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S-GI girls varsity basketball prepares for new season

SPRINGVILLE — The Springville-Griffith Institute varsity girls basketball team team returns one starter from last season,Tainne Dallas, who is also this year’s captain. The Lady Griffs will bring back several players, from last year’s team. Heaven Rollek, Alena Woodarek and Tia Woodarek all saw playing time last season.

Coach Chris Mathewson said he is excited about this year’s team. “We will have some players back that saw significant time and made major contributions to our successful season, last year,” he said. “We are a young team, with a good amount of game experience, and our lone senior, Sam Wach, missed the majority of last season, with an injury.”

Juniors Alex Darling, Katrina Kerkendall, Phoenix Rollek and Erin Kwiatkowski are all coming up from junior varsity, where they played under Coach Robert Gainey, in 2011. Sarah Byrne joins three-year varsity player Heaven Rollek as the only other sophomore on the team.

Mathewson said he is looking forward to seeing how this year’s team develops, over time.

“This is a very athletic group of girls and a lot of them will be taking on new roles, this season. Last year, we were able to develop good team chemistry and a competitive team personality, as the season moved on,” the coach noted. “It’s a new team and we have to keep working at developing the trust necessary to be a tough-minded defensive team, while also being reliable with the basketball, on the offensive end. [This team is] a group of athletes who are willing competitors and are also a lot of fun to coach.”

The Lady Griffs will play in the Erie County Interscholastic Conference III Division. Mathewson said he knows how challenging the upcoming season will be, when it comes to S-GI’s opponents.

“East Aurora and Pioneer both return key players, from last year, and will be tough. Cheektowaga, Depew, Amherst and Maryvale also return key players, with varsity experience. Lake Shore rejoins the division, this year, and they are always well coached.”

The Lady Griffs open the season on Friday, Dec. 7, when they travel to take on Pioneer Central School at 7 p.m.

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