SPRINGVILLE—The Springville-Griffith Institute girls basketball team is creating its highlight reel of fantastic finishes this season. After rallying from eight points with a 15-0 run to overtake JFK the week before, this time around the girls basketball team entered the final quarter down four and out-scored City Honors 16-4 down the stretch to win 35-27, Dec. 18.
While rallying from four points may not sound as impressive as the previous week’s rally, it was for different reasons. The Centaurs entered the contest undefeated at 4-0 and averaging 55 points-per-game. The team’s freshman phenom Kyra Wood averaged more points-per-game than the entire Springville team.
Enter S-GI head varsity coach Bob Gainey, who prior to the season admitted that each game would be a challenge this season and in order for his team to be successful, the coach might have to implement a different game plan for each opponent.
As far as scouting reports go, Gainey had Wood on his radar for sure. So the Springville coach devised a strategy to limit Wood’s near 30-point game production through his team’s stellar defensive play. The team relied on the defensive moxie of Ryan Stedman, Bella Oakley, Kelsey Zabawa and Mackenzie Engel for most of the contest while other players also stepped up their game to contribute in the upset win.
“Those girls did a great job holding their top scorer to 15 points,” Gainey said. “Nyah Solly gave our team a big boost with her hustle on defense, as did Sydney Rosati.”
The strategy paid off in spades for most of the contest. City Honors entered the game averaging almost 14 points-per-quarter, but the Griffin defense held them to four points in the first and three in the second to take a 13-7 lead at the half.
The Centaurs came back and countered Springville’s strategy with a 16-point third quarter and took the lead 23-19 after three. That’s when Ivette Lewandowski took over. She out-scored all of her teammates with a fourth-quarter performance to seal the win for Springville by scoring nine of her game-high 19 that led all scorers – including Wood, who finished with 15.
The combination of Lewandowski’s offense and a defense that held the Centaurs to single-digit points in three of the four quarters was enough for Springville’s biggest upset in years. After scoring between 53-58 points in each of its first four games, Springville’s defense cut City Honors’ 55-point average in half.
Supporting Lewandowski’s offensive production was Grace Zabawa, who finished with seven points including a key layup in transition that provided some separation in the fourth. Three other Griffs combined for an additional nine points that included Rosati (four points), Oakley (three points) and Leah Frank (two points).
Up next is the annual post-Christmas Emerling Tournament hosted by Springville Dec. 27-29.