WE LOVE OUR COACH — The Springville-Griffith Institute varsity basketball girls team shows off the “Mr. Mathewson T-shirts,” which sport a drawing of Coach Chris Mathewson, pictured, center. Photos by Dave DeLuca.
SPRINGVILLE — The Springville-Griffith Institute girls varsity basketball team took on the Maryvale Flyers on Feb. 14.
The Flyers boast a 6-foot, 1-inch tall junior forward, Ciarra Rosten, who returned to Maryvale this past season, after spending two years at St. Mary’s. Opposing coaches call this player a “do-it-all forward.”
Rosten became the first girl in her school’s history to record a triple double, with 26 points, 21 rebounds and 10 blocks, during a Jan. 24 game against Lake Shore. This player recently became Maryvale’s second 1,000-point scorer, on Feb. 5, again against Lake Shore.
During the Maryvale versus Springville game on Feb. 14, Lady Griffin Heaven Rollek turned in an all-around performance, to lead Springville to a 47 – 39 win against the visiting Flyers. Rollek recorded career highs in points, with 15, and rebounds, with 13, while adding five steals.
FOCUS — Springville’s Heaven Rollek grabs a rebound and pushes it up the floor against Maryvale. The S-GI player scored 15 points, during this game.
“Heaven has played well, the last two games, but has had good moments at different times during the year,” said Coach Chris Mathewson. “Her 15 points were awesome, but her 13 rebounds and five steals really contributed to our defensive success. We were committing more than one girl, in an effort to keep Ciarra off the offensive glass. Heaven’s aggressiveness on the defensive glass was outstanding.”
Rosten and guard Emily Speidel combined, to average 34 points, per game, this season, for Maryvale. Mathewson said that he focused his team’s defense, to try to slow down that duo.
“Obviously [Rosten] was a focus of our defense, as was their second-leading scorer, Speidel,” he said. “We were able to hold them to 19. The girls did a nice job of communicating on defense and contesting the driving lanes and gaps in the zone. I think moving her around the zone was an attempt to find some space for her, and our girls did a nice job of supporting each other. It was rare that she had a one-on-one opportunity.”
During the first quarter, the Lady Griffins came out, with a deep jumper from Rollek. A minute later, Tia Woodarek hit a baseline jumper, to give Springville an early 10 – 3 lead. Rosten cut Springville’s lead to 22 – 17 with a layup, just before halftime.
With the Lady Griffins’ clinging to a 32 – 30 lead, during the fourth quarter, Rollek knocked down a jumper at 4 minutes before the end of the game, to bring Springville’s lead to 34 – 30.
Maryvale responded, a minute later, on Speidel’s basket and the foul, to make it a 1-point game. With 1:13 left, Woodarek hit two free throws and, with 48.2 second left, Rollek hit two of her own, to ice the game for Springville, at 47 – 39.
Rollek and Woodarek combined, to go 7 for 8, from the free throw line. The team combined to shoot 70 percent from the foul line, during the fourth quarter.
“We’ve talked a lot about and made FTs a focus of ours,” Mathewson said. “These games at this time of year become competitive and we’re probably going to have to make FTs, when the opportunity presents itself. I thought the girls were excellent in the fourth. It was a physical game throughout, but we really didn’t get the payoff of FT attempts until the fourth quarter, when the pressure is highest. To convert 70 percent in the fourth quarter was outstanding, because it was three or four girls that had to convert over that stretch; a nice team effort.”
Along with Rollek, Woodarek scored 15 points, during the contest, followed by her sister Alena Woodarek, with 9. Tainne Dallas and Erin Kwiatkowski added 4 points, each.
The girls hosted Maryvale again, on Feb. 19, to open the Section VI playoffs.