Seniors Rise Up in Christ the King’s City Championship Victory (with slideshow)

With the threat of it possibly being their last-ever game in a Royals’ uniform, Christ the King R.H.S., Middle Village, seniors Jon Severe, Jordan Fuchs and Isaiah Cosbert set the tone in the team’s 78-63 victory over Bishop Loughlin M.H.S., Fort Greene, Sunday to capture the ‘AA’ N.Y.C. CHSAA Championship at Fordham University, the Bronx.

The win marks the Royals’ seventh city championship in school history and third city title within the last four years.

What makes this win even more special is that is was the fourth time this season that Christ the King (25-3) defeated Bishop Loughlin (20-7) – which is a rare feat for any team against any opponent, let alone one as talented as the Loughlin Lions. Royals’ head coach Joe Arbitello admitted that he had his doubts.

The 2013 City Champion Christ the King Royals (Photo by Jim Mancari)
The 2013 City Champion Christ the King Royals (Photo by Jim Mancari)

“It’s not even about beating the same team four times,” he said. “It’s about beating a really good team four times.”

The matchup pitted Severe, who was named the ‘AA’ regular season M.V.P., against Loughlin junior guard Khadeen Carrington, who led the ‘AA’ in scoring at 24.6 pts. per game.

Carrington got off to a hot start, as he scored eight of the Lions’ first 13 points. But Christ the King relied on Fuchs and junior center Adonis Delarosa to open an eight-point lead after the first quarter.

In the second quarter, a 7-0 Loughlin run got the Lions within two, but the Royals immediately followed with a 7-1 run to go back up eight. Loughlin head coach Edwin Gonzalez called a timeout, and the Lions responded by going on an 11-4 run – capped by a buzzer-beating put-back lay-up by senior forward Jeff Lange – to close out the first half trailing by just one.

After a slow first quarter, Lions’ junior guard Michael Williams scored seven points in the second. Carrington added nine in the second frame, as he and Williams combined to score 16 of the team’s 23 points in the quarter.

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Arbitello knew that he could not continue letting Loughlin’s two best players beat him. So he changed defensive assignments, putting Severe on Carrington and Fuchs on Williams. This strategy worked, as the duo combined for just 17 second-half points compared to 26 in the first half.

Loughlin tied the game early in the third quarter aided by energetic play from junior forward Javian Delacruz. But the Royals took the lead, and a buzzer-beating three-pointer by Cosbert put Christ the King back up five after three quarters.

As soon as the fourth quarter began, Cosbert drilled another three, which increased the lead to eight and took the wind out of the Loughlin sails.

“Coach (Arbitello) has confidence in me shooting threes, and it’s my job to knock them down,” Cosbert said.

Christ the King M.V.P. Jon Severe (Photo by Jim Mancari)
Christ the King M.V.P. Jon Severe (Photo by Jim Mancari)

The Royals proceeded to orchestrate a 14-3 run to increase the lead to double-digits, and the Lions could not overcome the deficit. Chants of “CK” filled Rose Hill Gymnasium as time expired.

“Our seniors came up big,” said Severe, who finished with 19 pts. and six rebounds and was named the game’s M.V.P.

Fuchs added 17 pts. and five rebounds, while Cosbert had nine pts., including his two clutch three-pointers. Delarosa recorded a double-double with 14 pts. and 14 rebounds. Freshman Rawle Alkins came off the bench to score 14 pts. – 10 of which came in the fourth quarter.

For the Lions, Carrington led the way with 24 pts. and had six rebounds. Williams scored 19 pts. and recorded a game-high six steals. Delacruz finished with a double-double after scoring 10 pts. and grabbing 12 boards.

“As a team we did well and wound up winning, but it’s not over yet,” Severe said. “We’re going to try to get a ring when we go to states.”

The Royals will head to Albany, N.Y., for the state federation tournament starting March 23.