Lions Claw Past Clippers into Finals

There will be a Brooklyn vs. Queens match-up on Friday night for the CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens championship, as Bishop Loughlin advanced to play Holy Cross for the championship.
The Lions were able to use a solid defensive effort to top Xaverian in the Brooklyn/Queens semifinals by a score of 62-50.
Xaverian was able to hang in the game early thanks to their ability to slow the game down and knock down three pointers against the Loughlin zone. After ending the first session tied at 14, the Clippers were able to grab a 17-14 lead with 7:30 to play in the second quarter when Filipp Bochkov connected on a three. The Loughlin big men were not able to get much going inside in the first half, as Jayvaughn Pinkston and Kevin Phillip weren't able to exploit their size advantage over Coach Jack Alesi's squad. However, the Clippers went cold from the perimeter as the first half ended and went into the locker-room down 26-22 at halftime. Kevin Phillip led all scorers with 8 points while guard Michael Lloyd chipped in with 6 points for the Lions. Strong guard Rasheem King and Filipp Bochkov scored 6 points each to lead Xaverian in the low scoring effort.
Loughlin Coach Khalid Green emphasized to his frontcourt players at halftime the need to become more involved in the game. "I told the big guys that they have to be craftier in the paint and they were actually just being lazy," said Green following his team's victory. The Lions were able to rebound the ball better and work inside-out on offense, which led to them giving themselves a comfortable cushion on the scoreboard. A floater by the strong guard Lloyd with 3:31 to go in the third quarter ballooned the Loughlin lead to 34-24. However, Xaverian would not go away, as they went on a 13-4 to end the third stanza and trailed by just one heading into the fourth quarter.
Loughlin turned the intensity switch back on to start the fourth quarter, as they were able to re-open a comfortable margin over their Brooklyn rivals. A Kevin Phillip tip-in with 2:25 to go in the game gave the Lions a 57-48 lead that they would never relent, as they were able to advance to the borough championship game with a 62-50 victory. Michael Lloyd led the way for the well-balanced Lions with 15 points while the senior Phillip chipped in with 14 points. Rasheem King led Xaverian with 18 points in the losing effort.
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