GOING INTO BATTLE — Springville-Griffith Institute’s Heaven Rolleck goes up against a West Seneca East player, during the Emerling Ford Holiday Tournament. Photo by Dave DeLuca.
SPRINGVILLE — Limited by foul trouble throughout the game, Tia Woodarek made the most out of her minutes in the fourth quarter, when the Springville-Griffith Institute senior standout scored 8 points, to help blow open a tight game, as S-GI defeated Mount St. Mary’s 52-34 in the championship game of the Emerling Ford Holiday Tournament on Dec. 30. Woodarek’s 8 points came during Springville’s decisive 14-0 run, that turned a 4-point game into an 18-point game. Woodarek teamed up with her sister, Alena Woodarek, to combine for 17 of Springville’s 19 fourth-quarter points.
“I think we wore them down,” said Springville coach Chris Mathewson. “I think it was an accumulation of us picking them up, full-court. I didn’t like our energy, in the first quarter. We were kind of flat. We went to our trapping zone and that got our energy up, a little bit. [Tia Woodarek] was fresh, coming in, and her energy late in the game really helped us.”
Mount St. Mary’s led for the majority of the first half, before Alena Woodarek and Tainne Dallas hit back-to-back threes for Springville that gave the Lady Griffs a 16-11 lead. Springville trailed by a bucket, midway through the third quarter, but a midrange jumper by Heaven Rollek tied the game at 24-24. Erin Kwiatkowski’s bucket broke the stalemate and the Lady Griffs wouldn’t trail, the rest of the way.
Mount St. Mary’s was led by Samantha Barry, who was selected for the All-Tournament team. Barry led Mount St. Mary’s with 10 points. Barry started the game with 8 points in the first quarter, and Springville would hold her to one basket, the rest of the game. Mathewson said that, going into the game, Springville wanted to take Barry’s driving ability away.
“We talked about [Barry] before the game,” said Mathewson. “She likes to drive, so we talked about taking her drive away, which we didn’t do a very good job of, in the first quarter. We refocused on that and another thing we tried to do was have a lot of help in the gaps. We weren’t helping on her drives, in the first. We did a much better job on that, in the second half, and we were getting our hands on a lot of balls, when she or their other players would drive.”
Springville had four players in double-figures, for the first time all season. Alena and Tia Woodarek had 12 points apiece. Tia Woodarek added eight rebounds, two blocks and two steals. Rollek also scored a dozen, while dishing out a team-high four assists. Dallas scored 10 points in the win.
“I think that [Mount St. Mary’s] was a very good team. I think they were one of the better teams we’ve faced in the championship and beaten. I told the girls: ‘If we defend like that, we can beat anybody.’ But we have to defend like that.”
On Dec. 27, Springville defeated West Seneca East 59-13 in their tournament opener. Kwiatkowski scored a season-high 13 points in the win for Springville. Woodarek and Rollek scored 9 points apiece. Dallas scored 7, followed by Alena Woodarek, with 6, and Julia Krzemien, with 5. Springville took a 25-3 lead, at the half.
“I thought, in the second half, when we could have lost focus; we played well,” said Mathewson. “We talked at halftime about really working hard. With rebounding, we really have to use our athleticism to rebound. We have to battle some girls that are bigger than us, but one of our strengths is beating people to spots and being quicker than our opponents. We had a lot of second-chance opportunities.”
Woodarek was named the Tournament Most Valuable Player and Heaven Rollek was also named to the All-Tournament team.
Springville, with a record of 3-3 overall and 1-3 league, will return to action when they travel to Lake Shore on Jan. 6.