By Joseph Staszewski
Christ the King lost one of its best players to injury before seeing its season slip away.
Junior forward Kollyns Scarbrough, the Royals’ best inside player, severely sprained her right ankle, hustling back to make a defensive play with 2:14 left in the second quarter. She emerged from the locker room after halftime on crutches, hurting her team’s advantage in the paint.
“Kollyns has been a big part of everything we’ve done all year,” CK Coach Bob Mackey said. “It’s tough to replace a kid like that.”
Senior post Taylor Butigian tried to pick up the slack, scoring 19 points, but it wasn’t enough. Moore Catholic’s hot shooting eventually proved too much as the Archdiocesan champions knocked off Christ the King 63-52 in the CHSAA Class AA girls’ basketball semifinals March 6 at St. John Villa. It’s the second time in three years the Royals finish the season without a title.
“It was on everyone to step up when they can to make up for what we were losing,” Butigian said.
Moore did an excellent job containing star wing Sierra Calhoun (17 points). They sagged into the paint and forced her to score from the outside where she never found her stroke.
Still, Christ the King (19-9) was within 40-39 after three quarters on a Calhoun hoop at the buzzer. Moore responded by hitting three straight three-pointers, including two by Victoria Rubin (13 points) to take a 53-44 lead with 4:13 left in the game. The second was lofted high over the outstretched hand of a defender and banked in.
“They were just a really great shooting team,” Butigian said.
Moore Catholic (23-5) had four players in double figures led by Gabriella Rubin’s 19 points. Sister Victoria Rubin had 13, Taylor Robertson 12 and Tori Crea 11. The Mavericks understood the importance of beating such a storied program.
“It’s an accomplishment,” Victoria Rubin said. “People thought that we weren’t going to win. It just makes us all motivated.”
Christ the King drew as close as 53-49 with 2:18 remaining in the game on two Calhoun free throws. She misfired on a three-pointer on the next possession and Moore, which handled the CK pressure defense well all game, closed things out at the free throw line.
“I think we threw at them everything we could pressure wise,” Mackey said. “They handled it pretty well.”