SPRINGVILLE — When playing the Springville-Griffith Institute varsity basketball squad, opposing coaches had to know where No. 14 was on the floor, at all times. Greg Beatty, a senior, was one of Section VI’s best 3-point shooters.
“No. 14! No. 14! He’s open!,” Pioneer coach Matt Krotz shouted, during a game.
“Don’t let No. 14 get open!,” East Aurora coach Chris Koselny yelled to his team, in another game.
Chances are, if Beatty got an open look from behind the 3-point line, the ball was going through the basket. Beatty’s senior season, with plenty of 3-pointers, has earned him an invitation to the Silver Hoops All Star Game on March 29. The game will include some of the top seniors from around Western New York, with his Erie County Interscholastic Conference team playing the Buffalo Public School team. Beatty’s team will be coached by Pat Cullinan of Cheektowaga and Larry Jones of Depew, with tipoff scheduled for 12:30 p.m. at Grabiarz Elementary School in Buffalo.
“Greg is deserving of playing in this game because of the season he had, this year,” Springville coach Frank Noeson said. “He was one of the top seniors in our division, in terms of scoring.”
Beatty broke the school record at S-GI for 3-pointers in a season with 63, breaking the previous record of 58, set by Jeff Piscitelli 19 years ago. Beatty led Section VI in 3-pointers this season, as well.
“Greg certainly is one of the best pure shooters I’ve coached,” Noeson said. “His mechanics are good and he just has great feel. He’s worked hard on his shot, throughout his years of playing basketball, and it’s certainly paid off.”
Beatty averaged 16.6 points per game and was Springville’s leading rebounder. The player hit 6 3-pointers in three games this season and hit 8 3-pointers against Amherst, which was the second-best mark in Section VI, this season. Beatty did all of that while causing a lot of attention, from other teams. Opponents played a box-and-one on him at times and also put their best player in charge of guarding him.
“He definitely was the focus of opposing teams, because of his ability to shoot the ball,” Noeson said. “Greg usually was matched up with a top defender from other teams, who was instructed not to leave him. Greg has good court awareness, so even when the focus was on him, he was able to put himself into scoring position often.”
Beatty’s 315 points helped S-GI have its best season in five years and snapped the program’s 34-game losing streak against league opponents, with a win against Lake Shore. Springville also upset Depew, a team that was one win away from the Sectional Championship game.
“It’s always difficult to replace 16 points per game and the team’s leading rebounder,” Noeson said of losing Beatty to graduation. “Obviously, it won’t be one single player filling those shoes, but we’ll need a collaborative effort, to reach Greg’s stat line.”
Beatty is planning on attending the State University of New York at Buffalo next fall, where he plans to be studying business and hospitality management.