BROOKLYN, NY - Christ the King and Bishop Loughlin played an exciting game on Friday inside a warm Brooklyn gym while the snow fell outside on the frigid ground.
It came right down to the last seconds, which is probably the way it should have ended anyway.
The fact that CTK is ranked #4 in the NYCHoops Top 10 while Loughlin was just one spot behind at #5, and both teams having identical 13-2 records, was enough evidence of just how close the teams were coming into the game.
Despite a game high 31 points from Loughlin junior guard Khadeen Carrington, CTK guard Malik Harmon made a tough, almost lucky, shot to give his team a 73-72 lead with 7.1 seconds left in the game. Loughlin's other 6-3 junior guard Mike Williams almost made a buzzer beating layup but it rimmed out, allowing CTK to come away with the victory.
The game was an exciting one that went back and forth from the very beginning. CTK took an early 13-7 lead after a baseline drive by senior guard Jon Severe. It looked like CTK was taking control of the game, but the momentum quickly shifted midway through the first period and Loughlin closed out the quarter with an 11-2 run to tie the game at 15.
The game was close throughout the second quarter, and Carrington scored his 13th point of the half with a nice inside basket to give his team a 31-30 lead. However, that was answered with a three from the left side of the court from Severe. That was the beginning of CTK's own 11-2 run to close out the half.
For most of the game, Williams appeared to be having a conversation with Severe while he guarded him. You could even see the referee kind of keeping an eye on the situation. Severe seemed to answer Williams with a thunderous one-handed breakaway dunk over a jumping Loughlin player. The dunk brought the house down, one of those electric moments spectators hope to see when they attend a game. Strangely, that was Severe's last points of the game. The 6-2 senior guard finished with a team high 18 points.
Jordan Fuchs followed Severe's ferocious dunk with a trey from the right elbow to give CTK a 48-44 lead and force a Loughlin timeout. Still, Loughlin wouldn't allow CTK to keep the momentum. Carrington scored a couple of times, the last a quick pull up three at the third quarter buzzer. CTK led 55-54 going into the last quarter.
Williams and Carrington really kept the foot on the gas in the fourth. Williams scored the first field goal of the game on a three from the left corner. Carrington nailed a pull-up jumper to give Loughlin a 67-62 lead with under 4 minutes left. That was when Harmon went to work. He scored on a lay-up and converted a three point play to tie the game at 67. In fact, Harmon scored CTK's last 9 points of the game, including that improbable lay-up for the last lead change of the game.
Fuchs scored 15 points for CTK, including three from behind the arc and 10 rebounds. Harmon scored all 14 of his points in the second half and had 5 assists. Williams scored 18 points of his own for Loughlin.
And for now, CTK has bragging rights over Loughlin because they won about as good a high school basketball game as you could find anywhere. Carrington was impressive scoring the basketball, mixing in a few jumpers with his usual array of lay-ups. His teammate Williams was a problem in the second half after having a real difficult first half.
Severe was impressive going all out and really attacking the basket all game. Eventually Loughlin took him out of the game with their defense, but that's the ultimate sign of respect. Or at the very least Loughlin realized they weren't going to be able to handle him that night. That opened the door for Harmon's heroics in the final period. He really turned it on at the right time. It was just enough to give his team the win and validate their #4 ranking.
Just a little bit better than Loughlin. One stop better, one point better. One point is all you need to get a win.
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