St. Luke’s holds off Brunswick
Published 1:13 pm, Wednesday, January 20, 2016
NEW CANAAN — At the half it looked as if St. Luke’s was cruising toward another blowout victory, seamlessly leading Brunswick by 21 points.
The end result however, was anything but.
The Storm were able to just hold off the Bruins 63-57 at home on Friday after a furious second-half blitz from the Brunswick offense.
“Guys came out and played,” Brunswick coach Robert Taylor said of the simple difference between the first 20 minutes and the last. “They played with a lot of heart and pride and started hitting shots we usually make. In the first half we were missing shots we usually make, our defense stepped up too, it was a good effort.”
Brunswick (4-8, 3-2 FAA) was led in the second half by Nacho Nwana, who led all scorers with 24 points, 17 of which came in half number two. His numbers were a microcosm of the game for the Bruins — cold shooting in the first half followed by scoring at will in the second.
“First half, we couldn’t hit anything, we literally couldn’t hit the rim on our shots,” Taylor said. “We were intimidated I think a little bit by their defense, we turned the ball over a lot, our cold shooting and them being aggressive to the basket had them build up a nice 21 point lead and it was too much to come back from but our guys gave it their all.”
Luckily for the Storm (10-1, 6-0) that first half was dominated by their stingy defense and transition offense. St. Luke’s’ Joel Boyce and Walter Whyte dominated in the early going, combining for 23 first half points, three more than the entire Brunswick team.
“We need to be able to have ugly wins as well as great wins, so this was good for us,” St. Luke’s coach Drew Gladstone said. “Luckily we came out on the right side and guys like Joel started the game really hot, Walter was really banging down there and they were really playing defense to get us off to a hot start. There’s definitely some good teaching points here, we’ll get better from it.”
Gladstone added that he hopes his team learns it has to put both halves together in order to reach its championship aspirations.
Similarly, Brunswick will look to build off the strong second half as it begins the stretch toward the FAA tournament.
“Our team has a lot of character and I’m very proud of the boys,” Taylor said. “The way we came out the second half, we’re half way through the season but every game we learn something and get better and that’s the goal — to get better and better for the FAA tournament.”
ST. LUKE’S 63, BRUNSWICK 57
BRUNSWICK (4-8, 3-2)
Will Marvin 1 0-0 3 Nacho Nwana 8 8-10 24 Cam Kelly 2 1-1 6 Muna Nwana 3 3-3 10 Graham Pierce 3 0-0 7 Angus Binnie 1 0-0 2 Raphael Ruban 2 1-2 5. Totals: 20 13-16 57.
ST. LUKE’S (10-1, 6-0)
BRUNSWICK 20 37—57
ST. LUKE’S 41 22—63
3-pointers: B—Marvin, Kelly, M. Nwana, Pierce: STL—Varoli 2, Smith.