By Joseph Staszewski
Jon Severe remembered losing to Bishop Loughlin in last year’s diocesan semifinals, breaking a string of three-straight Christ the King crowns.
The Royals senior didn’t want to experience that feeling again with a championship on the line Friday night.
Severe scored 26 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead Christ the King to an 80-65 win over the Lions in the CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens boys’ basketball final in Middle Village.
“Beating them in a championship game means a lot to us and the program,” Severe said.
It’s CK’s fourth championship in five years and its third win over the Brooklyn school this season. Christ the King earns the diocese’s top seed in the intersectional tournament.
The Royals (23-3) grabbed control of the game in the third quarter after trailing 41-34 at the half. They clamped down defensively, taking away the driving lanes and holding Loughlin to just eight points in the third.
“Our defensive energy was a lot better,” Royals Coach Joe Arbitello said.
Severe scored seven straight points midway through the frame. CK ended the quarter on a 5-0 run to grab a 53-49 advantage heading into the fourth. Loughlin never seriously threatened again.
St. Anthony’s (L.I.) transfer Andre Walker scored 15 points, grabbed seven rebounds and dished out five assists for CK. Adonis Delarosa had 10 points and Jordan Fuchs and freshman Rawle Alkins added nine apiece.
Alkins also did a good job slowing down Loughlin star Kadeen Carrington, who had 20 points. His backcourt mate Mike Williams had just 13 points and was in and out of the game in the second half with cramps and hip pointer for Loughlin (19-7).
Walker, who has come on strong of late, knew how much this game meant to his teammates who lost in the semifinals last year. The junior didn’t want to let them down and also wanted to win his first high school championship. Walker believed his performance earned him his own piece of Christ the King history, with plenty of time for him to add to it.
“It lets them know they are going to have to see me next year, too,” Walker said.
For seniors such as Severe, this year is all he and his classmates have left. He isn’t worried about possibly facing Loughlin in the intersectional title game and having to beat them for the fourth time this season.
“I think we can beat anybody,” Severe said. “If we play together and play defense like we did in the third quarter, nobody can beat us.”