MIDDLE VILLAGE, NY - The King is always the piece to be taken out when a chess game ends in a checkmate. But on Saturday, the #6 ranked Christ the King Royals turned the tables on the visiting NYCHoops.net #2 ranked Cardinal Hayes Cardinals, checkmating them with a 68-52 win that was the result of three quarters of chess match basketball and one dominant quarter.
Throughout the game, Hayes and CTK took turns making runs. By the numbers, twelve lead changes and eight ties told a story of constant back and forth. Early efforts in the paint from Jalen Jenkins (10 points) gave way to the speed demon efforts of guards Tyler Wilson (8 points) and Shavar Newkirk (6 points) for Hayes.
Meanwhile, the Royals would answer every time with the one-two punch of Jordan Fuchs (10 points) and Omar Calhoun, the latter of whom was able to draw fouls and make it count at the charity stripe.
The first semblance of a real run didn't come until the third quarter, when a Fuchs trey from the wing gave the Royals a 45-38 lead, their largest of the game up to that point. But the Bronx team again found its mojo in their uber quick back court - Naasir Williams (8 points) joined Newkirk to sprout a 7-1 run to bring the Cardinals back within a point. The stalemate would finally become a checkmate in the fourth quarter, though.
Showing no ill effects of playing a big game against St. Ray's less than 24 hours prior, Calhoun rose as the Royals answer man in the final period. His three pointer with 1:52 left renewed CTK's seven point lead and an assist from Isaiah Lewis (7 points) to the UConn bound senior made it a ten point game, but look no further than free throws to find the x-factor. Jonathan Severe (who was hampered with foul trouble in the first half) joined Calhoun to sink 11 of 12 freebies in the fourth quarter (CTK shot a pretty doggone accurate 24-28 for the game).
Conversely, Hayes didn't get to the line with anywhere near the same frequency and to conflate matters, shot an abysmal 1-8 for the game. CTK's 8-0 run eventually led to them outscoring Hayes, 22-7, in the final eight minutes of action. With CTK in the bonus and Hayes forced to keep putting them on the stripe, the Royals' roll was bolstered by inside buckets from 6'9" sophomore Adonis Dela Rosa (9 points) and the Bronx squad was eventually out of moves.
Calhoun's 29 points were the game high; he also shot a perfect 9 for 9 from the free throw line.
Click Here to view this Link.