Coming into Friday’s Catholic High School Athletic Association’s Brooklyn/Queens diocesan title game against Brooklyn powerhouse Bishop Loughlin, the Christ the King boys basketball team was ranked as the second-best Catholic team in the city.
Their star center, Adonis Delarosa, is being recruited by top-tier college basketball programs. Christ the King even defeated Loughlin 80-65 in the same championship game last year.
Unfortunately for the Royals, there are new kings in town, and their names are Bishop Loughlin and Khadeen Carrington.
Loughlin dashed Christ the King’s dream of repeating on Friday in grand fashion, as the top-ranked Lions throttled the Royals 90-71 to capture the CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens diocesan title, with Carrington’s career-high 42 points leading the way.
There was no stopping the future Seton Hall baller as Carrington, this year’s CHSAA Most Valuable Player, hit a remarkable 14 of his 16 shot attempts, most of which were acrobatic lay-ups around Christ the King defenders. He converted all 14 of his free throws as well.
Royals coach Joe Arbitello, gracious in defeat, applauded Carrington’s dominance.
“Khadeen Carrington is so under control when making shots and he’s so tough to guard when he’s that good,” Arbitello said. “We tried to defend him, but the kid is the MVP of the league for a reason. Carrington is as good as they come.”
Delarosa agreed with his coach, saying that there was a game plan to guarding him, but it obviously wasn’t executed well.
“I think Carrington played great, it was one of the best games he’s ever played,” Delarosa said. “We had a game plan, but a lot of people got into foul trouble early so we weren’t able to execute that efficiently.”
The scoreboard may have reflected a blowout, but the Royals were within striking distance for nearly the entire first half.
A Travis Atson three-pointer late in the second quarter cut the Royals’ deficit to just 10, but Loughlin’s Mike Williams, a Rutgers recruit, and Issak Bodon both nailed threes in the final minute before halftime, a dagger in Christ the King’s back.
Loughlin outscored the Royals 24-17 in the third quarter and, combined with multiple Christ the King players being in foul trouble, limiting their ability to play tough defense, sealed the game for good.
“They played the way they were supposed to play,” Arbitello said of Loughlin. “So we can sit here and make excuses and say we were in foul trouble, but they played how you’re supposed to play.”
Delarosa, who has been recruited by a number of solid college programs like Wichita State, Pittsburgh and even St. John’s, quietly played very well. The senior had 23 points and managed to stay out of foul trouble, unlike most of his teammates, but all he wanted was a win.
“Not at all,” he said, when asked if he was happy with his performance. “Next time we play them, we won’t be the same. It won’t be the same outcome.”
Both Christ the King and Loughlin now move on to the quarterfinals of the CHSAA Intersectional city tournament on March 2 at Fordham University in the Bronx, with their opponents yet to be determined.