Christ the King aims for ‘A’ crown

If there were one character trait that fits Christ the King, it would be opportunistic.
When their run of 23 straight CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens Diocesan championships ended March 8, the Royals quickly turned the page and won the Catholic Class A state crown when they were reclassified following the city playoffs.
Up next is a trip to Glens Falls for the state Federation Class A championship, beginning with the semifinals Friday at 12:45 against Curtis (21-8), the PSAL representative from Staten Island.
Christ the King (15-12) is used to being upstate this time of year, but in the ‘AA’ division, where they have won 14 titles since 1989, including 2005 and 2006. However, they are still playing for a championship. If their victories over St. John Villa and Holy Trinity are any indication, the Royals will be ready this weekend.
“We’re excited to be going up there to play this time of year,” Coach Bob Mackey said. “It’s a great experience for the younger players and nice achievement for the seniors.”
It is those upperclassmen, such as senior point guard Jael Pena, junior guard Geleisa George and junior forward Tahira Johnson, Mackey said that are responsible for the Royals rebirth.
Freshman Bria Smith was their leading scorer all season until the state playoffs. Pena, who as a sophomore figured into that team’s national championship run, was integral in their most recent victories, particularly down the stretch, while George found her scoring touch and Johnson, despite an ankle injury, seemed to regain her confidence.
“Everybody is stepping up,” Mackey said.

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