En route to the Gryphon’s six-game win streak, which culminated in a 66-36 win over Hopkins February 13, they played some hotly contested games. One of the toughest was against Convent of the Sacred Heart February 10.
By Melanie Cane
En route to the Gryphon’s six-game win streak, which culminated in a 66-36 win over Hopkins February 13, they played some hotly contested games. One of the toughest was against Convent of the Sacred Heart February 10. Both teams hit the court playing hard, but somewhat frenetically. Sacred Heart opened the scoring immediately with a 3 pointer and Holy Child’s Victoria Hanley answered back with a layup. Then Dulce DelPriore drew a foul on a successful layup and made the foul shot. Gryphons coach Mike Duignan called a time out five minutes into the game to settle the team down, because despite having an 8-5 lead they were making a lot of turnovers and some of their shots were way off.
After the time out, the Gryphons played with a good offensive rhythm, moving the ball well and running their sets. At halftime, they had a 27-16 lead, with contributions from Hanley, Elizabeth Curcio, Adare Kennedy, Maddy Fitzwilliams, Elizabeth Eiden and DelPriore.
The team returned to the court looking flat. Their defense fell apart, allowing the Tigers’ entry passes to the low post, which got them into foul trouble. As their lead dwindled, Holy Child became more flustered offensively and suddenly was trailing 35-32. Coach Duignan switched their defense from man-to-man to a 2-3 zone and sent his players out higher on the wing players.
Junior forward Maddie Fitzwilliam turned up the heat defensively at the post and under the boards. Her strong rebounding allowed Holy Child to make hustle plays on the break. Senior point guard Christiana Guttridge, Hanley, and DelPriore went on the attack converting layups and putting the Tigers on their defensive heels.
Once the Gryphons retook the lead, Guttridge and Hanley did an excellent job of handling Sacred Heart’s pressure defense and DelPriore hit some clutch free throws at the end, enabling the Gryphons to pull out a 44-38 win.
“Everyone played and everyone contributed,” said Coach Duignan. “Our bench gave us a lift in each half and helped us overcome foul trouble. That’s what it takes to beat a good team like Convent of the Sacred Heart.”
The February 13 home game was the last the Gryphons will play in the old gym; the new Field House is near completion. Coach Duignan has many great memories from his 12 years of coaching at Holy Child. “The move will be bittersweet, but I am so excited and happy to move into a new facility fully dedicated to indoor athletics… It’s like moving into a brand new home.”
Holy Child’s record is now 12-6 and they are 7-2 in NYSAIS play. Their last two regular season games are against rival Rye Country Day, February 18, post-press time, and Hamden Hill three days later. The FAA tournament begins February 23 and NYSAIS start February 24.