On Sunday, Mar. 6, the St. Luke’s boys varsity basketball team put the proverbial cherry on top of an already exceptional season.

The Storm, led by coach Drew Gladstone, defeated the Pingree School in the New England Preparatory School Council Class C championship.

St. Luke’s, like it did against most teams for so much of its nearly perfect season, opened up an early lead over Pingree. At the end of the first half, the Storm led 35-23, and led by as much as 16 in the second half.

Despite the Storm’s solid lead for most of the game, the talented Pingree squad fought back late in the second half. In an intense last two minutes, the Highlanders managed to tie St. Luke’s 64-64 to send the game into overtime.

Going into the overtime period, it looked uncertain whether or not the momentum would shift back in the Storm’s favor. However, even while under immense pressure in an overtime situation, the Storm managed to hold Pingree to four points. Meanwhile, clutch shooting from Walter Whyte ’17, who was named the tournament MVP, Shannon Smith ’16, and Joel Boyce ‘18, added 10 points to the Storm’s total. The final score was 74-68.

The Storm’s NEPSAC title was a fitting way to cap off an extraordinary 2015-2016 basketball season. The St. Luke’s varsity squad only lost one game this season. Even the team’s one defeat was impressive. St. Luke’s lost by a mere five points to Lawrenceville School, a class B basketball program.

Ultimately, the Storm finished the season 25-1 which was good enough to earn the team the regular season FAA title, the FAA tournament championship and top prize in the NEPSAC tournament.

The St. Luke’s varsity basketball team will sorely miss seniors Jalen Latta ’16, and Shannon Smith ’16 next year, but the Storm’s core will remain intact and ready to defend their title in 2017.