The St. Luke’s girls varsity basketball team capped off another remarkable season by winning its first New England Preparatory School Athletic Council Championship (NEPSAC) on Sunday, March 5, beating Brooks School 61-52.
The Storm had already won the Fairchester Athletic Association (FAA) regular-season title and tournament championship and went into the NEPSAC final with an overall record of 25-2. St. Luke’s, facing a team that had beaten them in the previous two championship games, would not be beaten a third time by the Brooksians.
In a first half dominated by the two defenses, St. Luke’s struggled to find its typically potent offense but went into halftime with a narrow 23-21 lead.
A determined Storm team dominated the third quarter to finally create some breathing room, outscoring Brooks 21-11 and heading into the final period with a 44-32 lead. A disciplined fourth quarter kept Brooks at arms length, with many of the Storm’s key players coming up big to secure the victory.
Mackenzie Nelson ’23, who was named the Most Valuable Player of the tournament, scored 14 of her 16 points in the second half. Ava Sollenne ’23 hit three huge threes in the second half, finishing the game with 16 points, and Brielle Renwick ’23 scored a game-high 17 points. Aidan Panian ’23, Kaya Weiskopf ’24, and Camdyn Nelson ’25 also made huge contributions for the win.
It was a tremendous team effort. As the final buzzer sounded, the girls stormed the court and made history for the school’s basketball program.
Head Coach Matt Ward, who was named NEPSAC Class B Coach of the Year, was thrilled for his team: “I’m so happy for these kids.They have talked about getting back here for a year, and to be able to return and bring home a win is pretty special for them. They worked hard all season and played a difficult schedule, but we had a ton of fun as a team. I’m incredibly happy we capped off a special season with a championship win.”
You can view a photo gallery and some videos from the championship game here