After winning their first three games by large margins, the Gryphons lost two games in a row and two players in the process.
By Melanie Cane
After winning their first three games by large margins, the Gryphons lost two games in a row and two players in the process. Most recently, they suffered a set back in their 40-29 loss to Good Counsel on December 15 when their top scorer, freshman Victoria Hanley, left the game with a wrist injury. Three days earlier, senior Co-Captain Elisabeth Curcio sprained her ankle during their game against Staten Island Academy.
At Good Counsel, the Gryphons struggled early in the first half, often seeming a step behind in the game. They had difficulty finishing their offensive plays and maintaining possession of the ball. Their biggest challenge was defending against the Cougars’ three- point shooters. They quickly fell behind 10-6, but settled down in the second quarter, playing more aggressively to come back from a five-point deficit. They went into halftime with a one point lead, their only lead of the game, 16-15.
At the start of the second half, the Gryphons seemed on track to break through, but two minutes in, Hanley was injured during a drive to the basket and had to leave the game. The players were noticeably rattled and Good Counsel used this to their advantage, scoring nine points in a row to go up 24-16.
Going into the fourth quarter down by five, Holy Child’s Dulcie Del Priore and Maddy Fitzwilliams took control of their team setting up some stellar plays, making beautiful passes in the key and creating many scoring opportunities. Despite that adjustment, Good Counsel made some sneaky steals and had better luck connecting at the rim. The game slipped out of the Gryphon’s hands halfway through the final quarter with the Cougars outscoring them 13-7.
Holy Child Coach Mike Duignan, said, “We are a team that is looking to find our comfort zone. We had done that with a 3-0 start, then injuries crept in to our season.” Having one starter injured is very difficult, but having two starters out of the line-up and having to make adjustments mid-game is a huge challenge. Duignan explained, “It is hard to find a rhythm with players out. Other girls have to play positions they are not used to. That takes time. Our players work hard and have shown a willingness to adapt to different positions and roles which will with time will help us prepare and adapt to our opponents strengths.”
The team is hoping the injured players will be back on the court before the start of the FAA contests, which begin December 19 at home against Greenwich Academy.