By Rob Abruzzese
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
It seems like every year no matter how good Bishop Loughlin is that the it will eventually lose to Christ the King. This may be the year the Lions finally take a bite out of the Royals.
The Bishop Loughlin Lions beat the Christ the King Royals 76-74 in front of a packed gym in Fort Greene last Friday night. The Lions took sole possession of first place in the Catholic High School Athletic Association’s Brooklyn/Queens-AA Division.
“If you seen us these past few years you know they always win here,” Loughlin small forward Javian Delacruz said. “We had a chip on our shoulder because we felt like we had the better team and we just needed to come out and prove it to everyone. We played strong and picked up a big W.”
This by no measure was a pretty win. It was marred in the third quarter when Christ the King’s Adonis Delarosa clothes-lined Rutgers commit Michael Williams in a move that looked more like something out of the WWE than the NBA. The hit violently knocked Williams to the ground as two spectators immediately rushed the court and one landed a punch of the side of Delarosa’s head.
“That was beyond dirty,” Loughlin guard Khadeen Carrington said. “I always knew Adonis was a dirty player, but that one was crazy.”
Delarosa was ejected from the game for the incident as were the two spectators. Williams was taken to the hospital to get stitches on the back of his head. Luckily, he passed preliminary concussion tests.
That wasn’t the only outburst from either team. The gym was packed and things got a little out of hand, with a total of five technical fouls given out, not including Delarosa’s flagrant foul. Two of the techs were issued before the game even started.
“There are a lot of emotions, the gym is hot and there are a lot of people screaming,” Delacruz said. “We just wanted to see if our player, our teammate is alright. We go to war with him everyday so we want to make sure that he was OK.”
Things sort of calmed down once play resumed following Delarosa’s tackle, but the determination of Bishop Loughlin, especially with Carrington and Delacruz, was palpable. Carrington said a few words to his team before play resumed, but said that everyone was so focused it was probably unnecessary.
The Lions had a 50-44 lead at that point and, despite their effort, putting Christ the King away at that point wasn’t easy. Loughlin’s Issak Bodon hit a jumper that made it 66-55, but the Royals went on a 9-4 run to cut into that lead and eventually pulled to within two points when Rawle Alkins hit a three in the final minute.
The Lions missed a big opportunity when Darius James missed a layup in the final seconds, but they forced a turnover when Andre Walker stepped out of bounds. That gave the Lions just enough time to get the ball to Delacruz who buried a jumper to win the game.
“He’s got cold blood running in his veins,” Loughlin coach Ed Gonzalez said of Delacruz. “I keep calling him the x-factor because everyone is going to key up on Khadeen and Mike and he’s the next guy. Tonight we need to go to him even more and he’s a phenomenal player.”
Carrington finished the game with 24 points and along the way picked up his 2,000th career point. Delacruz finished with 15 and Williams had 14.
These two teams will face each other again in Queens on Feb. 9. Neither coach is overly concerned with the repercussions following this game. They explained that all Loughlin/Christ the King games can be this intense and that they both liked how their teams responded following the incident.