Thieves in the Night: Gryphons Steal Away with Victory

Despite their snazzy new uniforms, no one should suggest the Holy Child basketball team values style over substance. Substance was on full display January 10, as the Gryphons throttled visiting Chapin 55-34 to improve to 5-2.

After a Chapin bucket cut Holy Child’s lead to 26-23 early in the second half, the home team kicked it into high gear. The Gryphons outscored their foes 26-4 over a nine-minute span, with the offense flowing from a defense that recorded 12 steals during the burst.

Mike Duignan coaches his Gryphons

“At halftime we talked about how we were trying to do too much,” said head coach Mike Duignan. “Instead of forcing the issue and rushing, we played our game in the second half. We allowed Chapin to make mistakes themselves, and then we capitalized. I never have to ask this team to give more. It’s about making adjustments.”

Senior captains Julie Duignan and Kate Hughes were the main catalysts. Duignan finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds, and sparked the Gryphons during the decisive run. She nailed a jumper on an assist from Hughes to push the score to 28-23, then stole the ball and laid it in for two more. The coach’s daughter also had an offensive put-back during the stretch, and took the ball coast-to-coast for a score after grabbing a defensive board.

“She gave us a lift in the second half,” said Duignan. “She stepped into the game and helped put on the pressure.”

Hughes ended the game within sight of a triple-double, tallying nine assists, eight steals, and six points. The point guard’s demeanor never wavers from nonchalance, which forces the opposition right into her trap. On more than one occasion Hughes stole the ball and streaked to the basket despite appearing as if thievery were the furthest thing from her mind.

Mary Ferrara displayed her shooting touch in the win, scoring 10 points on mostly long-range jumpers. The senior was one of many who contributed to the victory, as all 12 Gryphons saw playing time. One of Holy Child’s strength is their deep, deep bench.

“That’s one of the things we talk about as a team,” said Duignan. “We don’t lose ground when our subs come in. If anything, we gain ground because we get different types of contributions from all of our players.”

The Gryphons are committed to running and pushing the ball, and have scored at least 67 points twice this season.

“We want to keep improving as the season progresses,” said Duignan. “We want to contend in both the FAA and NYSAIS tournaments, and send our special group of six seniors out with a winning feeling.”

Holy Child’s next game is January 19 at King.


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