By Alicia Dziak
The SGI girls’ JV and Varsity basketball teams took on three league opponents this week and last.
On Wednesday, they traveled to Pioneer, where the Varsity squad came out with a 43-28 victory and their first league win on the season.
“The girls were absolutely suffocating defensively,” said coach Bob Gainey, who added that incredible performances on defense included Sydney Rosati, Ryan Stedman and Nyah Solly. “The girls did a great job handling the different defensive schemes from the Lady Panthers.”
Gainey also said that Ivette Lewandowski was able to shake away from the constant pressure for 15 points, including an acrobatic ‘and 1’ to give the Lady Griffs momentum. “Grace Zabawa and Leah Frank made some big shots on the night as each girl chipped in eight points. Ryan Stedman hit a couple big jumpers (5 points) and Sydney Rosati hit a big three in the second half to give the Lady Griffs a nice cushion (6 points) to help lead them to a win.”
Defensively, the strong rebounding by Kelsey Zabawa, Belle Oakley, and Mackenzie Engel helped the girls control the glass. “Jess Engel provided some nice minutes in the first half and helped assist the defensive spark on the night,” said Gainey.
The JV girls did not fare as well, dropping a close game 41-37. Leading scorers on the night were Cora Boundy with 15, and Meg Rehrauer with 14. At one point, the girls were down by 14 points, but came back strong in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Panthers 15-5; unfortunately, they fell short in the end.
On Friday, Jan. 19, the girls dropped their home league game to East Aurora by a score of 58-31. “The girls were overwhelmed from the start by the pressure EA applied along with their excellent perimeter shooting,” Gainey said.
Despite the loss, the girls kept competing and battling throughout the evening and won the second half by a score of 21-17. “That right there shows the incredible resiliency and heart this team possesses,” Gainey said.
Lewandowski was a star once again as she poured in a team-high 18 points. Also adding to the total was Grace Zabawa with five points, Ryan Stedman with four points, and Leah Frank and Bella Oakley with two points each.
Gainey noted that Oakley was also a force underneath and made things extremely difficult for the EA forwards.
The JV team lost to East Aurora 36-17. After a tough start where the Griffs struggled to get on the scoreboard, the girls stepped it up on defense and pushed through to create opportunities on offense. Quick passing and shots from underneath led to some baskets late in the first quarter. There was no lack of effort on the Springville side when it came to matching up against the larger Blue Devils; unfortunately, numerous turnovers and missed shots did not help the cause, and ultimately was the major factor in the loss.
On Monday, the girls traveled to Cheektowaga for their third league game in five days. The Varsity girls dropped their game by a score of 46-32. “ The girls came out flat and didn’t give the necessary effort to come away with a win,” said Gainey. He noted that despite being down by 20 points in the third quarter, the girls cut it to 9 points in the final frame, but unfortunately, the deficit was too large to recover from as the girls inevitably lost a game they should have won. Ivette Lewandowski led the team with 15 points, Grace Zabawa chipped in nine points, and two points were each recorded by Leah Frank, Ryan Stedman, and Bella Oakley.