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Royals rule the court again

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Murry Bergtraum (27-3), the scrappy public school from Manhattan that won seven straight PSAL titles, had defeated Christ the King in four consecutive Federation tournaments. As the clock ticked down there was more relief then elation on the Christ the King's players' faces."We wanted to play Bergtraum all season," said Tina Charles, who finished with 20 points and 20 rebounds. "I had been thinking about them every day. We had been losing to them and we were hungry. We were so focused in practice, and we were the better team."Christ the King (27-0) finished the season the top ranked team in the country, according to USA Today and won its first Federation title since 2000."It feels good," said CK coach Bob Mackey. "We had worked all season in getting ready for their pressure. Lorin did a great job of being in the right spot. She was one of the differences today."With the Royals clinging to a 59-50 lead late in the fourth quarter, Dixon delivered the play of the game. Epiphanny Prince, Murry Bergtraum's electric shooting guard, tried to cross the ball over and Dixon came up with a steal and raced down court for a back-breaking bucket."My coach always tells me I should just go when I get the ball," said Dixon, who played junior varsity last year. "We had worked all season on breaking the press in practice, and coach told us that was going to be the key in the game. I was just trying to push the ball and set up my teammates."Christ the King lost to Bergtraum in last year's state Federation tournament semifinal despite holding a nine point lead late in the fourth quarter. The Royals lost 65-60 and wilted under the Blazers' defensive pressure, giving up 10 points in 22 seconds to lose the game. There was no such comeback this time. Dixon, who finished with 7 points, 4 steaks and 4 assists, looked to teammates Tina Charles, a 6-foot-4 junior, and Carrem Gay, a McDonald's All-American, both of whom plunked themselves down low and combined for 32 rebounds and 33 points for the Royals. Their presence forced Bergtraum to rush shots from the outside, and Prince, who finished with a game-high 27 points, was misfiring from all directions in the fourth quarter. "Nothing is forever," said Bergtraum coach Ed Grezinsky, who was trying to win his fourth straight Federation title. "The key for them was dealing with our pressure. They did a great job running up and down the floor. Dixon went right through our press."Reach reporter Mitch Abramson by E-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300 Ext. 130.

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