Ed Townsend | Democrat
Not long ago, Tri-Valley’s Katlynn Greffrath had trouble reaching the basket from 3-point range. This season, she led all county players in three-point field goals made.
Player of the Year: Katlynn Greffrath,
Story by Jon Dinan
GRAHAMSVILLE March 29, 2013 When asked how she felt about being named the Democrat’s Girl’s Basketball Player of the Year, Tri-Valley’s Katlynn Greffrath said, “It feels good, but I’m just happy that I was able to help my team this year.”
Evident by her response, the junior guard is a selfless player who values team success over her individual statistics.
“Katlynn knows what our team needs to do to win,” Tri-Valley head coach John Tenbus said. “She is not about individual accolades. She would rather be on a championship team. If it takes Katlynn being the scoring champ for us to win, then she will do that. If Katlynn needs to distribute the ball, then she will gladly do that as well. That’s what makes her a special player,” Tenbus added, noting that Greffrath is more a leader by example than vocally.
He would know having been Greffrath’s coach since she was in 8th grade more than a quarter of her young life. The 16 year-old Greffrath may not be the scoring champ yet this year that distinction belongs to Fallsburg senior forward Nyasia Blakney who averaged 19.37 points a game but Greffrath’s 15.72 ppg. was good for seventh best in Section IX. She was second in the section and first in the county in 3-pointers made with 38. Livingston Manor guard Samantha Scott was second best among area teams with 25.
Greffrath’s outside shot is undoubtedly one of the Bears’ most deadly offensive weapons.
“Once you catch the ball, you have to look to score and be aggressive, you have to know what you’re going to do with the ball before you catch it,” Greffrath revealed.
She certainly was looking to score on January 9 against Tuxedo when setting a new Tri-Valley school record with seven 3s in one game. She finished with 26 points in that game and led her team to a dominating 53-35 win.
Not bad for someone who couldn’t consistently reach the basket from 3-point land a season ago. Greffrath has been playing since second grade, but she never developed shooting accuracy from distance.
By putting in countless hours during last year’s off-season, Greffrath gradually gained the necessary strength for a reliable outside shot.
“I honestly just got stronger physically,” Greffrath said. “I used to be kind of weak. I had difficulty shooting from far out last year, but during the off-season I increased my strength enough to make shots from the perimeter. So I started working on my outside shot, and it improved from there.”
As part of her off-season training, Greffrath worked with former Tri-Valley stars Jakki Pugh and Ryan Van Lieu, who gave her some tips on how to shoot the deep ball.
“Katlynn’s greatest strength is her work ethic and love for the sport,” Tenbus noted. “She works on her skills all year and is constantly looking to improve. She is determined to turn her weaknesses into strengths. This year, for example, she became a better on-ball defender.
“To develop her game, Katlynn looks for opportunities to always play basketball,” Tenbus continued. “She looks for the best competition she can and does not back down. She stays in shape and will go anywhere to work on her game. Whether it is cold temperatures outside in the early spring and fall or giving up her personal time in the summer to improve, Katlynn is always willing.”
Greffrath hopes that her basketball career will extend into college, and if she continues her lights out shooting, it appears that dream might become reality, since SUNY Sullivan has already contacted Coach Tenbus expressing interest in Greffrath.
“I know I have to improve a lot in order to play in college but I’m willing to work to achieve that goal,” an always-eager Greffrath said.
Points per game: 15.72