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An Episcopal, co-educational 100% boarding school in Middletown, Delaware for grades 9 – 12

The Saints Make the Most of a Short Week
Chris Hayes

It was a shorter week already with events with the Saints returning from the long weekend break and was shortened on Saturday when all events were postponed because of the weather. While the weather outside was cold, the action inside was on fire! 

Swimming | The swim teams kicked the week off when they welcomed Tatnall to St. Andrew’s. Both teams showed no sign of rust from the long weekend as they had dominating wins. Individual highlights include 1st places by Danny Huang ’22 in the 200 freestyle; Keiran Bansal ’24 in the 200 individual medley; Madison Macalintal ’22 in the 200 individual medley; Michael Novacescu ’23 in the 50 freestyle; Emma Hopkins ’23 in the 50 freestyle; and Elizabeth Rainey ’22 in the 500 freestyle. Both teams cruised to wins as the boys won 104-61 and the girls won 85-44. 

Wrestling | The wrestling team (A.K.A. Griffin Nation) stepped back on the mat, for the first time since December 4th. The team welcomes St. Elizabeth to their home floor, the first match at home in over two years. The Griffin Nation shined as they beat St. Elizabeth's with a 24-21 win. The standout was Seoyoon Kwon ’23. According to Coach Davis “she wrestled with fire in her heart and her wins motivated the entire team.” Seoyoon wrestled twice in the meet and was able to pin both her opponents.

Boys Basketball | The boys basketball team had two games on the road the past week. The first was against Tower Hill School as they tried to avenge an earlier loss this season. The Saints came out ready to play and took an early lead against the Hillers and were up 17-12 after the 1st quarter. They continued this fast start in the 2nd quarter and went into the half up 9 points 30-21. The Hillers responded in the second half with pressure and forcing turnovers to tie the score 41-41 after the 3rd quarter. Both teams were eager to try and pull out the win but the Hillers defense was too much for the Saints. The Hillers also hit tough defended shots and were able to down the Saints and take the win 55-45. The Saints were led by Brandon Graves ’22 in the scoring sheet with 12 points, followed by Elijah Proctor-Moore ’25 with 10 points. 

In the second game of the week, they traveled to Wilmington Friends to try and sweep the series for the season. The first game at St. Andrew’s had been a close game before the Saints were able to pull out the win. This time on the road, the Saints were in control the entire game. It was a four point game in the first quarter but the Saints went to work in the second quarter and extended their lead 31-15 at the half. Like the first game, the Quakers offense adjusted and picked up their scoring but this time the Saints matched their scoring and kept the lead at a comfortable distance for the remainder of the game. The Saints ended up winning 60-37. Brandon Graves ’22 led the way for the Saints in multiple categories almost recording a triple-double. He ended with 15 points, 16 rebounds, 8 assists, 3 steals, and 2 blocks.

Girls Basketball | The girls basketball team traveled to Tatnall School for their first road game since returning from the break. The Saints played another good team for the second straight game and were stymied by the Hornets defense and pressure. The Saints were down 39-7 at the half but stayed resilient in the second half. Yiru Wang ’25 and Cora Birknes ’23 found some rhythm shooting and both hit three point shots. Both players finished with 7 points. Josie Pitt ’23 was in foul trouble early but was able to play smart and keep herself in the game. The Saints ended up losing 62-22. 

Boys Squash | Today Saints's boys varsity squash were able to celebrate a hard fought victory on home turf, for the first time this season. Missing only one varsity player, Griffin Patterson ’24, the number 8 player, St Andrew’s welcomed McDonogh from Baltimore. This was a tight match up for the Saints. 

The Saints were strengthened in the number 5 spot by the return of Grey Dugdale ’25. Things started well for Saints in a rather unsatisfying vein as McDonogh arrived with a depleted team, only bringing 7 out of 10 players. The team was pleased to accept the walk-over victories in positions 8 through 10, although it would far have been preferred for sophomore captain Charlie Lunsford ’24, James Owens ’24, and Will Hagberg ’25 to have had to have fought for their victories. 

In actual play, the first players on court were Senior Captain Archie Baldocchi ’22, Freshman Isaac Cheung ’25, and Juniors Jack Cross ’23 and Jacob Bolno ’23.

As the coaches prowled from court to court, the hope was that the players would attempt to implement the personal game plans that each of them are developing. These game plans are the amalgam of our post game discussions from the last match and the work from practice. With Coach Pat on hand to assist with strategy, Charlie Lunsford was able to put together a good game plan with Jacob and, where Jacob had been consistently a point or two behind in his previous outing, today he was firmly ahead, with accurate serving onto the sidewall and thoughtful lifted balls into the back corner proving too much for his opponent. Jacob won his match 3 games to zero. A fine performance and excellent game plan execution.

Next door on court 3, Jack Cross was working on increasing the quality of his deep shots. Last time out Jack had become involved in too many scrappy front court rallies and found himself on the wrong end of them. Today after some discussions about how improving his deep shots opens up more and better opportunities to play short, Jack went to town! In some style, he quickly overcame his opponent 3-0 and prepared to help his coaching partner Grey Dugdale. 

With the benefit of the walk-over games at 8 and 9 and victories at 7 and 6, the Saints were up 4-0.

Archie Baldocchi was having some difficulties. In a very close first game, he narrowly lost 15-13. Coaching partner Tony Jiang ’23 and he tried to come up with a game plan to rectify matters, but Archie was really struggling to execute his plan or indeed remain focused. He ended up losing 0-3. 

Grey Dugdale, had made a steady start on court 3, taking the first game 11-7 with good deep shots and by simply outlasting his opponent. Things looked like they might go the same way in the second game, but then the McDonogh player steadied his own ship and Grey made a few errors and found himself down, eventually losing that game 12-10. The McDonogh player took advantage in the third game. Grey then focused on executing the plan, winning the fourth game 11-4. He did and completely dominated, winning 11-3.

The Saints had won the match!

There were matches still to be played and on court 1, Isaac Cheung ’25 was embroiled in a barn burner. Isaac played very well to steal the first game by a narrow 11-9 margin, but then started to get involved in a hitting match with someone who hit harder and longer than he was able to. With Senior Captain Will Atkinson ’22 as his coaching partner, and having lost the second game quite comfortably, Isaac set about trying to adapt to his circumstances. Isaac had done a little better in the third game on court 1 but had since lost it 11-7 and was down 1-2. Isaac however, was not done! The ploy of mixing up long and short shots was working and removed the overpowering play of his opponent. He won the fourth to take it into a fifth and deciding game. With Will Atkinson’s help, Isaac had completely turned his match around and came through to take the final game 11-9. Coach Millman said “it was a real credit to his resolve and willingness to execute a revised game plan.”

There were two matches left. Tony Jiang at 3, and he won a hard fought first game 14-12. Sadly though, he lost a very close second game 12-10 and was unable to execute the key element of his game plan which required him to volley the return of serve. He then lost the fourth game comfortably 11-4.

Will Atkinson was the final match to be played. In Will’s first game he was very relaxed and rode the waves of pressure in the game very well, taking it 11-6. In the second game however, his opponent improved the quality and accuracy of his play and this, combined with a dropping off in quality and a loss of focus from the Saints number one, resulted in a very quick 11-3 loss for the St Andrew’s captain. In the third game, a refocused Atkinson, competed well in a number of points but unfortunately once again found himself losing focus at key moments and departing from the agreed game plan. Will returned to the court refocused on his game plan and played 2 or 3 rallies of genuine quality. One of these saw him in control of the rally for 15-20 shots - a long rally for players at this level. The McDonogh player was too strong and won the final game to beat Atkinson 3-1. 

St. Andrew’s had its victory. But the more important success was the improvement of our players.

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