RUNNING IT DOWN — Springville’s Meg Hanrahan runs the ball past a defender, during one of the team’s opening matches. Photo by Dave DeLuca.
SPRINGVILLE — Springville-Griffith Institute girls varsity basketball coach Chris Mathewson said he knew that his division would be mighty competitive, this season. Mathewson and his team saw concrete evidence of that, losing their first two games to division foes Pioneer and Cheektowaga.
On Dec. 3, Springville traveled to Pioneer, currently ranked at 2-0, and dropped the season opener 48-41. Springville could not contain Pioneer’s leading scorer, Jacque Law, who scored a game-high 28 points, to pace the Panthers. The Lady Griffs trailed 27-19 at halftime, but Pioneer would storm out of intermission on an 11-3 run, to take a 39-22 lead.
Springville’s Tainne Dallas put a halt to the run, with a three-pointer from the wing, with 3 minutes, 17 seconds remaining in the third. Dallas’ three sparked a Springville comeback from being down 17, to cut the lead to single-digits.
Erin Kwiatkowski hit a three, late in the game, to make it 48-41, but Springville ran out of time and dropped the season opener. The late-game rally saw Springville go on a 19-9 run, with six different scorers contributing to the surge.
Dallas and Heaven Rolleck led Springville, with 10 points apiece. Alena Woodarek pitched in, with 8 points and two steals.
On Dec. 9, Springville traveled to Cheektowaga, ranked at 1-0, and fell to the host Warriors 53-51. Cheektowaga broke a tie game, when Andrea Montgomery made the game-winning layup with 9.1 seconds left, to hand Springville its second loss of the season.
“They’re a tough team. They have length, they have size and, going into the game, they had four girls averaging double figures,” said Mathewson, about Cheektowaga.
Montgomery turned in a loaded stat line, scoring a game-high 24 points, pulling down 11 rebounds and blocking four shots. Mykia Lee finished with 13 points and 14 rebounds, for Cheektowaga. On the Springville side, Heaven Rollek had a double-double, with 14 points and 11 rebounds, while dishing out five assists. Alena Woodarek had 11 points, four assists and five steals, while Dallas scored 10 points, for the second straight game.
“They obviously had some matchup problems for us,” said Mathewson. “We also created matchup problems for them. It went back and forth, all game. Sometimes their size hurt us, but sometimes, when we made them guard us on the perimeter, we hurt them. In the end, they made one more shot than we did.”
Tia Woodarek, Springville’s leading scorer and rebounder from last season, is working her way back from an injury. Mathewson projected her to be back some time next week. Junior forward Sarah Byrne is also nursing an injury. Jenna Schunke and Kate Darling have seen more minutes, in Byrne’s absence.
Springville traveled to Lake Shore on Dec. 12 and will host Depew on Dec. 17.