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Springville-Griffith Institute boys varsity basketball team drops playoff game against Dunkirk

GOTCHA — Springville’s Billy Dickinson (right) takes a steal, to score 2 of his 14 points against Dunkirk.
SPRINGVILLE — The Springville-Griffith Institute boys varsity basketball team traveled to Dunkirk on Feb. 19, to take on hosts Marauders.

S-GI junior Greg Beatty got an offensive rebound and saved it from going out of bounds, by throwing it off a Dunkirk player. On the ensuing inbounds play, Beatty found teammate Billy Dickinson, for a 3-pointer, with 4:48 left, during the first quarter, to knot the score at 6 – 6.

The first quarter saw the Griffins convert four offensive rebounds into 8 points, to keep Springville in the game. S-GI trailed 14 – 13, at the end of the opening 8 minutes.

Two Nate Wolcott free throws made the score 16 – 16. Minutes later, Beatty and Dickinson hit back-to-back 3s.

Dunkirk went on a 7 – 0 run, during the last 1:15 of the period, to take a 32 – 24 lead, at the half.

Three minutes into the third, Brian Seneca scored, off a drop-step on one end of the floor. On the other end, he blocked a Dunkirk layup, bouncing the ball off the gym wall, with Dunkirk leading 36 – 26. The Mauraders started to pull away, going up by 13 at the end of the third and then by 15, midway through the fourth. Dunkirk outscored Springville in the final quarter, en route to a 65 – 42 win.

“During the first quarter, Dunkirk played us man, and we were pretty much able to get the shots we wanted,” said Coach Frank Noeson. “They weren’t defending ball screens very aggressively, so we made it to the basket a handful of times. Then, they started switching in and out of zone and man. We weren’t able to get any quality looks, against their zone.

“When Dunkirk went on their run at the end of the second, it took some wind out of us,” the coach added. “A couple of unlucky breaks and they hit a couple of 3s and the deficit was 10. From there, we weren’t able to execute. We went into panic mode and made poor decisions and couldn’t make shots.”

With the seconds’ winding down in Springville’s season, Noeson put all four seniors on the court together, for the last time, in their high school careers.

Dickinson has been leading the Griffins in scoring, all season long, and has knocked down many 3-pointers. He is behind only Lake Shore’s Clark Bruekl in his division, for 3-pointers made, this season. He has made 45 3s. The senior knocked down his final 3, with 10 seconds remaining, in this final game.

“It’s nice to be able to hit one more 3, before leaving the court for the last time, I suppose,” Dickinson said. “I just didn’t want to go out with a losing performance, like this. I’m really proud of the guys and how hard they fought, this season. I’m definitely going to miss it.”

Dickinson scored a team-high 14 points, during the game against Dunkirk, while canning three 3s. He said that his college plans are undecided, but he is looking into St. John Fisher, Utica, Ithaca and the State University of New York College at Cortland. He said that he plans to major in sports management, possibly minoring in accounting. Dickinson was named the team’s most valuable player, by Noeson.

“Billy did come on this year, as a scorer,” Noeson said. “He’s got a great touch from outside and can also pull up and hit the mid-range shots. He definitely was the focus of opposing coaches. He was played box and one, a few different times, this year. I think, more importantly than him scoring, is how intelligent he is, on the court. He recognizes defenses and offenses immediately and helps his teammates adjust to situations.”

Seneca led the team in blocks, this season, and was part of Springville’s varsity football team. He said that he plans to attend Keuka College, to study business management.

“Brian Seneca is our big man who isn’t really big, except in heart and determination,” Noeson said, about the senior. “He oftentimes played the 4/5 position, against guys who were 6 inches taller and 50 pounds heavier than him. That didn’t matter to Brian. He was up for any challenge. Brian is the best post defender, on and away from the ball, that I’ve seen in a while.”

Senior Brian Johnson played his first year of varsity basketball, this past season, and was named the team’s most improved player. He last played modified basketball in seventh and eighth grades, before coming back to the sport as a senior. Johnson said that he will be attending Hilbert College, next fall, to study criminal justice.

“Brian Johnson was a first year varsity player who I’d wish would have played throughout all of his high school years,” Noeson said. “Brian is a pesky defender and gets his hands on a lot of passes. Brian played hard all season and made his teammates better for it.”

Will Lawton has been playing varsity basketball since his sophomore year. He was also part of the golf team, during the fall, and will switch from his basketball shoes to his baseball cleats, to compete in his fourth year of varsity baseball.

Lawton said that he will be attending St. Bonaventure University, where he will seek to play golf or baseball, while pursuing a career in math education or accounting.

“Will Lawton was our versatility player,” Noeson said. “He was asked to play anything from 2-guard, to the small forward position. Wherever he was, comfortable or not, Will gave everything he had. Will had a keen nose for the ball, defensively, and may have been our best on ball defender, late in the season. All four seniors will be greatly missed. I wish them luck, in their collegiate careers, and look forward to hearing of their sure to come successes.”

Lawton and Johnson were both awarded the Robert Schlageter Memorial Award, which recognizes athletes’ hustle, effort and attitude, according to Noeson.

“I think we did some good things,” the coach said, in reference to the season. “We played some hard-fought basketball games that were either close, heading to the fourth quarter, or went into overtime. I still think lack of experience in close games and in basketball, in general, hurts us, in both of those situations.

“I’m really excited to have seven returning players, who can hopefully get some quality time in this offseason and summer, playing together,” Noeson concluded.
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