NEW CANAAN, Conn. — The Boys Varsity Basketball at St. Luke’s in New Canaan capped off another remarkable season Sunday evening by winning the New England title with a 74-65 win over Greens Farms Academy.
The victory at Clark University in Worcester, Mass., completed a second straight trifecta for the team as it added the New England title to the regular season championship and the FAA tournament trophy.
This victory was in the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council's Class C championship.
The game against GFA would prove to be just as dramatic as the previous three meetings between the teams this season, all of which were decided by a total of five points.
The Dragons started the game well, taking an early 4-11 lead before Luke’s responded with a 14-4 run to give them a three-point advantage midway through the first half. The two teams continued to trade blows, but the Storm extended their lead at the break to eight points, going into the locker room with a 37-29 advantage.
St. Luke’s came out strong after the interval and started to pull away, stretching the lead to 14, before the Dragons came roaring back. The No. 2 seed slowly chipped away at the Storm’s lead and a big three with just six minutes to go in the game tied it up at 53-53.
GFA then took the lead for the first time since the opening few minutes. Another team might have buckled under this kind of pressure and momentum swing, but not this one.
Two huge threes from juniors Andrew Varoli and Jackson Selvala, followed by a steal by senior Walter Whyte gave Luke’s an 8-0 run and turned the game on its head. Luke’s led 63-55 with under four to play.
The Storm did not look back from there. Calm shooting from the free-throw line by junior Jonas Harper and Varoli in the closing minutes closed out the game and allowed Luke’s to celebrate a repeat New England title.
The win gave the team an overall season record of 24-1.
Head Coach Drew Gladstone was thrilled after the game:
“These kids had so much outside pressure on them to repeat, and match last season's success so for them to actually do that is amazing. It is a true measure of the character of this team,” he said.
“We are so proud of the way these kids battled, pulled for each other, and enjoyed the process all year long. They were never worried about winning a championship or meeting outside expectations. They focused on being the best version of themselves every single day and another pair of championships was the result."