Girls basketball: St. Luke's Lowery gets 1,000th point

It started on a play that looked no different from so many others on this night.

Greens Farms Academy’s Campbell Goldsmith was under siege just inside the half-court line when she desperately flipped an errant pass to the backcourt. The defenders sprang forward into a fast break two-on-one.

Freshman Maya Klein scampered down the left flank with Sydney Lowery keeping pace on the right. Klein’s bounce-pass through the paint skipped past GFA’s Claire Comey and into the hands of Lowery. A swift right-handed layup netted the sophomore captain’s 26th point of the game-and her team’s 45th to the Dragons’ ninth.

In the next instant, the Shelton native was stormed by a phalanx of teammates. Carey Gymnasium’s expectant crowd exploded upward with a raucous cheer as the Storm’s leading scorer disappeared beneath rabid hugs and high-fives. Directly above the swarm was a banner that Lowery rendered obsolete seconds earlier: St. Luke’s Basketball’s 1,000-Point Club had initiated a new member.

After the game, Lowery summarized her emotions.

“I feel really accomplished and I’m thankful for my team,” she said.

While most players eclipse the millennium mark late in their careers, Lowery broke through during the first home game of her sophomore season.

“It’s a tremendous accomplishment,” head coach Greg Thomas noted. “She’s a great kid — that’s the first thing. Seeing a kid who works that hard off the court be able to accomplish such a huge milestone-she really deserved it.”

Lowery’s stellar game (28 points) was balanced by Klein’s perimeter shooting (15 points), and a relentless full-court press on defense.

The 64-17 win improves the Storm’s record to 6-0 and, like Lowery, the team has exceeded expectations based purely on age. With just one senior on the roster, the varsity squad is young but hardly green.

“We’ve been working really hard since the season started,” Lowery said. “We’ve gained tremendous chemistry.”

Entering the second half 11 points shy of the mark, Lowery continued to generate offense by driving to the basket and generating fouls — sinking six of nine attempts from the line.

As she drew closer to the milestone, the crowd began to buzz in anticipation. Lowery had been anticipating it, as well.

“I’d been dreaming about it since last night,” she laughed. “(Students and faculty) in the halls had been wishing me good luck.”

In retrospect, the basket seemed to be that of a Hollywood script.

“What touched me most was how (Sydney) got it,” Thomas said, recalling the night’s signature moment. “Maya Klein, on the fast break, could have easily gotten a bucket. But she turned and gave it to her. It’s a testament to the closeness these girls have.”