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St. Luke's boys basketball team takes down King in season opener

STAMFORD -- A good prep school education is based upon the idea of answering questions.

In the FAA, the month of December is about posing that list of questions if you are part of the boys basketball program.

Well, St. Luke's head coach Brian Kriftcher and King School head coach Greg Dobbs came away with a lot of pertinent information Thursday night after the Storm downed King, 59-44 in the FAA season opener for both squads.

"We have kids who have put a lot of time into our program playing above their weight class so to speak. This year, they are veterans. We don't lack for senior leadership," Kriftcher said. "You saw our group's sense of commitment tonight."

Indeed. Everyone on the St. Luke's roster saw playing time Thursday as the Storm jumped out to a 17-0 lead and never looked back.

"I'm thankful that we have a deep team. Depth is always welcome," Kriftcher said. "We were like 10 (actually 12 tonight) interchangeable parts."

With four contests on tap between Dec. 16 and 21 before its normal holiday break, rest for St. Luke's starting five Thursday night couldn't hurt.

Sean Cullinane paced St. Luke's (2-1, 1-0 FAA) with 15 points including a trio of 3-pointers.

Kevin Florio (pair of 3-pointers) was next with 12 followed by Jalen Latta (nine), reserve guard Jordan Sechan (eight) and tower of strength inside named Ami Lakoju (five points, five blocks).

"Our kids made the commitment starting last summer," Kriftcher said. "Ami is committed to being in the best shape of his life."

King (0-3, 0-1 FAA) is trying to move forward after the Drew Sawyer era. Sawyer, who was the straw that stirred the drink the last two seasons, is currently a freshman guard on a young Endicott College team in Beverly, Mass.

"We're building our house in 2013-14 one brick at a time," Dobbs said. "We have a lot of kids who have been role players in the past but no one has leaped forward to be a primary guy. We took our lumps tonight. But we're a group trying to find an identity. We have to find a new way without Drew."

Trailing 33-12 at halftime, King did score 32 points after intermission against mainly St. Luke's reserves.

Reserve Richie Nelli scored the contest's final five points to pace King with nine points. Starters Nick Della Jacono and Chris Trump each finished with seven points followed by Desmond Hague (six) and Chris Massucco (five). Read Full Article 

"St. Luke's looks good from No. 1 through No. 10," Dobbs said. "We may take more lumps but we will get better. Time will tell. I know it's there. I just have to draw it out of them."


St. Luke's 59, King 44

ST. LUKE'S (2-1, 1-0 FAA)

Jalen Latta 3 3-5 9; Kevin Florio 5 0-0 12; Bryan Latorraca 0 0-0 0; Ami Lakoju 2 1-2 5; Sean Cullinane 6 0-0 15; Jordan Sechan 4 0-0 8; JB Boggs 0 0-0 0; T.J. Simpson 1 0-0 2; Robert Wood 0 0-0 0; Jonas Harper 1 0-0 2; Shannon Smith 2 0-0 6; Casey Zho 0 0-0 0. Totals: 24 4-7 59.

KING (0-3, 0-1 FAA)

Eddie Meizels 2 0-1 5; Nick Della Jacono 1 4-4 7; Chris Trump 2 3-3 7; Tom Bewkes 1 0-0 2; Desmond Hague 3 0-0 6; Chris Massucco 1 2-2 5; Richie Nelli 4 1-1 9; Matt Sherwood 1 1-2 3; Joey Rinaldi 0 0-0 0; Matt Molinaro 0 0-0 0. Totals: 15 11-13 44.

ST. LUKE'S 33 26 -- 59

KING 12 32 --44

3-Pointers: StL -- Florio 2, Cullinane 3, Smith 2. K -- Meizels, Della Jacono, Massucco.

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Rich DePreta