if we can win these areas, we like our chances.”
The Lady Griffs played Depew on Friday, Dec. 21, before preparing for the Emerling Holiday Tournament.