TEAMWORK — Springville-Griffith Institute junior varsity basketball player Kyle Crotty, No. 5, sends a pass to teammate Kyle Warner (far left). Photos by Dave DeLuca.
SPRINGVILLE — The Springville-Griffith Institute boys junior varsity basketball team entered its Jan. 17 game against Pioneer with a 1 – 9 record.
Eight of Springville’s nine losses had been decided by 8 or fewer points.
The Griffins got over their hump, during the 43 – 42 game against Pioneer, racking up their first league win of the season. The game began with the Panthers’ coming out to a 16 – 1 lead, against host Springville.
PEP TALK — Springville Coach Ed Bates (center) speaks to his team, with 20.3 seconds left, during a timeout, as the team clung to a 1-point lead.
“My college coach used to tell me [that basketball] is a game of runs and you have to have the last one,” said Coach Ed Bates.
The Griffins went on an 18 – 2 run and trailed at half, by 1 point. That run included Brice Stedman’s and Kyle Crotty’s combining, to score 16 points.
Crotty backed a 3, to make the score 9 – 16, and then sent a full court outlet pass to Stedman, for a layup that brought the score to 13 – 16. Stedman gave the Griffins a lead, for the moment, on an offensive rebound. The score was in Springville’s favor, at 19 – 18, before Pioneer responded, to go into the half with a 1-point advantage.
Pioneer took an 8-point lead, midway through the third quarter, but a jumper by Parker Rice cut the Panthers’ lead to 33 – 27. Pioneer held on to leads, until Kyle Warner stole an in-bounds pass and took it to the cup for a layup, with 1:48 remaining, to give Springville its first lead, since the second quarter. A Pioneer player was fouled, with 1:22 remaining, and went 1 for 2 at the line, to tie the game at 42 – 42.
On Springville’s next possession, Devin Pazzuti was fouled and went 1 for 2, from the line, to give Springville a 43 – 42 lead. Bates called a timeout, with 20.3 seconds left. With Springville on defense, Pioneer had one more chance.
The Griffins came out, playing man-to-man defense. Pioneer’s last-second heave rung off the rim and Parker Rice went up high, to pull down the rebound that gave Springville its first league win of the year.
While Pioneer’s 16 – 1 run started the game, Springville closed the match, on a 42 – 26 run.
Bates said that he was happy with the group that dug Springville out of the early 16 – 1 hole. “I told the kids, after the game, that the five guys that went in, at the start of the second quarter, won the game for us,” he said. “We were down 16 – 1 and looked terrible. Those five infused energy and tempo into us and got us within 1, at the half. From that point, it was an even contest and we got a few good bounces at the end, for once.”
Springville racked up 14 steals, in the victory, staying out of foul trouble and keeping all players in the game. The boys went to the free throw line 22 times. They have averaged 19 free throw attempts, since Jan 3.
FOR THE KILL — Springville player Dalton Nelson (in white) swoops into the lane, before being fouled.
Following sophomore center Patrick Emmick’s move up to varsity, after the first game of the season, the Griffins have been offensively led by freshman guards Warner and Dalton Nelson. These are the team’s leading scorers.
Warner is averaging 13.5 points, per game, and Nelson is averaging 7.3 points, per game.
MAKE THE SHOT — Springville’s Chuck Foor, No. 4, fights through contact, during a layup.
Bates noted that some of his key and role players are freshman who are experiencing their first taste of junior varsity basketball.
“I think my kids are still learning to play the game on a competitive level,” he said. “The jump from modified to JV is quite distinctive, so oftentimes, they aren’t ready for the runs that occur. They’re learning, though. I think playing together for this season and, for some of them, this summer, will greatly benefit them.”
The win ended Springville’s string of league defeats. Leading the way for the Griffins were Crotty and Stedman, with 8 points each. Crotty filled up the statistics sheet, leading the team with eight rebounds, three assists, four steals and two blocks.
Crotty played point guard, for most of the game, and had one turnover, while acting as the team’s floor general.
According to Bates, Rice also made big plays, for his team. Parker grabbed the game-clinching rebound over a Pioneer player and scored 4 points, late in the game. Rice has been acting as the team’s center, in Emmick’s absence. “Parker’s a great kid,” Bates said. “He’s come a long way, this year, and is very coachable. You’ll see him before practice, working on things that will make him a better player. He’s another kid who will greatly benefit from playing this summer.”
The Griffins took on Eden on Jan. 23.