Transition and defense resulted in a winning combination for the St. Luke’s basketball team in its FAA matchup against Brunswick School on Tuesday.
Pushing the ball up court for fastbreak layups, while creating turnovers with their defense, the Storm surged past the Bruins, 73-48, improving its record to 3-0 in FAA play.
Senior forward Gavin Greene scored a team-high 16 points and junior guard Cole Bryant added 11 points to pace St. Luke’s (5-3 overall).
“I thought we shared the ball well,” St. Luke’s coach Tony Newsom said. “We moved the ball and made the extra pass. The ball moves faster than anybody’s feet, so we try to keep the ball moving.”
The visiting Storm took a 39-24 lead into halftime, following a first half in which they excelled in transition.
“Their transition hurt us,” Brunswick coach Steve Juricek said. “But in my opinion, it was a sense of us not having the urgency to get back, which is something we are going to improve on for the future.”
Senior forward Khari Wilson scored 12 of his game-high 18 points in the first half for the Bruins (2-7 overall, 1-3 FAA). Freshman guard Logan Galletta finished with eight points and senior guard Cedric Lefleur had all nine of his points in the second half for Brunswick.
After Galletta’s layup tied the score at 6-6 with 13:45 remaining in the opening half, the Storm went on a 10-0 run to open a 16-6 lead. Greene scored from the low post, then made a fastbreak layup to start the Storm’s spurt.
Junior forward Lewis Cropper swished a short jump shot and Greene converted a reverse layup, putting the visitors ahead, 14-6, with 11:50 left in the first half.
James Sealy’s layup off a steal stopped St. Luke’s 10-0 run. Later in the opening half, Bryant’s layup, sophomore forward Jah’khi Washington’s putback and sophomore guard Chuck Clemon’s layup widened St. Luke’s edge to 31-15.
“Offensively, we took care of the ball and we shared it,” Newsom said. “We’re a work in progress, we still have a lot of defensive things we need to work on.”
Brunswick cut the Storm’s lead back to 10 at 34-24 on a basket off an offensive rebound by sophomore forward Henry Caponiti and three foul shots from Wilson. Yet St. Luke’s regained its 15-point lead with a 5-0 run to cap the opening half.
St. Luke’s played an effective man-to-man defense throughout and drew three charges defensively in the opening half. They also forced 22 Brunswick turnovers.
“We stress taking charges every day, so it’s good to see it show up in the game,” Newsom said. “Defensively, we were pretty sound.”
Clemons contributed nine points, while Washington and Cropper added six points apiece for the victors. For Brunswick, Caponiti chipped in six points.
“Overall, we have to tighten up our energy and play through mistakes,” Juricek said. “If you miss a layup, it’s going to happen, but you have to get back on defense. Give St. Luke’s credit, they ran the floor well. Offensively, we created some good scoring looks for ourselves, but our turnovers allowed them to shoot more shots than us.”
Brunswick hosts Rye Country Day School on Thursday at 4:30 p.m.
“They (Rye Country Day) shot the ball very well and played tough defense the last time we played them (a loss),” Juricek said. “They shot 13-for-16 from 3-point range, so we have to work on defending the 3-pointer.”