MIDDLE VILLAGE, NY - When Sunday's game between Christ the King and Xaverian ended, the two teams would share an amazing twenty-three 3-pointers between them. The Royals would win the three-point battle, 12-11 with eight of the twelve threes coming from 6'1" junior Jon Severe. Christ the King would also win the war against the Clippers, 79-67 with Severe, tying the school's 3-point record.
The three-point fest began early for both teams as Severe, who finished with 27 points, knocked down four 3-pointers in the first half for 12 points. Teammate Omar Calhoun (22 points) led the Royals at the half, scoring 16 points which included three 3-pointers.
Not to be outdone, Xaverian drained their fair share of threes as senior PG Dillon Burns (16 points) and SG Brian Bernardi (19 points) knocked down five of the six of the Clippers' first half threes.
Xaverian trailed the Royals by as many as seven throughout the first half but it would be muscle moves down low by Shakeel Kemp (19 points) that would keep the game tight at the midway point and throughout the game.
Down, 41-38, to start the third quarters, a trey by George Lambert (7 points) would narrow the gap to a deuce. Jordan Fuchs (13 points) would counter but with 5 minutes left in the quarter, Bernardi would tie the game for the first time and last time at 47 as Severe would once again catch fire.
"I [finally] felt comfortable," Severe regarding his offensive tirade. Hampered with ligament damage he suffered in the 9th grade, Severe said that after getting surgery, he finally sees his game reaching its full potential. "I got in the gym and started working out."
Two more threes by Severe along with buckets by Fuchs and Calhoun would result in a 10-0 run. Bernardi would finally stop the bleeding for Xaverian with a three but a turnover at the end of the quarter resulted in a transition lay-up by Isaiah Lewis (7 points).
Christ the King would take a nine point lead into the fourth quarter but Kemp would again power up and slice four points off the deficit. Once again, Severe would nail the triple followed by a two. Burns would cut the lead to 6 but Xaverian turnovers resulted in negative progress for the Clippers.
With about a minute left to play, Severe would score a heat-check three-pointer to tie the record and put CTK comfortably ahead by twelve. Unfortunately, when the red hot sharpshooter was informed him that he needed one more three-pointer to break the record, he began to think about. Thinking and basketball often don't mix.
"When they told me I could break it, I started to take shots from mad far," said Severe who said he became overly "hyped" about surpassing the record set by Larry Davis in 2006. "I never did that in life. I [really] wanted to do that for once," he said.
Severe would miss his last attempts to score as suddenly the rim went from being the size of an ocean to that of a pin head.
Christ the King head coach Joe Arbitello said that the wins over Bishop Loughlin and now Xaverian have showed the team's improved chemistry. "I think we're playing much better as a team. I think we're passing the ball. We're playing team defense. We're rooting for each other," he said. "I think chemistry is starting to kick in."
Arbitello said that the team began to define their role against nationally ranked Chester on New Year's day in the Villa Classic (PA). "Once Isaiah started to pass the basketball and Jon started to make some shots and Omar started making some shots again; Jordan rebounding the basketball, we're as good as anyone in the City."
With regard to Severe breaking the record, Arbitello said confidently, "He has one more year to break it and I think he might at some point."
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