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The Boys Basketball team is getting into a groove — and after their most recent big win, the Gryphons have the rest of the league on notice.

Down by five with three minutes remaining against Father Gabriel Richard (FGR) on Tuesday, the team regrouped and took off. Playing on FGR’s court, the Gryphons put together an 8-0 run to close out the game, taking home a 46-43 win. It was the team’s third straight victory; they improved to 9-4, good for third place in the Catholic League’s AA division — and it’s all come against a schedule that Athletic Director Tom Ward says is the toughest schedule he remembers the team playing.

The Gryphons are responding to the challenge with an intense focus on defense.

“We’ve really been working on playing better team defense and being more active, more aggressive at all five positions, and everybody did a really good job with that,” said Head Coach Andrew Wright. “They had held Richard to one point in the final five minutes. We were very excited about that.”

It was the team’s second nail-biting win of the season over FGR, after a 68-64 victory at home earlier in the season.

The Gryphons boast a senior class that has played together since the first post-COVID season in 2020-21, but the team’s younger members have also stepped up to fill holes created by injuries. Freshman Andrew Wang was in the starting lineup against FGR, and junior Jeremiah Bowman has shouldered a heavy workload, helping the team take off on its winning run.

“We’re hoping to get some players back from injury, but we’re hoping to continue to build some of that depth as well,” Wright said. “Some of this is going to be out of our hands as far as our roster, but if Tuesday night was any indication, I’m hoping that it’s that ‘next man up’ kind of attitude.

“Jeremiah had a mistake in the first 30 seconds, and I caught a look from one of the guys, like, ‘Are you sure about this?’ And Jeremiah just fought his way through it and played great…we can play at that defensive level regardless of who’s out there.”

The Gryphons have also picked up key contributions from senior Nikola Sarcevich, who scored 21 points in a blowout 60-42 win over Cranbrook to win MLive’s Athlete of the Week honors, and senior captain Lucas Nor, who added 14 in the victory.

“(Sarcevich’s) basketball skill set and the things he does for us have just continued to grow over three years,” Wright said. “Now he’s driving to the basket with both hands, both directions, shooting threes, scoring post shots, averaging over 20 points a game — he’s a hard guard.”

After a difficult loss to top-ranked Jackson Lumen Christi last Friday night, the team bounced right back on short rest with a Saturday afternoon win over Divine Child. The win pushed the team’s record to 10-5 and 5-3 in the CHSL, securing a top-seed in the CHSL conference tournament—and a Friday night home game. The CHSL tournament presents an opportunity for another crack at powerhouses Lumen Christi and Riverview Gabriel Richard, both highly ranked in the state.

But Wright says the team isn’t driving itself crazy preparing for a key matchup against intimidating opponents. Rather, they’re focused on maintaining good habits and keeping their fundamentals strong.

“We spent maybe two minutes talking about Lumen Christi, and they’re a top-10 team in the state,” he said. “The guys have already played them…most of practice is about us.”

Saturday, April 24
Open to anyone ages 16 and up. Limited quantities available.
Greenhills is closed for mid-winter break and will return on Tuesday, Feb. 22.

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