Girls Basketball: Mercy gets job done with box-and-one

Bishop McGann-Mercy basketball player Mia Behrens 011217

Talk about getting value out of a game.

The Bishop McGann-Mercy Diocesan High School girls basketball team not only picked up a win, but added a new defense to its repertoire in the process on Thursday night.

With her team holding a comfortable 21-point halftime lead, Mercy coach Meaghan Macarthur decided the time was right to install, for the first time this season, a box-and-one defense. Despite having precious little practice with that defensive package, it worked like a charm. Mercy held Stony Brook to only seven second-half points on 3-for-20 shooting from the field and closed out a 48-24 win in Riverhead.

That box-and-one defense could claim partial credit for the 28 steals Mercy (6-5, 6-3 Suffolk County League VII) made and the 39 turnovers committed by Stony Brook (1-5, 1-5).

Mercy took charge from the start, bolting to a 23-6 lead by the end of the first quarter. Melina Santacroce scored nine of her game-high 17 points during that opening quarter.

Olivia Kneski and Caryn Nabrizny brought the Monarchs eight points apiece. Chastin Giles, a freshman point guard making her third straight start, picked up 10 steals herself with her quick hands and feet.

Stony Brook, held to 23.8-percent shooting, was led by Beth Felix with seven points.

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Photo caption: Bishop McGann-Mercy’s Mia Behrens puts up a shot while being double-teamed. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)