OUT OF MY WAY — Springville’s Nate Wolcott (left) looks to dribble around a South Park defender. Photos by Dave DeLuca.
SPRINGVILLE — The Springville-GI boys varsity basketball team competed in the Emerling Ford Holiday Tournament, which was held in Springville Dec. 27 – 29.
After beating West Valley Central School in the tournament opener, the Griffins took on the South Park Sparks and WNY’s leading scorer, Tyrell Mitchell, during the championship game.
Springville came out, during the championship game, with an early 4 – 0 lead off layups from Bobby Fisher and Greg Beatty. The game would remain close throughout, as neither team took a lead of more than 7 points.
Springville’s Billy Dickinson hit a 3-pointer and was fouled, late in the fourth quarter. He hit the ensuing free throw and the game went into overtime moments later.
South Park’s Tyrell Mitchell scored 6 of his 34 points in the extra period, to propel the Sparks to a 65 – 58 victory.
Leading the Griffins in scoring was Dickinson, with 22 points, including a varsity career-high four 3-pointers.
TEAMMATES — Springville-Griffith Institute players Billy Dickinson (left) and Adam Wolfley (right) go airborne during starting lineups on Dec. 27 against West Valley Central School.
Dickinson said that he thought the Griffins had done something they hadn’t all year. “I felt like we played a complete game,” he said. “One that we knew we were capable of. We’re disappointed that we didn’t come out with a win, but we feel we can take this play into the rest of our season and compete with anyone.”
Dickinson’s free throws in overtime brought the Griffs within 3 points of South Park, but South Park took control and scored 6 straight points.
Springville hit a season-high six 3-pointers, during the game, and produced its highest offensive output of the season, with 58 points.
“Both teams played us in a 3 – 2 zone, which we hadn’t seen yet this year,” said Coach Frank Noeson. “We knew we could attack from the corners, which would then open up some shot opportunities for our guards. We were able to get the ball to the high post and keep the ball moving, keeping the zone defenses spread out. In both games, our 3 and 4 position players were able to get good looks at the basket, from close up.”
HOME CROWD — Billy Dickinson (right) puts up a floater against South Park, as the audience looks on at Springville-GI.
The Griffins outscored the Sparks 33 – 24, during the game’s second half. Springville has outscored its opponents in the second half, in four out of its five games, this season.
South Park has a record of 7 – 2 on the season, and Noeson said he thought the Griffs gave the game everything they had, to try to upset the Sparks.
“The effort put forth by this group of guys is never in question,” he said. “They really did give it everything they had against South Park. We had a couple of unfortunate turnovers, late, that really cost us. Billy Dickinson, Greg Beatty and Bobby Fisher really stepped up and kept us in the game, offensively.”
Rounding out the scoring with Dickinson were Beatty, with 12 points and Brian Seneca, with 7. Fisher was second on the team in scoring, with his varsity career-high 15 points. He hit the offensive glass several times and converted those rebounds into points.
CAN HE DO IT? — Bobby Fisher (right) grabs an offensive rebound and puts it back up for 2 of his 15 points against South Park, on Dec. 29.
Noeson acknowledged Fisher’s work ethic. “Bobby always works hard,” he said. “He’s by far our most physical player and as determined as anyone on the floor. He does a good job of getting a body on opposing players and grabbing both offensive and defensive boards.”
Springville played West Valley, during the tournament opener. After the first half, the Griffs broke the game open, due to outscoring West Valley 13 – 2 in the third quarter, and cruised to a 48 – 36 win.
Leading the Griffins in scoring was Fisher, with 11 points; Dickinson, with 9; Will Lawton, with 7 and Nate Wolcott, with 5.
The Griff’s look to convert their success in the tournament in their league schedule. They played Cheektowaga on Jan. 3.