Photo courtesy of Jeffrey Armstrong.
By David Cordova
Every season, the rivalry game between Bishop Loughlin and Christ the King gets more and more exciting. The two schools in the CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens Diocesan “AA” division have at least a dozen players that are Division-I caliber recruits.
This season, both teams were in the top three in their division as the Lions were 13-5 (7-3 in league play) and the Royals were 15-6 (8-4 in league play) prior to yesterday’s game. On January 15th in Middle Village, Queens, Loughlin would edge out Christ the King in overtime, by four, 66-62.
The rematch would be no better for one of the teams, as the other took full advantage of that team’s weakness, resulting in regular-season sweep.
Bishop Loughlin 88, Christ the King 72
The start of the game showed how competitive both teams could be. The Royals struck the first blow as they ran off to an 11-4 lead with 3:57 to go in the first quarter.
Loughlin would then get as close to 13-13, but Christ the King’s size would prove to be a huge advantage for them as they would lead, 19-13, with 32.5 seconds left in the quarter.
The second quarter would have Loughlin threaten the Royals behind the play of senior guard and Cincinnati commit Keith Williams, as they would tie the score at 21-21 with 4:52 to go. The Lions would definitely fight back as they would end up leading by one, 33-32, at halftime.
As the second half started, both teams were prone to turning the ball over, but Christ the King, ended up with a six-point lead, 41-35, with 5:10 to go.
But then Loughlin junior guard Markquis Nowell hit a four-point play to cut the deficit to 41-39, with 5:01 left and then Williams would tie the score with then score six consecutive points to being the Lions ahead by four, 45-41, with less than four minutes left in the third quarter.
Later on in the quarter, Nowell would hit two consecutive three-pointers to give Loughlin a ten-point lead, 57-47. Then in the fourth quarter, the Lions would continue to run off to a sixteen-point lead, 69-53, highlighted by an alley-pop dunk with 5:50 to go.
The Lions lead would be 82-62, with 2:41 left in the fourth, as the youth of the Royals would inevitably continue to have them in foul trouble & be forced into turnovers, as they would only get as close as thirteen with under the final minute, securing the win for the Lions.
Williams would lead Loughlin with 29 points and nine rebounds and Nowell would contribute with 22 points and eight assists, while senior Tyrese Gaffney would add 18 points and six rebounds for the Lions. For Christ the King, sophomore forward Kofi Cockburn led with 21 points and ten rebounds, senior guard and Georgia Tech commit Jose Alvarado would add 20 points, seven rebounds and seven assists and sophomore guard Jaylen Davis would add 15 points in the loss.