By Anthony Bosco
When it finally happened, Bob Mackey knew only one way to deal with it.
After the Christ the King girls varsity basketball team lost its first league game since 1984, a stretch of 232 consecutive wins, the first-year head coach did what he thought was the best thing – to put the loss behind them.
“I told the kids in the locker room after the game that the next morning they would all wake up, eat breakfast and go to school,” Mackey said. 'And I said practice was at 6 o'clock.”
The loss came last Wednesday on the Royals' home court, a 72-54 drubbing at the hands of Bishop Loughlin, in which Loughlin jumped out to an 11-1 lead and led by 16 at the half. The Royals fell as far behind as 51-26 before rallying to close the gap to 53-41.
The loss, however, could not be avoided. With junior All-American Clare Droesch out with an ankle injury, the rest of the Royals simply could not avoid destiny.
“There are games when you just don't have it,” Mackey said. “We can make excuses, but we won't. Now we gotta go back to work. We're dealing with it. The girls were devastated. Most of them were aware of [the streak]. Maybe they weren't as aware of it as they should have been.”
The loss came on the heels of an 18-point defeat at the hands of Archbishop Carroll the preceding Saturday, in which the team shot just 19 percent. Against Loughlin the team barely got above 20 percent from the field.
The road back to league supremacy started the following day, the coach said, at the team's next practice.
“We said something before practice started and said that was the last time we were going to talk about it and we moved on,” the coach said. “Practice went well. We worked hard.
“It was hard,” Mackey added. “I had been with [former coach Vincent Cannizzaro] for nine years. I was there for the last home loss in 1991 to Palos Verdes. This one will not be erased. We didn't come to play. Games like this you don't forget.”
Mackey's team took the floor for the first time after the loss Friday against league foe St. Edmund and the Royals were back in top form. Against one of the Brooklyn/Queens Diocesan's lesser teams, Mackey's girls won handily, 88-30.
“It was tough to keep the horses back in that game,” he said. “I would not want to play us right now.”
The team then defeated Voorhes (NJ) on Sunday, 53-38. With Droesch back in the line-up – she scored 19 – the Royals defeated a quality out-of-state club. The team's next test will come Saturday when it travels to the Garden State to play Notre Dame (NJ).
“We just have to start another streak,” Mackey said.
The match-up with Loughlin was the lone league meeting between the schools this season. If the two teams meet again this season it will not be until the playoffs.
Christ the King's record now stands at 14-4 overall and 5-1 in league play.
St. Francis Prep 89, Notre Dame (S.I.) 36. The Terriers improved to 9-3 overall, 6-1 in league play, with their 53-point win over Notre Dame last week. Lauren Kilduff led the way with 31 points.
St. John's Prep 64, Fontbonne Hall 50. The Red Storm got 29 from Theresa Williams as the team stayed perfect in league play, improving to 5-0 in the league and 7-5 overall.
St. Agnes 42, Nazareth 22. Coach Nick Carrione's team raised its record to 10-3 overall and 4-1 in CHSAA D play last week, as Roe Reilly and Judy Leandre each contributed 10 points in the win.
Bayside 46, Van Buren 38. The Commodores went on an 8-0 run at the start of the overtime session to lead Bayside to the win. Jessica Laboy led Bayside (5-4 Queens II-B) with 16 points.
Cardozo 49, Cleveland 26. Catherine Isaza scored 18 points and Shavonne Roundtree added 15 for Cardozo (15-6, 8-1 Queens I-A).
Flushing 59, Long Island City 51. Led by Monet Pledger's 19 points and 11 rebounds and Chiene Jones' 14 points, 10 assists and six steals, Flushing (8-10, 4-6 Queens I-A) defeated LIC. The Bulldogs were led by Armica Mariner's 21 points.
Campus Magnet 48, Far Rockaway 23. Delores Maeweather scored 19 points to lead Campus Magnet (7-7, 2-6 Queens II-B).
Hillcrest 36, Bowne 26. Naomi Philoceles scored 10 points and Shondell Sandiford added 11 and Chidinma Ogueri had nine blocks for Hillcrest (8-9, 2-7 Queens II-A).
Newcomers 43, Academy of American Studies 34. Samia Bousbaci scored 15 points to lead Newcomers (7-8, 2-6 Queens II-B) in the non-league game.
Cardozo 42, Francis Lewis 40. Roundtree led the Judges with 14 points and six assists as Cardozo avenged two previous losses to Francis Lewis last Wednesday. Isaza added 12 points for Cardozo (14-6, 7-1 Queens I-A), which handed the Patriots its first league loss of the year.
Grover Cleveland 51, Flushing 31. Jennifer Barenboim had 17 points and Queens College-bound Erin Dollard added 16 points for the Indians (4-5).
Forest Hills 50, Far Rockaway 31. Brigida Pezzulo had 23 points and 13 rebounds for Forest Hills (16-0, 8-0 Queens II-B). The Rangers clinched first place in their division.
Townsend Harris 43, Hillcrest 41. Kristina Casper led Townsend Harris (5-4 Queens II-A) with 19 points.
John Adams 60, Newcomers 43. Nicole Moore led the Spartans with 27 points and Jennifer Porrazzo added 13 points for the Spartans (15-3, 9-0 Queens III-B).
Robert F. Kennedy 41, Robert Wagner 18. Michelle Wallace's 18 points and 12 rebounds paced RFK (9-12). Anne Jackson added 12 boards. Lakiesha Franklin scored 10 of Wagner's 18 points.
Franklin K. Lane 42, Richmond Hill 23. Rebecca Coram had 10 points and 11 assists for the Knights (9-8, 7-2).
Beach Channel 60, Bayside 44. Shanna Hamilton had 23 points and Quianna McBean added 17 points for Beach Channel (8-3, 5-3).