TAKE IT TO THE NET — Springville-Griffith Institute varsity basketball player Alena Woodarek dribbles the ball up the center of the court, during a playoff game versus Maryvale. Photos by Leo Mrugala.
SPRINGVILLE — The Springville-Griffith Institute varsity girls basketball team took on Maryvale, in the Class B-1 pre-quarterfinals on Feb. 19, and was defeated by a score of 57 – 48.
This match marked the third meeting of the season, between the two Class B teams. The Flyers took the first game of the season, held Jan. 4, by 41 – 29. The second meeting came on Feb. 14, when S-GI earned the 47 – 39 victory against Maryvale.
The third game began with both teams’ firing on all cylinders, offensively. The score was 13 – 12, in favor of Maryvale, at the end of the first quarter.
PLAY BALL — The Springville and Maryvale teams wait, in anticipation, as a Flyers player takes to the free throw line.
The Lady Griffs were trading baskets with Maryvale, early on. Neither team led by more than 4 points, during the first half. “We were focused and stayed competitive, for the entire game,” said Coach Chris Mathewson. “I thought we competed hard and constantly put pressure on them, all night long. We had good looks, throughout the game, but we just came up short on the scoreboard, in the end.”
The second quarter continued to be a back-and-forth tilt, as Maryvale led 28 – 24, going into halftime.
Maryvale was led by Emily Speidel, who knocked down three 3-point field goals. “We were definitely aware of her presence on the court,” Mathewson said. “She’s a three-year starter on varsity for them, and we knew she could shoot the ball from outside. We did a better job of not letting her get comfortable, when we played them last Thursday. Like a lot of outside shooters, it’s their confidence that is the key to their success. For whatever reason, we just let her get too comfortable, early on.”
S-GI continued to battle, during the second half, but came up short in the end, losing by 57 – 48. The loss ended the season for the Lady Griffins and put their record at 11 – 8, for the year.
Tia Woodarek led S-GI in scoring, with 15 points. She was 8 for 11 from the free throw line, for the game.
Captain Tainne Dallas chipped in, with 11 points, and also knocked down one 3-point field goal.
Also scoring for S-GI were Alena Woodarek, with 8 points; Erin Kwiatkowski, with 8; Heaven Rollek, with 4 and Sarah Byrne, with 2. Woodarek made two 3-point field goals, while Kwiatkowski had three steals.
Mathewson said that he is proud of his team for the effort that the girls put forth, this season. “It was a great year, in terms of our competitiveness, growth and trust, as a team,” he said. “I know the girls were not entirely satisfied with how the season went. They felt that they let a game or two get away. That’s exactly what you want, as a coach: a team that sets high expectations and is never fully satisfied.”
The Lady Griffins entered the 2012 season, lacking four senior starters who had graduated the year before.
AIMING HIGH — Springville’s Tia Woodarek takes a shot from the free throw line, during the Maryvale versus S-GI game.
Mathewson said that trying to replace the outgoing players was not easy, but that his team is ready. “We had a lot of girls that had to take on new roles, this season, and I think that brought us closer together, as a team,” he said. “I think all the girls deserve recognition for their efforts this year, whether they started or came off the bench. Everybody made sacrifices to help the team and everyone contributed, in some way.”
Although the season did not end the way that Mathewson said he would have liked it to, he added that his girls will be back again next year, ready to improve, every day.
“It’s like the Lake Shore coach told me, earlier this season,” Mathewson said. “He said that our girls never quit and that playing against us is exhausting, for his team. That’s a great compliment to get, because it speaks to the girls’ compete level and their drive.
“The good news is, that this year’s team will have seven juniors and two sophomores who will be returning, next year,” he said. “We hope to build on this year’s success and set even higher expectations for next year.”