WILSON — The varsity girls basketball season started with a thriller on Tuesday night for Springville-Griffith Institute, as the Griffins overcame a slow first half to rally and beat Wilson in overtime.

Springville won 44-38 after scoring just 8 points in the first half.

“Fortunately, the girls played outstanding team defense which helped keep (us)in the game,” coach Bob Gainey notes. “The girls were down by as many as 11 in the second half but came alive behind 7 points scored in the third quarter by Ivette Lewandowski. Ivette made two huge three pointers to get the team to within two points entering the fourth quarter.”

Mackenzie Owens scored 24 points to pace the Griffins, including 11 in the fourth quarter as the Griffins rallied to force overtime.

With under 14 seconds to play,  SGI had a two-point lead but surrendered a game-tying basket to push the game into OT. In the extra period,

SGI trailed by 1 with less than 1:30 to play when Lewandowski made a driving layup to take the lead for good.

Lewandowski finished the game with 14 points. Nyah Solly added five points.

“The story of the night was Nyah Solly,” Gainey mores. “Her ferocious defense on Wilson’s best player led to many turnovers and stops.

“Also, Rachel O’Neal made a huge defensive stop with 14 seconds left in overtime to help preserve the win. Gracie Attebery and Jess Engel contributed huge minutes towards the defensive and rebounding effort.”

The SGI girls (1-0) open the SHA tournament on Thursday night when they play Williamsville East.