St. Luke’s seniors lead Storm past Rye Country Day
NEW CANAAN — The St. Luke’s School boys basketball program is very proud of the fact it has lost just one game over the past two seasons.
The Storm also take defending their FAA and NEPSAC Class C championships very seriously.
And the group that has been around the longest in coach Drew Gladstone’s three-year tenure is St. Luke’s current group of five seniors.
So it was only fitting Tuesday that those seniors — starters Walter Whyte and Joel Boyce along with reserves Colin Meany, Matt Lindsay and Porter Bowman — did most of the heavy lifting on Senior Day as St. Luke’s downed Rye Country Day 66-46 before an adoring crowd at Carey Gymnasium.
“It was a great opportunity to honor our seniors. They have all sacrificed a ton for the program. Today was a chance for them all to be special,” Gladstone said. “The seniors and I have been on the same journeys since Day 1. We’ve gone through the same ups and downs. They helped build our success from Day 1. It’s great to be able to honor them for their work.”
With the five seniors playing all 16 minutes of the first half, St. Luke’s (18-1, 12-0 FAA) rolled to a 38-23 halftime edge.
And proving that every moment can be a teachable moment, Gladstone sent out a lineup of only underclassmen who will be returning next season. A chance to experience the weight of responsibility they will face in the future.
“Time on the court playing is a gift. Every minute is a chance to learn,” Gladstone said. “It was a taste of the future. Whether it’s now or next year, the idea is to step up when called. Every day of work has gotten this entire group better.”
St. Luke’s remained in front, but the third foul by Jonas Harper (10 points) brought senior point guard Boyce (15 points) back into the contest with 9:47 left.
Then leading 48-35, the Boston University-bound Whyte (game-high 18 points) returned with 6:36 for the stretch run.
Meany, a co-captain, and the other seniors bonded again for the last three minutes to victory.
“I am a little bit tired. But it was an honor to play on Senior Night,” said Meany, who scored eight points. “I think we gave the fans a good show. Coach Gladstone has ingrained the concept of family in us. It’s been so nice to see the program grow. And it’s special for all the seniors to see what it has culminated into.”
The dream of a second straight undefeated season was scuttled back on February 7 following to an 86-67 road loss to Masters School of Simsbury.
But with one regular season clash left, St. Luke’s turns its attention to repeating as FAA and NEPSAC champions. St. Luke’s should be the No. 1 FAA seed and get a first round bye.
“We’re so lucky to have won both titles last year. And we want to do the same thing again this season,” Meany said. “To repeat as champs means the world to all the seniors.”
St. Luke’s enters the postseason united in its quest to repeat as FAA and NEPSAC champions. .
“We had talent. We had expectations. But we put it all together with chemistry,” Meany said. “Every year each team has been a brotherhood. I came here from Wilton High School. And the biggest thing I noticed was how closeknit the St. Luke’s community has been. It’s felt like the entire school has been a family helping us to do our best.”
ST. LUKE’S 66, RYE COUNTRY DAY 46
RYE COUNTRY DAY (4-14, 3-6 FAA)
Jared Jones 4 0-2 10 Austin Pager 0 0-0 0 Cole Price 2 0-0 6 Billy O’Meara 1 0-0 3 Shams Elbardissy 2 0-0 4 Allan Houston III 1 0-0 2 Ben Pearce 2 4-4 9 James Kosann 2 0-2 4 Daniel Aklog 0 0-0 0 Doug Kosann 1 0-0 3 Sam Berger 2 0-0 5. Totals: 17 4-8 46.
ST. LUKE’S (18-1, 12-0 FAA)
Walter Whyte 7 2-2 18 Jonas Harper 3 2-2 10 Joel Boyce 5 3-6 15 Colin Meany 3 1-2 8 Andrew Varoli 0 0-0 0 John Wisdom 0 2-3 2 Scott Vollmer 0 0-0 0 Jackson Ryan 2 0-0 6 Jackson Selvala 0 0-0 0 Porter Bowman 0 0-2 0 Matt Lindsay 2 0-0 5 Cole Bryant 1 0-0 2. Totals: 23 10-17 66.
RYE COUNTRY DAY 23 23—46
ST. LUKE’S 38 28—66
3-Pointers: RCD—Jones 2, Price 2, O’Meara, Pearce D. Kosann, Berger. StL—Whyte 2, Harper 2, Boyce 2, Meany, Ryan 2, Lindsay.