Connecticut-bound Omar Calhoun poured in a game-high 31 points (23 in the second half) to lead Christ the King (3-1) to an 81-67 victory over St. Rita Wednesday evening in the third game of the National Division in STOP-DWI Holiday Classic.
In a second half completely dominated by Christ the King, a three-time champion of the STOP-DWI Holiday Classic, the Royals proved to have too much talent for their counterparts from Chicago. Christ the King shot over 50 percent in the second half, outscoring St. Rita 51-34.
Junior guard Jon Severe contributed a 21 point, 10 rebound outing, including five three-pointers for Christ the King. Backcourt mate Isaiah Lewis chipped in 11 points and five assists.
St. Rita continued to play hard throughout as senior guard Tony Hicks scored a team-high 26 points and grabbed seven rebounds before fouling out. Hicks also displayed his range, hitting 4-of-6 from beyond the arc. Freshman Charles Matthews had a very solid game with 15 points and six rebounds.
In an evenly contested first half that witnessed six ties and seven lead changes, the St. Rita Mustangs were able to go into the half up three, 33-30. St. Rita made its first three shots from the field, taking control early 14-7. A pair of dunks by highly touted Christ the King players Jordan Fuchs (Tuesday night's slam dunk champion) and Calhoun reenergized the Royals cutting the lead to one. A Calhoun missed three as time ran down was followed by forward Thomas Holley tying the game at 16 at the end of one.
Calhoun gave Christ the King its first lead with a three-pointer early in the second, 19-18. The Royals maintained their lead until four straight points by St. Rita freshman Charles Matthews. An up-and-down final minutes, where both teams converted easy baskets ended with a three by Christ the King junior Isaiah Lewis.
Severe made several big shots in the first half for Christ the King leading the Royals with ten points, while Calhoun added eight. Tony Hicks dropped in 12 points for St. Rita to lead all first-half scorers.
St. Rita quickly watched a six point lead disappear after Matthews made a driving reverse layup for the Mustangs early in the third. A monstrous 22-3 run by Christ the King ensued, as the Royals built a 53-40 lead. St. Rita worked to keep the game in reach as Hicks nailed a three to cut the lead to seven, but those points were matched by Christ the King guard Isaiah Cosbert just before the buzzer. Christ the King entered the fourth quarter up ten, 56-46.
St. Rita again worked the lead back down to seven in the final frame thanks to an old fashion three-point play, but another back-breaking run by Christ the King pushed the lead back to sixteen, 66-50 with three minutes remaining in the game.
NYCHoops.net #4 ranked Christ the King will take on #5 ranked Wings Academy Thursday evening at 5:45 p.m in the winner's bracket, while St. Rita (Chicago, Ill.) moves onto the consolation bracket against Dixie Heights (Edgewood, Ky.), Thursday afternoon at 1 p.m.