By Robert Cole
The early season adjustment problems continued for the Christ the King boys’ hoops team Friday, as the Royals fell 55-48 lost to Iona Prep in New Rochelle.
The Royals are still trying to build chemistry after the departure of outside shooter Jaylen Davis, who transferred to Cardozo, along with the additions of freshman Moussa Cisse (St. Benidicts) and sophomore Quaran McPherson (the Patrick School, N.J.). Senior Tyson Walker’s the move to point guard has also impacted the team’s chemistry, and it is apparent that the talented group of players will require time for the team to gel together before their true talent begins to show.
Sophomore Ryan Meyers led the Royals’ on the offensive end in the first quarter, scoring seven of his team-high 17 points in the opening frame.
The Royals held an 11-9 lead at the end of the first quarter, but Iona Prep came out scorching hot in the second. The Gaels were the first to score in the second quarter, with a three-pointer quickly giving them a 12-11 lead. Prep then used Royals’ turnover and another three-point basket to extended their lead to five at 17-12.
Consecutive inside baskets by Royals’ big man Kofi Cockburn, cut the lead to one and Christ the King tied the game 20-20 later in the quarter after a thunderous dunk by Moussa Cisse. Trailing by three with time running out in the half, Walker hit a three-pointer to tie the score at 25-25 heading into half-time.
Despite the strong first half, the Royals struggled in the second. Turnovers and the inability to get the ball to their big men down low would hamper the Royals’ offense, which allowed Iona to maintain their lead throughout the third quarter. Iona opened up a six-point lead, but Christ the King stayed in the game with back-to-back three’s from Walker, which cut the Royals’ deficit to 38-36 at the end of the quarter.
Inconsistent offensive play stymied the Christ the King offense in the fourth, which allowed Iona Prep to take a 48-40 lead midway through the final period. The Royals pulled to within four to make the score 49-45, but two consecutive offensive foul calls with one minute remaining prevented them from completing their comeback.
The Royal’s schedule does not get any easier this week. They were scheduled to play Monsignor Scanlan at home, before traveling to Long Island to take on the very tough Long Island Lutheran squad.