St. Luke's rallies in second half to beat King
NEW CANAAN -- It's tough to knock a player who has scored all but one of your team's first half points, but down at the half to King, St. Luke's coach Greg Thomas told Sydney Lowery she needed to adjust her game.
"At halftime I told Sydney if she has 50 points and we have 52 we're not going to win this game," Thomas said of his star guard who had 18 points in the first half and 32 for the game. "I think she took on the challenge and tried to get others involved."
That facilitator mentality is what turned the game around for the Storm, who earned a 53-47 win in FAA girls basketball action Thursday night after trailing by eight at the half. St. Luke's (16-4) was able to rally early on in the second and eventually went on a 9-0 run that proved to be the deciding factor in the contest, led by not just the scoring, but the ball control of Lowery.
"When our other players start knocking a couple down and she starts to trust them a little more, you know?" Thomas said. "And if she plays like she played in the second half she's probably the best player in the state."
Aside from Lowery, also fueling the run was St. Luke's' Caroline Thompson who had a 3-pointer and followed with a steal and layup during the run. Poetically the game was iced with 10 seconds left when Lowery drove the lane and dished to a wide open Thompson who laid it in for the final score.
"She's been big for us all year," Lowery said of Thompson. "She's long, she's athletic, she anticipates well and she got a few big points for us there."
After St. Luke's started off red hot, King (8-11) was able to put pressure on the Storm to take the eight point lead into the half. Offensively King was led by Aliyah Christy and Natalie Wind, who combined for 39 of King's 47 points.
"They do a great job," King coach John Bagley said of the duo. "Aliyah is a star for us and Natalie does big things, those are the two that carry us and Ali Weiner anchors our defense. We had a few good things happen, but we know that we have to find a way to sustain that effort especially on the road."
As for the St. Luke's comeback in the second half, Bagely kept it simple: "It's about made baskets and missed shots, they made baskets and we missed shots so that was the difference."
Thursday was Senior Day for St. Luke's but the Storm renamed it "Hannah Day" as an ode to their lone senior Hannah Smock (four points). For Thomas the fact that his team is able to perform as such a high level with such youth is nothing short of astonishing.
"I can't tell you how good it is," Thomas said. "I feel like I'm stealing a season. I got seventh and eighth graders that are in the rotation, I got four freshmen that play significant minutes so everything that they get now will only bode well for us in the future."
St. Luke's 53, King 47
ST. LUKE'S (16-4)
Hannah Smock 2 0-1 4 Bridgette Dalton 1 0-0 2 Kit Hamill 2 0-0 4 Caroline Thompson 3 0-0 7 Maya Klein 0 1-2 1 Janelle Johnson 1 1-2 3 Sydney Lowery 13 6-8 32. Totals: 23 8-14 53.
Lily Fox 2 0-0 4 Natalie Wind 7 2-2 18 Aliyah Christy 8 5-14 21 Ali Weiner 1 0-0 4 Nixon 0 0-0 0. Totals: 16 7-16 47.
ST. LUKE'S 19 34--53
KING 27 20--47
3-pointers: SL--Thompson; K--Wind 2.