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Lady Royals come up short against Bergtraum

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GLENS FALLS — There was no sweeter sound for Carmen Guzman, and none more frustrating for the Christ the King girls’ basketball team, than the blare of the final horn Saturday at the Glens Falls Civic Center.

The horn, which came just after both Royals guard Shay Doron and Guzman crashed to the floor following Doron’s desperation buzzer-beating attempt from almost mid court, ignited a wild celebration by Murry Bergtraum, which won its second-straight state Federation Class A title while Christ the King coach Bob Mackey and his assistants raced on the floor searching for answers.

“That was horrible at the end. There was clear contact, the clock was still running, time had not expired and that, by every definition in the rule book, is a foul,” Mackey said after the Royals’ 65-63 loss. “Write it down, he didn’t want to make the call.”

The controversial ending ruined what had been a spectacular comeback as Christ the King (25-2) rallied from a nine-point deficit with 47 seconds left in the fourth quarter.

When Doron — who buried three free throws after Crystal McFadden fouled out with 10 seconds left — drained two more foul shots, the Royals cut Bergtraum’s lead to 64-63 with six seconds left.

A second later Guzman went 1-for-2 from the line, setting up Doron’s final drive. The McDonald’s All-American bound for Maryland temporarily lost the ball by the Lady Blazers bench but then cut towards the middle of the floor with Guzman to her left.

Just after crossing center court, Doron (16 points) leaned forward to launch a long-range attempt but collided with Guzman, whose arms were above her head as Bergtraum (29-0) celebrated its third consecutive state Federation win over Christ the King.

“When I first stepped on the floor I kind of forget there was only five seconds left so I was playing her a little tight,” said Guzman, who scored 15 points and grabbed 7 rebounds to earn her second straight MVP award. “I didn’t get her on the arm, I kind of bumped her a little bit. If he would have called a foul, it was understandable.”

Added Bergtraum coach Ed Grezinsky: “Obviously she was trying to draw a three-point foul and the referee made the good non-call.”

Referee Chuck Pollack concurred.

“I thought that she threw herself into the defender,” he said. “The shot would have counted but I didn’t feel that the contact — that I felt the offensive player initiated — warranted a call. That’s what I saw. If I had to make that call 100 times, I’d make the call.”

Despite the way the game ended, Mackey said he takes blame for the loss.

“I’m the one who lost the game because I think I sat in the zone two minutes too long,” he said. “But the zone worked, it did what it needed to do. We didn’t lose the game in the last second, we lost the game a couple minutes prior to that.”

Sophomore Carrem Gay had 17 points and 9 rebounds and senior point guard Amanda LoCascio added 9 points and 5 assists for the Royals, which had a distinct height advantage but were outrebounded for a second straight year, 37-24.

“We had to keep changing up our defenses on them, that was important,” said Grezinsky. “When they went big we couldn’t play them man-to-man, we had to go to junk defenses; triangle-and-two, diamond-and-one.”

Shameena Felix had 11 points, Shannon Bobbitt added 10 points while playing tough defense on Doron and McFadden had 9 points and 8 rebounds for the Lady Blazers.

“They’re going to have to give us our respect now, no matter what,” said Guzman. “Three years in a row we won and they have to give us the respect we deserve.”

Added Grezinsky: “There’s no doubt in my mind we’re the No. 1 team in the city. We should be No. 1 in the country.”

Christ the King 68, Copiague 42. Doron scored 17 of her game-high 20 points in the first half as the Royals jumped out to a 35-12 lead en route to an easy Class A semifinal win Friday.

LoCascio had 13 points and 6 assists, Lesley Dickinson had 11 points and 6 rebounds and Candice Lindsay added 9 points and 4 rebounds for Christ the King.

Connecticut-bound Kia Wright was mired in foul trouble and scored just 10 points on 3-of-12 shooting and Angela Clark added 16 points and 15 rebounds for Copiague (25-2).

Reach Associate Sports Editor Dylan Butler by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 143.

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