Twenty months ago, Lizzy Spindler made sure her basketball career would continue beyond high school by announcing that she would commit to Binghamton University a few months before her junior season at Riverside.
Instead of turning complacent and just coasting through the end of her Lady Vikes’ career, Spindler kept setting goals, team and personal, and ultimately kept achieving them.
The latest honors came in The Sunday Times, when Spindler was named to the newspaper’s All-Region team for the second consecutive year. This time, the senior also was selected as the Lackawanna League’s Division III Player of the Year.
“That was definitely a surprise, because there are a lot of good players in my league,” Spindler said. “I was really excited about that.”
The senior hadn’t set her hopes too highly, because of the respect she held for other standout players like Dunmore’s Maddie Martin and Holy Cross’ Abby Anderson, both of whom are also set to continue their basketball careers at the collegiate level starting in the fall.
“I was hoping to make the region team, but I didn’t even think about Player of the Year (in the division),” Spindler said.
She just was happy to be in the picture that included the division first-team all-stars with Martin, Anderson, Mid Valley’s Erica Haefele and Lakeland’s Brooke Estadt.
“Yeah, I was kind of surprised, there are a lot of good girls basketball players in our area,” Spindler said. “I was really excited too, because I’m friends with a couple of those girls. It’s fun to see them.”
While her happiness was genuine, Spindler knows that come September, when she is at Binghamton, that the cycle resets and she’ll be back at square one, putting aside all she achieved during her time at Riverside.
“It’s going to be so different there because I’m going to be playing with girls who are as good as me, or even better,” Spindler said. “I’m going to have my work cut out for me there, but I’m excited to be going there and hopefully see some minutes this year.”
Spindler’s ability to continue to improve her all-around game over the last 20 months will help her greatly in looking to play those minutes. Getting up to Binghamton to see some games the last few seasons have Spindler mildly confident about her chances to see playing time at the New York school.
“I’ll work as hard as I can and see where that takes me,” Spindler said.
That attitude worked out just fine for Spindler, who got into a state tournament game for the first time in her career.
“I was in the weight room a lot, and I definitely focused on my speed, I needed to work on my explosiveness,” Spindler said. “I started shooting from a little further out, because the college 3-point line is further out than the high school line.
“I guess I worked hard on everything.”
She wasn’t the only high school athlete rewarded for working hard in the Triboro area over the winter.
Old Forge’s Ben Grochowski garnered a first-team all-star berth on the boys Division III team.
Earning honorable mention recognition were Old Forge’s Lindsey Welsh and Kierstyn Breig and Riverside’s Billy Nash, Evan Carrubba and Jess Milan.