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By Joseph Staszewski

It was a banner year for some unfamiliar faces in Queens, mixed in with a few perennial powers who remained on top. The Christ the King boys’ basketball team claimed a third straight CHSAA Intersectional title, but fell short of a historic Federation three-peat. After years of knocking on the door Aviation has a boys’ soccer city title to call its own. And after a four-year wait, Archbishop Molloy took home another CHSAA state softball crown.

But who were the best clubs of them all in Queens regardless of sport? These are our picks for the best of the 2014-15 school year.

The squads were selected keeping in mind their level of dominance in their sport, the level and difficulty of any title won, the historic nature of the season and the quality of their overall year. Here is how the teams stacked up:

1. Aviation boys’ soccer (13-2-2)

Aviation fans lifted coach Mario Cotumaccio on their shoulders in jubilation after the 12th-seeded Flyers rallied to beat No. 2 Susan Wagner for its first PSAL Class A city title. It was a long time coming after five straight semifinals and a second title-game appearance. What made it sweeter was that Aviation stunned nationally ranked and defending champion Martin Luther King Jr. in the semifinals.

2. Christ the King boys’ basketball (25-5)

The Royals, also the Brooklyn/Queens champs, accomplished something only three other schools have done by winning a third straight CHSAA Class AA city crown. Behind star Rawle Alkins the Royals became the first to earn five titles in six years, but fell a win shy of an unprecedented third consecutive Federation crown.

3. Archbishop Molloy softball (21-5)

Molloy put it all together after a disappointing end to 2014. The Stanners won the CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens regular season and diocesan crown. It beat St. Joseph by the Sea for the city title and clipped St. Anthony’s to garner its first Catholic state championship since 2011. Pitchers Alexandra Yule and Amanda Zeni, along with a loaded lineup led by Camile Sears, made them arguably the city’s top club.

4. Christ the King girls’ basketball (21-8)

In a year that was believed to be a rebuilding one, the Royals were Queens of the city again. CK earned the Brooklyn/Queens regular season and diocesan title. It beat rival Molloy a fourth time for its first CHSAA Class AA state crown since 2010. Dominique Toussaint and Sydney Zambrotta pushed the team to within a victory of another Federation championship.

5. Benjamin Cardozo girls’ track

The Judges have watched Medgar Evers challenge them for their throne as the city’s top team. This season was no contest and one of Dozo’s most dominant as it won PSAL city titles in cross country, indoor track and outdoor track—the first time they took all three titles. Shaniqua Kilpatrick and Emma Gallagher led the team to the cross country crown and jumper Marie-Jose Ebweabile was a huge reason behind Dozo’s indoor and outdoor championships.

6. Mary Louis girls’ tennis (18-0)

Mary Louis did what no team could for 16 years by ending St. Francis Prep’s reign as CHSAA state champions with a semifinal win. It then bested St. Joseph Hill for the program’s first crown. First singles star Yuka Lin and company got close in both of the last two seasons, but this year they finally got over the hump. Every player on the team’s lineup returns next season.

7. Christ the King girls’ soccer (12-1-1)

Christ the King became a soccer dynasty after its fourth consecutive CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens title with its most dominant win a 5-1 victory in the final. Behind Media Mulic and Sarah Nolan, the Royals then did something it hadn’t accomplished yet during its run by reaching the Catholic state final.

8. Springfield Gardens boys’ basketball (25-5)

There was a guardian angel on the Golden Eagles’ shoulders as the team won the PSAL Class A crown, its first city title since 1983. Springfield Gardens dedicated the crown to former star Anthony Mason, who died before the playoffs. Joel Boyce and company navigated their way through one of the deepest and most talented ‘A’ divisions in recent years.

9. Grover Cleveland boys’ volleyball (14-1)

Grover Cleveland hasn’t exactly been boys’ volleyball royalty and were not considered a favorite when the year started, thanks to a young roster. Still coach Anna Dawidowska expected big things from a club that started four sophomores. It delivered with the program’s first PSAL Class A crown as the No. 6 seed behind Juan De Jesus and Costinel Oaie

10. Maspeth boys’ basketball (24-1)

Maspeth was one of the best feel-good stories of the year. The Argonauts won the PSAL Class B city title in their first varsity year after an unbeaten regular season. Behind Paolo Tamer and Damian Piszczatowski, Maspeth upset Dwight in the state Federation semifinals and showed plenty of fight in a loss in the title game.

Honorable mention: Richmond Hill cricket, McClancy girls’ soccer, Archbishop Molloy boys’ soccer, St. Francis Prep boys’ handball, Monsignor McClancy baseball, Forest Hills baseball

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