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Garden School honors 2 seniors, secures 11th straight win

Gracy Gregory has worn a Garden School basketball uniform for six years, while Claudia Bermudez darned blue and white for the past two seasons. The occasion was fitting because Gregory (8 points.) scored the first basket of the game and Bermudez (2 points) followed by netting the second bucket.

As for the game, GS outscored Calhoun, 51-22, to extend their winning streak to 11 games and clinch first place in the G.I.S.A.L. - Div. II conference for the regular season. Offensively, the team struggled, connecting on only 24 of 102 shots from the field (23%). But Garden's team defense was steady throughout the entire game.

The Lady Griffins were led by their two starting forwards, Monika Derrien (13 points, 10 rebounds) and Yomna Nassef (12 points, 9 rebounds). Tess Ricster scored 8 points and Michelle Schindler had 7 points for Calhoun.

The season has been a successful one from start to finish for the Lady Griffins.

The first win came on Wednesday, Jan. 22 against York Prep (Manhattan), 42-37. Tough defense and timely offense proved to be the difference in the contest. Monika Derrien (17 points) hit a huge three-pointer at the buzzer to give GS a one-point lead at halftime and the team some momentum.

In the third quarter, both teams exchanged buckets and the score remained a one-point GS advantage. York Prep took the lead with 2:50 left when Carolyn Richardson (20 points) weaved through the defense and scored on a layup. Garden’s man-to-man pressure defense held its opponents scoreless for the remainder of the game.

With the score tied at 37, Yomna Nassef made a three-pointer and Gracy Gregory’s (6 points) basket closed out the scoring. Danielle Daley and Laima Efremenkova played well defensively. Lillian Fernandez tallied 12 points for York Prep.

On Friday, Jan. 24 the Jackson Heights ball club traveled to Manhattan to play Rudolf Steiner High School for the second time this season. The game was played at Baruch College. Playing on a big college court was advantageous for Garden’s style of play — pressure defense and a fast-break offense.

Steiner couldn’t keep up with the tempo and was overwhelmed, losing 57-19. It was a total team effort on both sides of the court. Defensively, GS reaped the benefits of a +14 advantage in turnovers, which produced easy baskets. Offensively, great teamwork was displayed with the Lady Griffins dishing out 13 assists.

Monika Derrien had an outstanding performance, accumulating 13 points, 8 rebounds, 7 steals and 6 assists. Other top scorers were Melissa Prio (9 points), Amanda Krol (8 points) and Yomna Nassef (7 points). On the defensive end, Daley and Efremenkova contributed with 8 and 6 steals, respectively.

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