If their home opener against Riverdale on December 2 is indicative of the rest of their season, Holy Child’s basketball team will be a force to be reckoned with.
By Melanie Cane
If their home opener against Riverdale on December 2 is indicative of the rest of their season, Holy Child’s basketball team will be a force to be reckoned with. Despite losing nine players from last year’s team and having only four returnees, The Gryphons beat the Falcons 46-21. Coach Mike Duignan thought they did great for a group of players who have only played together competitively once before in a scrimmage. “I was happy with their defensive play as well as their offensive decisions.” Because his team dominated throughout the game, Duignan gave all his players time on the court.
The starting players include the three senior captains; Christianna Guttridge, Elizabeth Eiden, and Elizabeth Curcio, as well as returning junior Dulcie DelPriore and freshman standout Victoria Hanley. Junior Adare Kennedy is the sixth girl in the rotation. Coach Duignan calls her an inspiration because after playing her freshman year, she watched from the bench last year due to her knee injury, but came back this year stronger than ever. Other players to watch are newcomer Juniors Kathleen Daly, and Mairead Walsh and Sophomores Katie Friedel, and Kate Zampolin.
In the Riverdale game, freshman Hanley lead the team with 23 points and eight steals. She anticipated plays, slashed and carved her way to the basket and made some beautiful passes as well. Coach Duignan said she always makes the right decision. Curcio, “a fantastic team leader,” scored 14 points and had nine rebounds. Guttridge had seven assists and made good decisions in terms of passing and setting picks. Coach Duignan calls her the teams’ steadying force. Eiden came up big with nine rebounds. Coach Duignan says she continues to improve and develop as a player and provides great leadership to the team. DelPriore had eight rebounds and several steals.
The Gryphons play a 2/3 zone defense which, when executed well, facilitates steals. Assistant Coach Allison Brodsky said the team needs “to work on their press, but they are lucky to have so many players who are able to take the ball up the court off fast breaks.”
Duignan says the girls need to continue to communicate on the court and work on moving the ball up the court well. “As far as executing and finishing our plays, we will evolve.” He continues, “We are looking forward to the challenge of playing a very competitive schedule with a young team that will need time to find their stride.”
They host Berkeley Carroll School on December 3, post-deadline, and Convent of the Sacred Heart December 10.