BRONX, NY - The CHSAA Semifinals took place at Fordham University on Thursday to determine the final two teams that will play for the Intersectional championship on Sunday. It was a packed house of onlookers who were entertained by two exciting games.
Bishops Loughlin holds off St. Peters, 89-77
The Loughlin Lions had their hands full with the hard charging sharpshooting Eagles led by 5'11" senior PG Glenn Sanabria (16 points & 7 assists) who hit a three and then blocked Mike Williams (30 points, 4 assists, 6 rebounds) on the defensive end of the floor. St. Peter's got an early lead but Loughlin soon recovered and led 8-6 with 5:19 in the opening quarter. Baskets by Khadeen Carrington (22 points, 4 assists, 6 rebounds) and Jayvian Delacruz (16 points & 8 rebounds) further put Lions up eight and the Eagles Head Coach Charlie Driscoll called time out.
6'0" senior Latrell Curtis (15 points & 5 assists) responded, quickly taking Carrington off the dribble but Delacruz countered with an and-1 for Loughlin. Clutch baskets by 6'3" junior Reilly Walsh (25 points & 4 assists) and a defensive stand against Carrington in the final seconds left St. Peter's only down 21-17 to start the second quarter.
At the 6:20 mark of the second stanza, a trey by Sanabria pulled the Eagles within a point but Williams and 6'2" senior Issak Bodon (11 points & 3 rebounds) ignited a 7-0 run that vaulted the Lions up 27-20. St. Peter's closed the gap to three points but as the half wound down the Lions re-extended their lead back to 37-28.
Like a Wild West shoot out, both teams hit long range jumpshots. 6'3" senior Jamir Ferebee (9 points & 4 rebounds) became key for the Eagles while Bodon was wet from afar and the half ended with Loughlin in front 42-36.
Loughlin pushed their lead to ten before the Eagles could chip away running well executed sets. With 4:57 a Ferebee putback plus a basket by Curtis in transition and Loughlin was up by a mere deuce.
St. Peter's continued to attack and rarely missed from the foul line. Carrington and Delacruz finally righted their team's ship with back-to-backs in transition but 6'3" senior David Adeoso (10 points & 2 rebounds) briefly interrupted their flow with a three-ball from the top of the key.
Leading by five, a whirling derby floater and a buzzer beater by Williams put the Lions up 61-52 entering the final quarter.
Both teams launched volleys against each other as the quarter commenced. Loughlin played locked down defense and increased their lead to 68-57 with 7 minutes left until a trip to the championship round.
The Eagles had other ideas as they initiated a 5-0 run to cut their deficit to 73-67 with 4:23 left in regulation. Loughlin tightened the screws defensively and increased their lead back to 81-67 with 2:19 off turnovers.
Ahead by 14 with 50.6, the Lions would roar into the championship round.
"When St. Peter's shoots the ball like that it's very nerve racking," said Williams. "We tried to capitalize on every little mistake they had and that's what we did."
As far as which team they'd prefer to play, Carrington responded by flipping the script. "I think after they saw what just happened, Christ the King will find a way to win."
Christ the King finds a way to beat Cardinal Hayes, 49-47
The CK Royals and the Hayes Cardinals wanted to play each other and they finally got the chance. With emotions running high, play was scattered from the tip-off. A basketball game eventually emerged from the chaotic play as both Christ the King and Cardinal Hayes tried to impose their will in the paint. The Royals held a slight edge as Adonis DelaRosa (12 points & 9 rebounds) and Rawle Alkins (18 points & 3 assists) looked to punish inside.
The Royals increased their lead to 7-4 in this low scoring affair as Delarosa splashed a midrange jumper then dove on the floor for a loose ball. Hayes tied the score at 7 as St. Joes bound Shavar Newkirk (13 points 4 rebounds) scored down the lane but the Royals ended the quarter on a run to lead 11-7 as the second quarter began.
The pace slowed down at the top of the second quarter as the Royals tried to pace themselves. Midway through the second, Christ the King was only ahead 14-11 as the game grinded ahead. Clive Allen (6 points & 3 rebounds) closed the gap to one-point but Delarosa posted up and moved the needle back to three. A trey by Alkins and with 3 minutes CK held a 19-13 lead.
Things began to heat up as shots were fired from the perimeter. Allen came up big for the Cardinals down the stretch and with 28 seconds a Chris Robinson (9 points & 5 rebounds) putback narrowed Christ the King's lead to 22-20 at the half.
Nathan Ekwu (5 points & 7 rebounds) and Chris Robinson immediately open the half by taking the lead from the Royals but Alkins ties the game at 25 with 6:34 as he powered his way to the basket. Mustafa Jones (6 points & 7 rebounds), who had an off night, regained the lead for Hayes as the game began more and more physical.
Alkins was more assertive then usual and kept Christ the King in the game. With 3:48, it was 27 all but Delarosa put the lead back in the Royals hands. Newkirk and Jamal Smith (1 point & 4 assists) put Hayes back on top once again. An offensive foul on Alkins gave Hayes ball back and Akintoye Ojo (4 points & 2 rebounds) added to Hayes's advantage. The Royals closed the gap but trailed 32-31 as the fourth quarter began.
Christ the King came back strong to start the fourth quarter punctuated by an emphatic dunk by Travis Atson (7 points & 9 rebounds) on Ekwu's head in transition. The crowd got hyped as the Royals were now up 35-32 with 6:31 left to play.
Poor free-throw shooting left Hayes stuck on 32 until Robinson drained a trey with 5:49 to tie the game again at 35. The lead flip flopped as the game inched closer and closer towards the finish line. With the Royals holding onto a slim 44-43 lead at the 1:57 mark, their point guard Andre Walker (11 points, 2 assists & 5 rebounds) picked up his 5th foul on a charge and was forced to ride the bench for the remainder of the game. On the next play, Newkirk drew a foul and tied the game at 44.
Atson would draw a foul with 1:32 but shoot 0 - 2 and soon after Newkirk would strike again, scoring an and-1, giving the Cardinals a 47-44 lead with 1:07 left in regulation. It appeared as if the Royals momentum was fading fast but Dela Rosa decided it was time to create his own momentum.
With 55.9 seconds left to play, the senior got to the line, went 1 of 2, cutting Hayes lead to two. Ekwu then fouls out for pushing off with 32.6 seconds. Dela Rosa readily admits he could've picked up an Oscar for his performance. "[Ekwu] extended his arm. It connected with my face. I had to do a little acting job but I had to do what I had to do to get the W," said Dela Rosa.
On the following play, with 14.3 seconds left, Delarosa posts up and scores a bucket plus draws the foul. He hits the bonus free-throw which puts Christ the King up by a point. Smith takes a desperation jumper for Hayes but misses rim entirely and Atson gets the rebound and draws a foul with 1.7 seconds. Although the junior went 1 for 2 from the charity stripe, it was more than enough to give the Royals the win.
Down the stretch, Dela Rosa said he simply did what was expected of him. "I'm a senior so I had to make the game-winning plays. I did that. I called for the ball and I was successful."
Christ the King will face Bishop Loughlin in the CHSAA Intersectional Class "AA" Championship on Sunday March 9th at 3:00pm