Lady Royals Start New Winning Streak In Blowout Victory
Christ the King's Sky Lindsay has never experienced the hurt or pain of losing a basketball game in high school. When she joined the varsity in 2004, the Lady Royals were on their way to winning two consecutive state titles.
The new season, which started last Friday saw that streak snapped. After 57 consecutive wins, the Royals fell to defeat on their home court in overtime to Holy Cross of Maryland, 58-54.
Lindsay didn't dwell on the negative too long and her teammates did the same as Christ the King's ills ran past hosts Bishop Ford, 89-58 last Monday night.
Without 6 foot 3 center Tina Charles to patrol the middle anymore, Christ the King will have to rely on their speed and quickness to win their third straight title.
Lindsay, along with her backcourt mate Lorin Dixon, who will team up with Charles next year at UCONN, will both take up the mantle of leading this year's new crop.
"I was definitely upset. No one wants to lose. But it's a part of the game and a part of life. It's all a learning experience and we took the loss and now we're moving on," Lindsay said
"It's a wake up call. We're not as good as last year so we have to step it up even more."
Despite Charles departure, Christ the King remains the cream of the crop in the CHSAA's Brooklyn/Queens Diocesan Division.
Bishop Ford should compete along with Mary Louis, Molloy, Bishop Kearney for second place in the division but they were quickly blitzed in the second quarter by a tenacious Royals defense.
Lindsay, who will attend St. John's University next fall, finished with a game high of 22 points and along with the lightning quick point guard skills of Dixon helped Christ the King extend a tight 12-10 first quarter lead to a game breaking 50-29 advantage at the half.
Royals head coach Bob Mackey got down to business over the weekend and saw the effort against Bishop Ford which has made them the top team in the country the past two years.
Every year he says is a different situation but Mackey looking for his squad to fix the mistakes rather repeat them.
"Every loss you got to learn from. Was it something we learned from? I think we got a bit of a wakeup call. They were a good club...," Mackey said.
"We found some weaknesses to work on and we got to correct. You can't come out against any team and miss 18 free throws and commit 24 turnovers."
Though Lindsay and Dixon are the two most prominent members, the Royls will look for contributions from senior guards Nicole Calera and Jael Pena to provide added scoring and depth.
Not particularly tall in the middle, the Royals will need newcomers like Tahira Johnson to adapt to the varsity quickly. Johnson is a bit raw but her 6 foot 3 frame and athleticism around the basket was key in scoring 18 points against Ford.
By the end of this month, Mackey will know what this team looks like because the non-league schedule will not be easy. This weekend's home games will feature Westfield High School, Virginia and on Saturday, an anticipated matchup with North Canton Hoover High School of Ohio.
Hoover comes in as 17th ranked high school girls' team in the nation, according to USA Today's pre-season poll. It's only the second test before the Lady Royals fly off to Arizona to compete in the four day Tournament of Champions, which they are trying to win for the third year in a row.
Lindsay knows that teams are gunning for them this year. But she likes the idea of being the hunter and not to be the hunted.