2008-03-07 / Sports

Pearson,Royals One Step Away From Title

By Elio Velez

Christ the King High School star Ryan Pearson has admitted his love for playing basketball. His enthusiasm and dedication the last few years have earned him a scholarship to George Mason University.

There have been a lot of exciting moments in the senior's playing career. But the chance for his team to repeat as the CHSAA city champions is the fuel that has fired his final playoff run.

Pearson scored 23 points and teammates Sean Johnson and Roland Brown each added 14 points for the Royals, who soundly defeated Bishop Loughlin, 69-56, in the CHSAA semifinals at St. John's University last Wednesday night.

Christ the King will take on a streaking Holy Cross team for the city title at 3 p.m. on Sunday afternoon at Fordham University. The #1 seed Rice High School was upset by Holy Cross when Blaise Ffrench made a basket with 5.2 seconds left in the fourth quarter to give the Knights a 64-62 victory.

Pearson has taken on the scoring load, with University of Florida bound teammate Erving Walker, with aplomb this season. The Far Rockaway native has torched the opposition this season with numerous 30 point efforts and was again at his best as the Royals defeated the Lions for the first time in three matchups.

"We were motivated. We owed them because they beat us twice. For them to beat a team three times in a row, that's hard. I felt I was pumped up. I didn't want any other way than to beat Loughlin to get to the city championship.

But Pearson was more than happy that his young sophomore teammate, 6'8 center Roland Brown, contributed with a solid effort. Johnson had his best overall effort of the season.

If both players can continue to be a factor on offense, then Christ the King should have plenty of firepower to match up against Sylven Landesberg, the CHSAA's leading scorer and Holy Cross all-time points leader.

Pearson wants to win his second title, just not with the added pressure from his team's first meeting with Holy Cross this season.

With three defenders on him, Pearson connected on an almost half-court, game-tying three-point shot at the buzzer in the fourth quarter.

The Royals tied the game as they sent the contest into two overtimes before winning, 92-87 in double overtime on January 25.

When asked if he would like to repeat his miraculous shot to win the city title, Pearson laughed and quickly shrugged off that suggestion

"Hopefully, it's not that close. Hopefully it's like a six-point game and we win th, city championship two times in a row. That would be great. "

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