TAKE A SHOT – Julia Krzemien drives baseline against Lake Shore. Photos by Dave DeLuca.
GO FOR A LAY-UP — S-GI's Brittany Luther goes up for a 3-pointer.
SPRINGVILLE — Springville-Griffith Institute’s junior varsity girls basketball team is heading into the holidays with a nine-game winning streak that dates to last year.
The girls’ 3 – 0 start is coming after the 2011-12 season, in which they lost one league game.
According to Coach Robert Gainey, the Lady Griffs’ second win of the season was “a thrilling” 31 – 29 win against the visiting Cheektowaga Warriors.
The Lady Griffs were down 2 points at half time and trailed most of the third, before going on a run to tie the game. Sophomore forward Jess Wiede scored the winning basket, with 14 seconds left, to lift the Lady Griffs to a 31 – 29 victory. The Lady Griffs were led by Brittney Luther, who had 12 points, in the win.
Springville hosted Lake Shore on Tuesday Dec. 18. Leading the Lady Griffs in scoring, during the game, was Luther, with 11 points and Julia Krzemien, with 9 points.
The Lady Griffs led for most of the game. Kristen Baker scored 6 consecutive points in the fourth quarter, as the Lady Griffs pulled away, with 18 points, in the fourth.
“Kristen brings such great energy, on both ends of the floor, Gainey said. “She started the season off, playing the ‘3’ spot and now she has moved to a forward position. There aren’t many players that can make this transition. She can, because she has a tremendous attitude and she is willing to do anything, for the success of her team. She is an important piece to our overall success.”
Also scoring for the Lady Griffs was Carly Lamos, with 6 points; Baker, with 6; Wiede, with 4 and Riley Stedman, with 4. Meg Hanrahan, Kalee Schreiber, Jenna Schunke and Emma Beckerich pitched in with 2 points, each.
“I believe our bench is the key for us, this year,” Gainey said. “It’s quite a luxury to have a bench with the ability to score, rebound and defend, at a high level. So often, when teams go to their bench, there seems to be a dramatic drop in production. With our team, we are able to sustain a high level of play, while giving our starters intermittent breaks, during the course of the game. Our philosophy on offense is run, run, run. The hope is to get easy baskets and wear teams down, in the second half, so we need our bench to continue to play at a high level.”
After the game against Cheektowaga, the girls racked up their highest offensive output of the season, scoring 48 points and their highest defensive performance, allowing only 20 points. Gainey called it a “complete game,” that revolved around defense.
“I think one of the keys to last night’s game was our ability to defend for 32 minutes,” he said. “We held them, in all four quarters, under 10 points and shut them out completely in the second. That can be attributed to our pressure man defense, brought on by our guards on the perimeter. They set the tone for each and every possession, defensively. The post players are really beginning to understand help defense in the half court and transition.”
The Springville team took a trip to rival Depew on Friday, Dec. 21. The girls will also compete in the Emerling Holiday Tournament, which will host West Seneca East.
“I think there are a number of things we need to improve on,” Gainey said.
“The three things that stick out, to me, are communication on ball screens, rebounding on the defensive end and making foul shots, on a regular basis. With that being said, these are all things that are correctable, through repetition, in practice. We have yet to see the best, from this team. I’m very excited for what the next few months bring.”