FRESH MEADOWS, NY - NYCHoops.net #5 ranked Christ the King and #3 ranked Archbishop Molloy met in a highly anticipated matchup in the CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens Diocese Semifinals on Wednesday night at St. Francis Prep HS in Queens, NY.
The last time the two teams met, Royals 6'11" senior big man Adonis Dela Rosa was sitting out his 2nd game of a 2 game suspension for being ejected after a hard foul in a game against Bishop Loughlin, and CK lost to the Stanners in a shocking defeat. Wednesday though, Dela Rosa took out his frustration for missing the last game against Molloy, finishing with 31 points and 13 rebounds in a dominating 87-66 victory.
It didn't start out all dominant for Dela Rosa, who actually went scoreless in the first quarter, with Christ the King coach Joe Arbitello saying that Molloy was all over him, draping him pretty badly.
Dela Rosa said that the stigma after what happened against Loughlin probably played a part into how the first few minutes of the game went, but he was not going to fall into what he felt Molloy was trying to do.
"Because of the hard foul a couple games ago, they really tried to throw a lot at me to make me try and fight back and make me lose my composure, but I just stayed back and kept playing," Dela Rosa said. "I wasn't going to let anything rattle me."
Travis Atson and Rawle Alkins got CK going, helping the Royals build up a 41-24 lead at the half, but Dela Rosa really took over after that.
"You have to pick your poison with us," Arbitello said. "When Adonis is playing at a high level like that, there is no answer for him in our league. Zero."
It wasn't just in the paint either. He stepped out and hit 15 foot jump shots, a shot that he hasn't displayed much in games, but it is a shot that Arbitello says he sees the 6'11" big hit regularly in practice. If it wasn't jump shots, it was getting the ball along the baseline and throwing down dunk after dunk, but while Dela Rosa was doing anything he seemingly wanted to as Christ the King piled it on, he was quick to give credit to his teammate for making it happen for him.
"We practice that all the time and I have to give Andre Walker credit," Dela Rosa admitted. "He got into the lane and dished it off to me for dunks."
The Royals led by as many as 28 points in the 4th quarter and easily coasted for the 87-66 win.
Dela Rosa had the big 31 and 13, while Atson had 24 points, and Walker and Alkins adding 13 and 12 respectively.
Molloy was led by PG C.J. Davis who had 22 for the Stanners in the loss, while Gabe Kilpatrick chipped in with 19 as well in defeat.
Molloy's head coach Mike McCleary, who said that the loss is like a punch in the face for his team, added that when Dela Rosa is playing the way he did on Wednesday, it's going to be tough for anybody.
"He's a tough matchup for us, and he's a tough matchup for anyone in the league," McCleary stated. "We don't have anyone close to that, so that's why they went to him, and that's what they are suppose to do, and they did it, and did a very good job with it."
Christ the King is now back in the B/Q Championship game, an achievement that Arbitello calls quite an accomplishment after losing Jon Severe, Jordan Fuchs, Isaiah Cosbert, and Malik Harmon from last year's squad, and while it is a great job by the team, Dela Rosa says there is more business ahead when they meet Bishop Loughlin for the title on Friday.
"We are trying to win the B/Q championship, and I don't think even Loughlin could stop us at this point."
Bishop Loughlin Obliterates Holy Cross, 93-63
The second semifinal was a snoozer as Mike Williams and Khadeen Carrington combined for 48 points, as Holy Cross trailed by as many as 38 in the blowout win for the Lions.
Loughlin Coach Ed Gonzalez, who always says the regular season is just a prep for this time of year understood this was the start of the real season for him.
"We aren't scrimmaging games anymore, this is for real," Gonzalez said about the playoffs.
Loughlin went up 47-19 at the half as the Knights seemed stifled by the defense that the Lions threw at them, and defense is exactly what Gonzalez is preaching to his squad.
"I said to them that defense wins championships at any level," Gonzalez said. "The first half defensively we were pretty good, and we shared the ball well and shot good today so I am pleased."
Gonzalez wasn't totally pleased with the 2nd half perimeter defense where Holy Cross made 9 three pointers, but he says he is happy going into Friday's championship game where they will meet Christ the King.
"They won it last year, so we want what they have," the coach stated. "We will be prepared and we will be ready."
He called it Round 3 in what he hopes might be another 4 round battle for the two teams, much like they had last year.
In this game, Carrington had a game high 26 points, while Williams had 22, and Jayvian Delacruz added 17.
For the Knights, Josh Wallace had 15 points, with Jermaine Bishop adding 14.
With the semi's now in the books, it's Showtime on Friday night as the Royals and Lions will meet for the Brooklyn/Queens championship, with the winner receiving the #1 seed in the CHSAA Intersectional Playoffs that begin next week, and for Carrington he understands there is just one goal remaining.
"We fell short a couple times so it's important we go out with a bang," Carrington said. "We have a few individual accolades so now we want the championship as a team."
The CHSAA B/Q Diocese Championship game between Christ the King (Queens) and Bishop Loughlin (Brooklyn) will take place on Friday February 21st at 7pm at St. Francis Prep HS.