SPRINGVILLE — The Springville-Griffith Institute varsity girls basketball team defeated Cheektowaga on Jan. 18, by a score of 35 – 34.
S-GI jumped out to an early 8 – 2 lead against Cheektowaga, but the Warriors closed the gap, during the second quarter.
The Lady Griffs were out-scored 11 – 6, in the second, having their lead cut down to 1 point. S-GI led 14 – 13, at the half.
Coach Chris Mathewson pointed out the way his team worked together. “Our communication and focus on defense was excellent, and that keyed the victory,” he said. “I liked the way we just kept playing and competing. When the game turns into a back-and-forth contest, the pressure increases. The girls handled it extremely well and I was satisfied with their composure.”
The second half was close, throughout, as the two teams traded baskets, back and forth. Both teams scored 21 points, in the second half, but S-GI held on, to earn the 35 – 34 victory.
This was the second close game of the season, between the two Erie County Interscholastic Conference Division III members. During their first meeting of the season, on Dec. 14, Cheektowaga defeated S-GI 43 – 42. Both games were decided by 1 point, with the road team’s winning, each time.
Mathewson said that he had a feeling that his team was going to pull this one out, in the end. “I could tell, during a time out in the second half, that the girls had a lot of confidence and faith in each other, to get the job done,” he said. “I know the team felt like they let the first game against Cheektowaga slip away from them and they were happy to come out on top in this one.”
According to the coach, Cheektowaga averaged 46 points, per game, throughout its first 10 games, “so holding them to 34 was important. It dramatically improved our chances of winning, and we met our team goal of holding the opponent under 40.”
Tia Woodarek led the team in scoring, with 12 points. Heaven Rollek and Erin Kwiatkowski scored 6 points, each.
Also scoring for S-GI were Tainne Dallas, with 4 points; Sarah Byrne, with 4 and Alena Woodarek, with 3.
Mathewson said that he is pleased with the recent offensive improvements that his team has made. “The last two games, we have played with a nice pace, offensively,” he said. “We are making better decisions with the ball. With that comes more assists and less turnovers. It’s a solid and honest way to play offense, as a team. Protect the ball, read the defense and make the extra pass. If we continue to play this way on offense and keep working hard on our defense, then we will be a tough team to play.”
The Lady Griffs improved to 6 – 4 on the season, with this win.
S-GI also played Lake Shore on Jan. 22.