SWISH GOES THE BASKET — S-GI’s Adam Wolfley takes it past two Amherst defenders, during the final game of the season.
SPRINGVILLE — The Springville-Griffith Institute basketball boys saw their season come to a close with a 65-58 loss to South Park on Feb. 19, in the prequarterfinals of the Section VI A-2 playoffs.
South Park, at 8-11, entered the game having won three of their last four games and earned the first-round home game.
Springville found some success earlier on, by getting open perimeter jumpers. Greg Beatty drilled a 3 off an inbounds play, at the 4 minutes, 40 seconds mark of the first quarter and then Adam Wolfley hit a trey of his own, minutes later.
Springville was moving the ball well against South Park’s 2-3 zone defense, but the Sparks began to extend their 2-3 zone to attempt to limit Springville’s 3-point shooting.
South Park began to force turnovers and pick off errant passes, late in the second quarter, and that would translate into the second half.
HOT SHOTS — Kyle Warner went up against South Park in the prequarterfinals. Photos by Dave DeLuca.
“We hadn’t seen a ton of 2-3 zone this year, but that wasn’t the problem,” said Springville coach Frank Noeson. “South Park’s zone was really extended. Instead of looking to get the ball to the high post or short corners, our wings wanted to throw perimeter passes, which we telegraphed every time, with no ball fakes or threat of dribble penetration.”
The turnovers allowed South Park to get out on the fast break and turn defense into offense. Despite the turnovers, Springville was still hanging around and led 41-39, at the end of the third quarter, after a jumper by Bobby Fisher. Springville closed the third quarter on a 14-2 run.
South Park would take control in the final quarter – outscoring Springville 26-17. Beatty kept it close when he knocked down 4 straight free throws, after a South Park player was charged with a double-technical, as Springville trailed by 4. Wolfley hit a jumper to cut South Park’s lead to 50-48, with 3:50 left, but that’s the closest Springville would come.
Springville was forcing South Park into tough shots, but the Sparks hit the offensive glass and picked up a bunch of second-chance points.
“We weren’t as hungry as they were,” said Noeson.
“They had guys flying around the basket. We expected it to fall into our hands. We know we were capable of playing better. We played timid and waited for things to happen, instead of taking control.”
Keion Godson led South with 19 points and Austin Peach had 17 points, 16 rebounds and two blocks. Beatty led all scorers, with 30 points, including 6 3-point field goals.
Wolfley had 9 points. Beatty finished the season with 315 points and averaged 16.6 points per game. Beatty had 159 points last season and nearly doubled that, with the help of his prolific 3-point shooting. Beatty finished the season with 63 3-point field goals, which leads ECIC III. His hot shooting from the behind the arc was on display against Amherst, when he hit 8 3-pointers. He also hit 6 3-pointers, in three other games.
“Greg obviously had an amazing season, offensively,” said Noeson.
“He shot the ball outstanding and was our leading rebounder. Greg did this all while being the one person on our team that opposing coaches game-planned against defensively.”
Beatty is one of seven seniors who will be graduating in June. This group of seniors led Springville to their best season in five years and snapped the program’s 34-game losing streak against league opponents, with a win over Lake Shore.
“These seniors were invaluable,” said Noeson, of the graduating group.
“There’s certainly some big shoes to fill, come next year. These seniors were such a great group of guys, too. They had a great work ethic, along with unique personalities.”