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Springville-Griffith Institute girls varsity basketball wins Emerling Ford Holiday Tournament

COMING IN FIRST — The Springville-Griffith Institute varsity girls basketball team stands with the holiday tournament first place trophy, along with the team Coach Chris Mathewson (right) and Carl Emerling (left). Photos by Dave DeLuca.
SPRINGVILLE — Taine Dallas’ midrange jumper at the second quarter buzzer gave the Springville Lady Griffins a 24 – 19 lead at halftime against the Eden Raiders, during the Emerling Ford Holiday Tournament Dec. 28.

Dallas scored 17 points in the contest, en route to being named the most valuable player of the tournament. The Lady Griffins finished in first place, after upending Eden in the championship game 45 – 35.

“Tainne has been working hard all year,” said Coach Chris Mathewson. “She has been under the weather the last couple of weeks and her 17 points and tournament MVP were a nice reward for the work that she’s been putting in. The good thing about Tainne is, she’s always looking for ways to contribute and does a lot of little things that don’t show up on the stat sheet, but help you win.”

Dallas’ 17 points led the Lady Griffs in scoring.

Throughout their past six games, the girls have been led in scoring by four different scorers.

DON’T LET GO — Springville’s Tia Woodarek (left) fights for a loose ball against Eden.
Tia Woodarek was second on the team in scoring against Eden, with 14, and was selected for the all-tournament team. Erin Kwiatkowski followed, with 7 points.

Mathewson talked about the balanced scoring attack so far, this season. “Some of that is a result of how the opponents decide to play us,” he said. “Who is able to get to the FT line, etc. A lot of it is due to having a pretty balanced team, with girls who can play different positions. If we continue to develop a willingness to move the ball on offense, that potential for anyone to have a big night is there, which makes us a tougher team to defend.”

Eden came out after half time, to use its half court zone defense in an attempt to Springville from getting out in transition, according to Mathewson. That play resulted in Eden’s being down 32 – 31, entering the fourth quarter.

KEEP ON RUNNING — Springville varsity basketball team member Alena Woodarek (left) dribbles down the court against Eden.
“I thought Eden’s half court zone was effective in making the game a half court game and keeping our transition game in check,” said Mathewson. “It was the first time that we’ve seen that kind of extended zone and, even though we talked about it, it caused some early hesitancy on our part, on the offensive end. We were able settle things and get some good open looks and our defensive push in the fourth quarter gave us some turnovers that extended the score for us.”

After losing to undefeated Pioneer by 7 points, earlier in the season and losing a 1-point game against Cheektowaga, the Lady Griffins have gone on a four-game winning streak and now they sit in fourth place in their eight-team sports division.

“The girls have been willing to keep competing during those times in games, when things are less than perfect,” Mathewson said, about the recent win streak.

DETERMINED TO WIN — Springville’s Phoenix Rollek (right) plays defense against Eden during the holiday tournament.
“We have been able to make the plays at the end of games that we weren’t converting on in the first two games. Ultimately, we need to keep improving and get more consistent on offense and tighten up our defensive efforts, to continue to be competitive as we head back to league games.”

The Springville girls played Maryvale on Jan. 4.

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