It took a trip outside of New York City for two of New York's top teams to finally meet face to face again.
On Monday the championship round of the Mirabito STOP-DWI Holiday Classic will feature NYCHoops.net the #4 ranked Christ the King Royals versus Long Island's #1 ranked L.I. Lutheran. The high anticipated game will ironically be a rematch of last season's State Federation Class AA final
The Christ the King Royals who won the event in 1995, 1999 and 2009 will be attempting to 4-peat the event but will have to get past an undefeated LuHi team from Brookville, NY. The Crusaders
Playing in the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena, the Royals, still without the services of their point guard Andre Walker, made to the championship in two nail biters. On Sunday in the semifinal round, CK came from behind to win, 65-63, in overtime versus a tough Math, Civics & Science team from Philly.
Tied at 57, the Royals improved their shooting and 6'11" center Adonis Delarosa would hit key free-throws with 23.3 seconds left to play along with the final point with 1.8 remaining. Unable to convert before time elapsed, MC&S would fall short.
Rawle Alkins finished with 20 points and seven rebounds for Christ the King with 6'4" junior Travis Atson adding 17 points and 10 rebounds. Tyrese Hester led MC&S with 16 points.
Led by junior point guard Chris Atkinson, the Long Island Lutheran Crusader's never trailed in their semifinal match against John Carroll (MD) which they won 46-34. Carroll pulled to within seven but LuHi pulled ahead 41-29 to begin the fourth quarter as junior guard Elijah Bailey scored at the buzzer.
A three-ball by Devonte Green to open the fourth increased LuHi's advantage in a low scoring final quarter. Green led the Crusaders with 19 with Atkinson adding 11 points. Kimbal MacKenzie was high man for John Carroll with 14 points followed by Elijah Long with 8 points.
During last season's State Federation Class AA final, Christ the King defeated Lutheran, 73-64. Monday's Game time is 9:15pm