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Friday, January 19 High School Sports

St. Luke’s comes up short against Marianapolis Prep

NEW CANAAN — Sometimes the simplist explanation is the correct one.

The shots simply weren’t falling.

The St. Luke’s basketball team had the looks it wanted in the second half, but its shooters went cold and the Storm eventually fell 57-53 at home to Marianapolis Prep on Wednesday.

“The guys that we want shooting the ball got the shots,” St. Luke’s coach Tony Newsom said. “I don’t have any problems with that because those guys put their work in, and tonight for whatever reason they didn’t fall. But those guys are good shooters, so I’ll live with that.”

The Storm (5-3) started the second half nursing a 32-29 lead, but a 14-5 run from Marianapolis (5-3) forced a timeout from St. Luke’s — which was struggling to solve the rotating defensive looks from the Golden Knights.

“They switch up their defense so much,” Newsom said. “It’s 2-3 zone, it’s 1-3-1, it’s man. I think when you play teams like that it’s going to be a little bit slower trying to figure out what defense they’re in.”

Tyler Burton dropped 30 points for the visitors from Thompson and Steph Baxter added 16 more to keep the Storm at arm’s length.

St. Luke’s did its best to come back late. Jonas Harper’s (23 points) three-point play with 6:40 left brought the Storm within three at 47-44, then Scott Vollmer (11) had an and-one of his own to make it a four-point game with 1:30 to play.

Harper banked in a floater at the 21-second mark to make it 55-53, but two clutch free-throws from Baxter put the game out of reach.

“We just switched it up a little bit, we played our matchup that we like when we thought we had good matchups then we switched it up on them,” Knights coach Andrew Vitale said of his team’s second half. “We knew Harper is a very good player and we wanted to make it difficult for him and make him take tough shots and he took some tough shots.”

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Burton, Marianapolis. The junior led all scorers with 30 points and his back-to-back 3-pointers in the second half helped the Golden Knights pull away late.

“He’s tough to guard in the high post, he’s long and lanky and we were able to find him there and he made plays,” Vitale said. “I didn’t think he had a particularly good first half, but he made a lot of plays in the second half and you can understand why he’s getting the interest from colleges that he is.”

HARP-ING ON IT

Harper’s team-leading 23 points hardly tell the story of his night. The senior was active on the boards, defensively, inside and outside in the defeat.

“I ask him to do a lot,” Newsom said. “He’s one of the better players, he runs our team, so he’s doing a lot. He’s a kid who works extremely hard and is extremely talented, but his hard work allows him to play at a high level. The plays he made to keep us in the game were very good plays.”

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aparelli@bcnnew.com @reportedbytheAP

MARIANAPOLIS 57, ST. LUKE’S 53

MARIANAPOLIS (5-3)

Kevin Le 1 0-0 3; Owen Sootjens 1 0-1 3; Steph Baxter 6 2-2 16; Tyler Burton 11 4-7 30; Dhalyn Sanders-Dyer 2 0-0 5. Totals: 21 6-10 57.

ST. LUKE’S (5-3)

Andrew Varoli 3 0-0 9; Jackson Ryan 2 0-2 5; Jonas Harper 10 2-2 23; Jackson Selvala 2 0-0 5; Scott Vollmer 4 3-3 11; Jah’khi Washington 0 0-0 0. Totals: 21 5-8 53.

MARIANAPOLIS 29 28—57

ST. LUKE’S 32 21—53

3-pointers: M—Le, Sootjens, Baxter 2, Burton 3, Sanders-Dyer 1; STL—Varoli 3, Ryan, Harper, Selvala.

Anthony E. Parelli|Sports Writer, Sports Editor

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