I GOT IT — Tainne Dallas is pictured, passing the ball to a teammate, during a game Springville played against Eden. Photo by Dave DeLuca.
SPRINGVILLE — At the beginning of the fall sports season, Coach Chris Mathewson and his Springville-Griffith Institute girls varsity basketball team were facing a dilemma: The Lady Griffins needed to replace four starters the team had lost, due to graduation.
The four outgoing seniors had combined for nearly 80 percent of the team’s scoring, last year, when the Lady Griffins rode their seniors to the Class B-2 championship game.
This season, the girls reloaded and headed onto the court, with a new lineup. Gaining more playing time, this year, were one senior, seven juniors and two sophomores.
Leading the Lady Griffins in scoring was junior Tia Woodarek, who averaged 12 points, per game. Woodarek also led the team in steals and rebounds. Her season earned her recognition in the division, as a second team all-star in Erie County Interscholastic Conference 3.
“Her skill set and competitiveness afforded the team a great deal of flexibility,” Mathewson said. “She was always willing to play any of the five positions on the floor, trusting that any sacrifice she might make, based on her assignment for that game, gave the team a better chance to win. As her head coach, I’m always confident that she has a good awareness of what the team expectations are and that she will continue to be that voice on the floor, encouraging her teammates to reach those high standards.”
This year marked Woodarek’s second season on the varsity team and her first, as a starter.
During the latter 11 games of the year, Woodarek averaged 15 points per game and scored in double figures, during 10 of those 11 events.
“As a second-year player but first-year starter, Tia needed a few games, in the early season, to get a sense of how the points were going to come for her and how to change her game, based on whether a bigger forward or guard was defending her,” Mathewson said. “Once she settled in, she really took off.”
Woodarek’s scoring average ranked sixth in ECIC 3 and 20th in the conference. Matthewson presented the athlete with the Most Valuable Player Award.
Her season-high 21 points came, during a game Springville played against Amherst and won by 48 – 47.
Mathewson said that a large part of Woodarek’s game, this season, has been her ability to get to the free throw line. “She was a smaller forward that could use her speed to blow by bigger defenders,” he said. The athlete scored 84 of her 233 points from the free throw line.
THERE SHE GOES — Tia Woodarek goes up for a layup, during a Springville versus Eden game. Photo by Dave DeLuca.
The Lady Griffins’ lone returning starter was junior Tainne Dallas, who increased her sophomore season average by 5 points.
“Tainne was recognized as [the team’s] most improved player, for her continued growth as a basketball player and as a leader in her role as captain,” Mathewson said. “As the lone returning starter from last year’s team, Tainne has always taken seriously the responsibility of being a supportive leader and a responsible, reliable teammate.”
Like Woodarek, Dallas played a variety of positions, for the Lady Griffins basketball team. She was second, on the team, in assists and third, in rebounding.Dallas led the team in free throw percentage, shooting 71 percent from the line and 73 percent, during the fourth quarter, throughout the year.
“It should be a great year next season, for Tainne, Tia and all of the varsity Lady Griffs,” Mathewson said.