CAN’T TOUCH THIS — S-GI’s Tia Woodarek soars above the competition.
SPRINGVILLE — Springville-Griffith Institute girls varsity basketball finished the regular season schedule on a high note, defeating Pioneer 55-42. The Lady Griffs were able fend off Pioneer standout Jacque Law. Law, one of the top players in Section VI this season, led the visiting Panthers with 25 points and 10 rebounds. She did a majority of her damage in the first half, finishing with 17 points at halftime.
“We didn’t do a very good job on her, in the first half,” said Springville coach Chris Mathewson.
“Our help-side defensive wasn’t even looking at her. With her, we have be out on the three. If she tries to drive, we want to be in the gap and attack the ball. We did a much better job with that, in the second half, which forced some turnovers. She’s going to be make plays because she’s a heckuva player, but you have to make it tough for her. ”
Springville was able to create offense in multiple ways. The Lady Griffs hit a season-high 7 3-pointers as a team and also scored 34 points inside the 3-point arc.
“We always try to get points in a hurry, which we can do, but we also have to slow down and run sets,” said Mathewson. “Once we settled down and got the emotion of the night out of the way, we were able to focus a little more.”
Law carried Pioneer to start the game with 11 points in the first quarter. Springville’s Heaven Rollek took on the responsibility of guarding Law for a majority of the game, from that point on. Law played in the post and on the perimeter. When she played down low, Springville’s Jenna Schunke checked her.
Tainne Dallas took over the second quarter for Springville, hitting 3 consecutive 3-pointers, to give Springville a 22-17 lead. Pioneer kept it close, not trailing by more than 6 points until late in the fourth quarter. Tia Woodarek hit a 3 from the right wing and then Alena Woodarek drove baseline and kicked the ball out to Erin Kwiatkowski, for another 3-pointer, to make it 51-42. Springville put together an 11-3 run, to close out the game.
Tia Woodarek led Springville with 20 points, 10 rebounds and a season-high six blocks. Dallas had 13 points and hit 3 3-pointers. Kwiatkowski and Alena Woodarek each finished with 7 points.
“We’re playing really well, right now,” said Mathewson. “There are moments in games where we’re struggling, but we’re involving everyone and we’ve added a few different things. Tia has really been an inside presence, which has really helped our outside shooters get more space.”
The game also saw eight Lady Griffs recognized on senior night, for their contributions to the girls basketball program, over the years.
Springville, at 10-8, hosted Amherst, at 11-7, on Feb. 20 in the quarterfinals of the Section VI A-2 playoffs. Springville swept Amherst in the regular season, winning by 3 points at Amherst and winning by 11 at home. The Tigers have two standout guards in Holly Sullivan, with 13.3 points per game, and Claire Wanzer, with 11.3 points per game. Amherst also has two of the best post defenders in Class A, in 5-foot-11 Alex Allard and 5-foot-10 Externity Jones. Both players have 30 or more blocks, this season.