St. Luke's falls to rival Hopkins in FAA semis
Updated 2:47 pm, Wednesday, March 4, 2015
Last Friday night, the St. Luke's boys basketball team's FAA title dreams came up short, as the Storm fell to rival Hopkins, 58-41.
The Hilltoppers' Kofi Adjepong exploded for 25 points, driving a potent offense from the top of the 3-point arc. The senior added two 3-pointers and sank nine of 10 free throws to put the game out of reach for a stymied Storm squad.
St. Luke's forward Walter Whyte, the team's leading scorer this season, was held to a mere 11 points--and just three in the first half. While the Storm eked out a slightly better second half performance, scoring 22 points, they could not repeat a performance of last week's quarterfinal win over Rye Country Day.
The Hilltoppers seized their home court advantage, riding a wave of crowd support and hot shooting from Adjepong and a double-double from rangy, athletic forward Edens Fleurizard (14 points) to carry a 27-19 lead into the half.
Jordan Sechan continued his excellent second half, pouring in eleven points on the game, drawing him even with Whyte for the most on the game. The point guard and New Canaan native dialed in on Whyte and Jalen Latta, a junior and reliable shooter from the wing. But Fleurizard's spritely defense helped his team capitalize on an off night for the St. Luke's shooters.
The junior pulled down 15 rebounds--12 in the defensive zone--while collecting five blocks. Latta's trademarked mid-range jumper was effectively neutralized, while Whyte's rebounds took an uncharacteristic dip.
St. Luke's had seen Hopkins as recently as Feb. 10 in a thrilling, but ultimately unfulfilling 63-61 loss on the Storm's senior day. Earlier in the season, the Storm had bested their New Haven opponents on their home turf, 62-52. Whyte managed only four field goals in the second half of Friday's contest, a stark contrast to the 33-point explosion the December win over Hopkins.
With the win, Hopkins advanced to the FAA championship bout against Masters (both teams finished first and second, respectively, in the regular season). But Masters edged out a 58-49 win on Saturday to capture the title.
St. Luke's (14-9 overall) will have a shot at redemption on Wednesday evening, as they host Massachusetts' Dexter Southfield School in the beginning stages of the NEPSAC tournament.