FLUSHING, NY - After losing on Sunday to Christ the King, the Bishop Loughlin Lions were still reeling on Tuesday as they faced Holy Cross. The Lions took Sunday's loss out the Knights who they flattened, 75-57.
"We felt bad about the loss to Christ the King," said Issak Boden (22 points) whose five first half three-pointers helped carry the Lions momentum into the second half for the win. The 6'0" senior said as a team they feed off each other.
"We knew he was hot so we had to get him the ball," said Mike Williams (13 points & 9 rebounds). The Rutgers bound sharpshooter, who's usually one of the team's high scorers, didn't score a field goal in Sunday's game and still seemed off kilter during the game against Holy Cross.
Williams admitted that he was still out of sorts after receiving a flagrant foul that resulted in a hard tumble and stitches to his head. The foul came from 6'11" Adonis Delarosa during the Loughlin's first match against Christ the King, a game in which Loughlin won. "I'm [still] a little hesitant but that's going to go away during the course of the playoffs," said Williams. "That's what separates the men from the boys."
Holy Cross came onto their home court game to compete from the tip-off. Marshall Louis (14 points), Josh Wallace (15 points) and 6'5" sophomore Christian Wilson (15 points) put points on the board, quick, fast and in a hurry. Loughlin found themselves down 12-3 midway through the opening quarter. Slowly the Lions began to creep forward closing the gap precipitated by a 5-0 run.
A turnover by the Knights, ignited Boden's 3-pointer barrage and with 2 minutes left in the quarter, Holy Cross only led by a point. The Lions had their first lead as Keith Williams (5 points) scored off the inbound. Louis fought back, putting the Knights up, 16-13, at the end of first quarter.
Boden quickly knotted the game at 16 and Khadeen Carrington (19 points & 7 rebounds) regained the lead for Loughlin with 7:08. Boden was blazing hot from the perimeter and with 6:33, Knights were forced to call a timeout, down 21-16.
The Knights tried to defend as the Lions as they whipped the ball around the arc. Boden eventually found daylight, hitting yet another trey.
The Lions maintained a 24-21 lead with 4:50 left in the half and Williams extended it. Wallace tied the game at 26 but again Boden banged a trifecta.
When Boden, missed a heat check, teammate Jayvian Delacruz (4 points & 5 rebounds) had his back on the following possession. The point spread increased to seven as Darius James (9 points) drew a foul and scored from the line with 1:39.
Turnovers would define the Knights the first half as the Lions lead grew to 10 with 50 seconds on the clock. Loughlin would get the final shot and James would push their lead to 38-27 at the half.
The Knights needed to reduce their deficit one possession at a time a had to hope Boden wouldn't nail five more three-balls on the second half.
A 9-2 Lions run sent Holy Cross spiraling in the third quarter. With 3:58, Loughlin was suddenly ahead by 20 as Boden drained his sixth 3-pointer.
Jermaine Bishop (9 points) and Wilson made some headway for the Knights. Wallace also pitched in but Lions were still up 59-43 as the fourth quarter began.
Early in the fourth, Williams and Carrington increased the Lions lead to 22 points. A final push by the Knights with three minutes got the lead down to 16 but with 1:23 Holy Cross subbed out followed by the Lions.
As the Lions head into the playoffs, their goal is to win the upcoming CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens championship but, Williams said it's equally important to break the tie between Loughlin and Christ the King when they play the Royals for the last time in the playoffs.
"That game is going to be very big," said Williams, acknowledging that this year is his last hoo-rah. "Christ the King is our rival so it's a little more personal. Every game is like a championship."