LAYING DOWN THE LAW — Springville-Griffith Institute head coach Frank Noeson gives his team a pep talk, before a recent game against Eden. Photos by Dave DeLuca.
SPRINGVILLE — Springville-Griffith Institute varsity basketball’s Greg Beatty went 1-of-11 from the field, in the first half, during a game on Jan. 18. However, Beatty caught fire in the second half, propelling Springville to a 53-46 victory over visiting Eden, in a non-league matchup.
Beatty scored 21 of his team-high 24 points in the second half, including tying his career-high with 6 3-pointers. Springville knocked down 9 3-point field goals in the game, with Adam Wolfley going 2-for-2 from downtown.
“We were fortunate that Greg was hitting Saturday [against Eden],” said Springville coach Frank Noeson. “Adam also shot the ball well. We had a difficult time getting the ball inside, against a zone defense. Our high post guys got rid of it too early, and our low post man wasn’t able to locate the seams in the backline.”
Springville took a 16-13 lead into halftime, with 12 of the team’s 16 points coming from behind the arc. Kyle Warner completed a 3-point play, early in the third quarter, when he finished a drive in transition and was fouled. Warner’s bucket started a 14-3 Springville run that gave the Griffs a 30-20 lead. Beatty scored 11 of the 14 points during the run, including going 3-for-3 from the perimeter.
Springville weathered hot shooting by Eden’s Brad Palmerton, who scored a game-high 26 points, with 19 coming in the fourth quarter. The Griffs were able to fend off Palmerton and Eden, for their third win of the season.
“It wasn’t pretty by any means, but that’s alright,” said Noeson about the win. “The team kept their heads straight and finished.”
Warner finished with 8 points while Wolfley and Wolcott each finished with 7. Wolcott handed out four assists and had four steals.
On Jan. 16, Springville lost to Cheektowaga 75-59. The Griffs opened the game with a 15-6 lead over the visiting Warriors, with Beatty connecting on 2 3-pointers and Wolfey adding a 3 of his own.
SWISH — Springville’s Nate Wolcott guides the ball right into the basket, for 2 of his 24 points against Eden.
Cheektowaga would battle back to tie the game at 17-17, at the end of one quarter. Cheektowaga outscored Springville 15-10, in the second quarter, to take a 32-27 lead at halftime. Beatty knocked down 2 free-throws, to cut Cheektowaga’s lead to 7, late in the fourth quarter, but the Warriors would finish the game on 14-6 run.
Cheektowaga pulled away in the fourth quarter, going 18-of-20 at the free-throw line in the frame. Cheektowaga finished the night 31-for-38 at the foul line, at 82 percent, while Springville went 12-of-22, at 55 percent.
Cheektowaga freshman, Dom Welch notched a triple-double, scoring 26 points, grabbing 13 rebounds and blocking 10 shots. Beatty had 19 points and seven rebounds for Springville. Wolfley added 11 points and Kevin Zabawa notched his first career double-double, scoring 10 points and pulling down 13 rebounds, 10 offensive.
On Jan. 15, Springville was defeated by East Aurora 49-43. The Griffs once again got off to strong start and led East Aurora 15-5, midway through the first quarter, when Wolfley sank a three from the wing.
East Aurora would battle back and take a 22-17 lead, at halftime. Springville hung around the entire second half, never trailing by more than 11 points, but couldn’t put together a big enough run to get over the hump.
Wolfley led Springville with 14 points and added three blocks and four steals. Beatty finished with 12 points and eight rebounds. Springville has lost three of their six divisional games by single digits.
“It’s obviously very frustrating,” said Noeson, about the close losses.
“Most of all, we feel that the things that are going wrong are totally under our control. We shot 9-for-21 from the free-throw line [against East Aurora]. We missed a good handful of shots from right under the basket. Simple things are killing us.”
Springville’s defense held the Blue Devils to 49 points, below the squad’s season average of 54 points, per game. The Griffs lead the division in points against, holding opponents to 50 points per game.
Lake Shore is the next best team in points against, holding opponents to 54 points, per contest.
Noeson noted that defense has played a key role in keeping Springville in a lot of close games, this season. The Griffs have lost three of their league games by 6-point margins each.
“I definitely think that defense has been what has kept us in some of these close games,” said Noeson of his team, which he noted has the stingiest defense in Erie County Interscholastic Conference III.
“When we go man, these guys like to pressure the ball and disrupt offenses. We’re getting better at communicating and understanding situational aspects of playing defense. We still need to improve our help defense. We make a good first rotation, but sometimes lose sight of sliding down to pick up the help’s man.”
Springville, which stands at 3-7 overall, took on rival Pioneer on Jan. 21 and traveled to Lake Shore on Jan. 23.