High School Playoff Round Up: CTK Upended In Title Game
By Elio Velez
Malik Boothe didn't believe what occurred. Boothe's Christ the King teammates Andrew Gabriela and Ryan Pearson could not believe what happened as time expired against Rice at Fordham University on Sunday.
Their body language could be described many different ways. Pick one and the word "shock" might be one word that pops into mind.
That was the feeling surrounding the Royals as they watched in the waning seconds of the fourth quarter as Kemba Walker knocked down a fallaway three point basket to give Rice the state catholic 'AA' title 44-41.
"I didn't think it was going in," Royals senior Andrew Gabriel said. "I couldn't believe it went in."
The Royals won the city 'AA" catholic title but they have come up short against Rice now three out of four times in championship games. In last season's city and state catholic title game, Rice defeated Christ the King and will return to Glens Falls for the N.Y. State Federation Title.
Walker was quickly guarded at the top of three point line by Royals guard Malik Boothe. The Rice guard pump faked and as he watched the Royals' Andrew Gabriel approaching him for the double team, got off the shot with the clock ticking to almost zero.
"I was thinking to get a good shot," Kemba Walker, who finished with 17 points, said "I knew it was going to go in. When it left my hand, it felt good."
Malik Boothe, who scored a team high 13 points in his final high school game, said he couldn't believe that Walker's shot went in. The Royals could not find an offensive rhythm highlighted by shooting guard Erving Walker, who scored no points on 0-6 from the field.
"It hurts just as bad. I wanted a chance to get upstate in my final year," Boothe, who will play at St. John's University. "It was real tough. I don't think anyone wants to lose on a buzzer beating shot."
Ryan Pearson (10 points), a Rockaway resident, and starting power forward was resigned to knowing that his Royals would not advance upstate.
"I thought that shot had no chance what so ever of going in. The big guy upstairs wasn't on our side today."
St. John the Baptist Shocks Lady Royals
By this weekend, as in years past, the Lady Royals of Christ the King are booking their arrangements for a hotel in Glens Falls for the New York State Federation 'AA" Tournament.
St. John the Baptist threw a monkey wrench into those plans, holding off Christ the King in the CHSAA state catholic 'AA' finals 54-51 at Cardinal Spellman High School on Sunday.
It was a close contest as St. John the Baptist had the lead with two seconds left up 54-41. Christ the King had their chances late as Lorin Dixon once again carried the scoring load without backcourt mate Sky Lindsay. Dixon scored 24 points but her 3-point attempt to tie the game at 54 with two seconds left bounced off the rim and time expired.
Dani Iervolino scored a team high 17 points for St. John the Baptist and Christine Huber chipped in with 12 points. They'll face Bergtraum today in Glens Falls in the semifinal of the 'AA' Federation Tournament.
The 2006-2007 season was expected to be another year where the Royals would compete once again for a state title. The past few weeks though have been a stressful time for the Christ the King Lady Royals without the services of shooting guard Sky Lindsay.
There are various reasons for why the St. John's bound guard Lindsay missed the last four games of the Royals season. Her mother Amelia said she suffered a back injury. Ask other sources and they will say Sky quit the team in a fit of jealously after not being selected for the McDonald's All-American team along with Lorin Dixon.
Either way, with Lindsay on the bench and in street clothes, Dixon once again showed an amazing display to guide her team one game short of the Federation. For her efforts on an outstanding season, Dixon will be named Ms. New York State Basketball this weekend in Glens Falls.
Though the questions on what the true story surrounding what really occurred may never be answered and certainly will overshadow what accomplishments the Royals had this season.
TMLA Advances To Glens Falls
The balanced and senior laden St. Peter's could have been the slight favorite going into the state girls catholic 'A' title game with The Mary Louis Academy.
Sophomore Amanda Buraskoski may have been one of the youngest players on the floor at Cardinal Spellman High School but the Mary Louis guard was easily one of the best performers. Her game high 29 points, along with 21 from Casey Shevlin and 17 points from Maral Javadifar helped the Hilltoppers beat St. Peter's 74-65.
The Mary Louis Academy (23-7) had a 21 point second quarter lead but St. Peter's tied the score at 63 with 1:24 left in the contest on a Candice Bellochio three point basket. Shevlin connected on three successive free throws to give TMLA the lead and a steal by Burakoski gave her steam a 68-63 advantage with just under a minute remaining.
The Hilltoppers, who have Kelly and Tiffanie Carman from Rockaway, on the roster, advance to the New York State Federation 'A' title game on Saturday in Glens Falls.