When the Holy Child basketball team is healthy, they are hard to beat.
By Melanie Cane
When the Holy Child basketball team is healthy, they are hard to beat. In their first game back after the winter break, January 7 at home, they proved that with a 47-28 win over Chapin, usuall a tough team that beat them last year.
Although both teams came out with intensity, they were a bit rusty early on, going scoreless for nearly the first four minutes. The Gryphons finally broke through on a foul shot by Elizabeth Curcio, but it took a few more minutes for the team to hit their stride. Once they went to a man-to-man defense, their offensive play began flowing and they controlled the rest of the game. They dominated possession, offensive and defensive rebounds, and executed their plays flawlessly. By halftime, Holy Child held a 20-8 lead and had forced 10 fouls.
In the second half, the Gryphons continued where they left off. They switched up their defense to a one-four zone and full-court press and it worked. With such an unpredictable defense, the Eagles were called for walking over 20 times and Holy Child created many steal opportunities, so it was nearly impossible for Chapin to gain any momentum or get close to the basket.
Freshman Victoria Hanley, who finished the game with 21 points, converted six unassisted steals. The Gryphons were also very aggressive under the boards. Maddie Fitzwilliam came up big with 12 rebounds, followed by Curcio who had 11 rebounds and 13 points.
Coach Mike Duignan was pleased with how well his team handled a very athletic and well-coached Chapin team. He said his team’s strength is its interior passing and multiple defenses, all of which were evident in this game.
“We talk about what we can control as a team, and effort and intensity are always first,” said Duignan.” Then we speak about communication, which leads to better execution. If we rebound and take care of the ball we should be competitive with most of our opponents.”
The team, currently 5-3, is looking forward to a successful second half of the season.