With its fans participating in a "white out," the Brunswick School basketball team went out and quickly wiped out St. Luke's School.
Friday night's game against the Storm couldn't have come at a better time for the Bruins, who were eager to take the court against one of their biggest rivals after producing a subpar performance in a double-digit loss to Loomis Chaffee School on Wednesday.
Brunswick atoned for its recent loss, seizing a 21-point halftime lead, then coasting to a 74-53 victory over St. Luke's in an FAA game before a standing-room-only crowd at Dann Gymnasium.
Senior forward Nick Kono scored 13 of his team-high 15 points in the first half for the Bruins, who built a commanding 40-19 advantage at the break.
"Our last game against Loomis we played sluggish, but we had a good practice yesterday and today, we fed off our crowd," said Kono, who made two 3-pointers. "This is my fourth year here and I've been on the other end, so I know how it feels. Winning like this tonight is fulfilling."
St. Luke's (3-5, 2-3 FAA) received 18 points from Jackson Prince, 13 of which came in the second half.
"We didn't make them uncomfortable at all, we let them do what they wanted to do offensively," St. Luke's coach Brian Kriftcher said. "They are a very disciplined team and they have heady players at the right spots. I think we had stars in our eyes at the beginning, which happens with a young team."
Like their second game against the Storm last season when they led by 18 at the half, the Bruins forced numerous turnovers while shooting a high percentage from the field.
After Prince made a jumper from the left side to cut Brunswick's lead to 9-7, the Bruins went on a 20-4 run to seize a 29-11 lead. Kono scored on a putback, senior forward Dylan Wadsworth made a layup off a pass from point guard Henry Taylor and Kono nailed a 3-pointer, putting the home team on top, 19-7 midway through the opening half. Junior center Teddy Murphy's foul line jumper, followed by a pair of fast-break baskets by forward Billy O'Malley made it 29-11. Wadsworth scored 10 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, Murphy had nine points and guard Sam Fraser had eight points and three steals for the Bruins (6-5, 2-1 FAA).
"This was a big game and having so many people out there for the white out gave us a lot of energy," Wadsworth said. "We wanted to come out strong because the last couple of games we came out kind of flat."
Playing mainly a 1-3-1 zone in the first half, Brunswick made the Storm work hard for their shots.
"We wanted to put pressure on their guards to get them out of doing what they wanted to do," Wadsworth said.
Sean Cullinane scored 12 points, while Elijah Holyfield had nine points for St. Luke's, which wasn't helped when junior center Amin Lakoju (six points) picked up his second foul five minutes into the game. Fraser got the large crowd, which also included a lot of Storm fans, going with a dunk off a fast break two minutes into the second half.
"We were really excited coming into the game, but we kept our composure and hit our shots," Fraser said. "Everything just clicked for us today after having a subpar game."
Kriftcher said: "We were prepared, we just didn't play that way. The second half we settled down and made some shots and made them work a bit though."
Taylor, who briefly left the game in the second half with a bloody nose, had six assists, while guard James Robinson scored 11 points off the bench for the victors.
"Tonight was a great night for our team," Bruins coach Robert Taylor said. "Our guys came ready to play and really put forth a strong performance in front of our fans. I wanted to see how we rebounded from our loss two nights ago, so this was a good sign."
ST. LUKE'S 19 34 -- 53
BRUNSWICK 40 34 -- 74
ST. LUKE'S (53)
T.J. Simpson 0 1-2 1; J.B. Boggs 1 0-0 2; Sean Cullinane 5 0-1 12; Jalen Latta 1 3-6 5; Jackson Prince 6 2-2 18; Amin Lakoju 3 0-2 6; Elijah Holyfield 2 5-6 9; Aidan Stone 0 0-0 0; Kevin Florio 0 0-0 0; Jacob Henry 0 0-0 0. Totals: 18 11-17 53.
Henry Taylor 0 2-2 2; Nick Kono 6 1-3 15; Sam Fraser 3 2-5 8; Teddy Murphy 4 1-2 9; Dylan Wadsworth 3 4-7 10; James Robinson 3 5-9 11; Jack Sherwood 1 0-0 2; Sean Forester 2 0-0 4; Matt Gendell 3 0-2 6; Billy O'Malley 2 0-2 4; Jimmy Knight 0 0-0 0; Alex Skolds 1 1-1 3; Ryan Hardin 0 0-0 0. Totals: 28 16-33 74.
3-pointers: SL -- Prince 4, Cullinane 2; B -- Kono 2.