Dzindolet’s Hoop Efficiency at Holliston Is Top-notch

KEN HAMWEY Staff Sports Writer
Grace Dzindolet, who was near 1,000 points scored in her career at Local Town Pages deadline, has been on the Tri Valley League all-star squad, recognized as the league’s top scorer as a junior, selected as a team MVP and a recipient of the Coaches Award. She’s pleased this year to see Holliston make it to the tourney.
Issue Date: 
March, 2018
Article Body: 

Grace Dzindolet’s basketball career at Holliston High has been dynamic.
What the senior co-captain achieved during a four-year varsity run included multiple berths on the Tri Valley League all-star squad, recognition as the league’s top scorer as a junior, selection as the team MVP and recipient of the Coaches Award. The 5-foot-6 shooting guard is also on the brink of becoming a 1,000-point career scorer.
“I’ve always strived to be a team player and to work for team success,’’ Dzindolet said. “All the awards and recognition are nice, but my goal this year was to qualify for the tourney and go as far as possible.’’
The Panthers, whose record was 10-9 at Local Town Pages deadline, secured a playoff slot, fulfilling Dzindolet’s objective and ending a two-year tourney drought.
The personable Dzindolet had a superb junior year, scoring 347 points for an average of 18.3 that led the TVL and left her No. 3 in the state. This season, she’s averaged 16.5 points and, with one regular season game left and at least one playoff contest on tap, she’s only 18 points shy of 1,000. “I’d rather win games than accumulate points,’’ Dzindolet said. “If I achieve that milestone, it’ll be as much about my teammates as me. They’ve been so supportive throughout my career.’’
There have been some action-packed games during Dzindolet’s four years, but one very memorable one came as a freshman against Ashland when she passed to Kylie Lorenzen, who scored her 1,000th point. “Another game that was exciting came against Bellingham my sophomore season,’’ Dzindolet recalled. “We trailed by six points with a minute to go, but rallied for a one-point victory. I hit two free throws at the end to clinch it. There was a lot of pressure but I just focused on being calm and relaxed.’’
Although Dzindolet’s basketball days at Holliston will soon be history, she still has another season left as Holliston’s catcher in baseball. A captain in softball this spring, she’ll be aiming to match batting averages that reached .500 as a sophomore and .400 as a junior.
When softball concludes, the 18-year-old Holliston native will then focus on playing collegiate basketball, most likely at the Division 3 level. Dzindolet, who’s an honor-roll student, plans to major in business management.
“Bard College in New York is a potential choice,’’ Dzindolet noted. “It’s a college in the Hudson Valley that has high academic standards and is eager to recruit players for its women’s team. I’ve spoken with other schools and will be deciding soon.’’
Dzindolet’s basketball strengths make her a desirable catch for any college. She’s athletic, has excellent court awareness, is fast and quick and she can shoot and play defense. Her coach at Holliston, Dan Keefe, has some added assets to include. “Grace is creative in the open court,’’ he said. “She’s got passion for the game, and her hoop IQ is climbing. She’s also instinctive and has improved her passing.’’
Dzindolet, however, is acutely aware that she can sharpen other areas of her game, and she’s quick to point to shot selection and rebounding. “I can be a smarter shooter,’’ she said. “Good shot selection is important. And, I can do a better job of boxing out to get rebounding position.’’
Dzindolet, who’s been a captain in basketball the last two years, has demonstrated strong leadership. “I try to lead by example and by being vocal,’’ she said. “If help or advice is needed to get prepared, I offer it to other players. Leadership is one of the life lessons that athletics can teach. And, sports also help you to be good teammates and to be focused and disciplined.’’
Reflecting on her final season, Dzindolet will always remember the quality efforts of senior teammates like co-captain Tess Powers, AbbyRae Wells and Kami Kozubal. She’s also a big fan of Keefe’s coaching style.
“Tess is an athletic forward who can shoot,’’ Dzindolet said. “AbbyRae is quick, fast and solid on defense at the point, and Kami is a guard who can drive, shoot and convert free throws. Coach Keefe is a terrific motivator who can get a team up for a game. He’s thoughtful, and he’s a good strategist.’’
Dzindolet also admires Lorenzen and her former coach, Kristen Hedrick. “Both Kylie and Kristen are exceptional mentors,’’ Dzindolet emphasized. “Both stress being positive and both are excellent role models.’’
Relying on a competitive philosophy of giving 100 percent and aiming for peak performance, Dzindolet believes winning follows when those two tenets kick in. “It’s also important to have fun and make sure everyone is involved in the game,’’ she added.
The final chapter of Dzindolet’s superb basketball career no doubt will include another TVL all-star berth, perhaps more team recognition and possibly some success in the playoffs. A new chapter, however, will begin soon in college, and it’s apt to be another stunning reminder of just how efficient Grace Dzindolet is when she’s got a basketball in her hands.