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Christ the King girls reign at MSG

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But what was undeniable to both was that Sunday's highly anticipated game between No. 1 Christ the King and No. 2 Murry Bergtraum lived up to its advanced billing.Tina Charles capped a thrilling contest by scoring on a putback of her own miss at the buzzer to give the Royals a 65-63 victory over the Lady Blazers in front of 6,989 at Madison Square Garden."I'm overwhelmed," Charles said. "I still can't believe I just did it."The rematch of last year's state Federation Class AA championship game - also won by Christ the King - was the second game of the Nike Super Six, the only girls' game on the three-game bill.It was the first time Christ the King (13-0), which won its 40th straight game, and Bergtraum (13-1), met during the regular season after battling in upstate Glens Falls for the past five years."What rivalry?" CK coach Mackey asked.Said Grezinsky: "I think you have to consider it a rivalry. You look at the games that we played the last six times, every game was a war."Both coaches believe they coach the best player in the country and Charles and Epiphanny Price displayed their brilliance at the World's Most Famous Arena. Charles, a 6-foot-4 senior center bound for UConn, had 21 points and 24 rebounds. Prince, a lightning quick shooting guard headed for Rutgers, had a game-high 39 points.Prince had the chance to put Bergtraum, winners of seven straight PSAL city championships on the Garden floor, in front in the final seconds. But she was smothered by four CK players on her drive to the basket and Charles forced a jump ball, giving the Royals possession with 11.5 seconds left."As far as I'm concerned, she's the best player in the entire country, hands down," Grezinsky said of Prince. "I would take her over anybody else, I don't care what anybody says. Nobody can carry her team like she carried us today."Understandably, Mackey feels the same about Charles."There isn't a doubt in my mind," Mackey said. "She is the best player in the country, I think she proved that tonight."Said Charles: "My coaches always tell me to follow my shot. The whole game, Bergtraum was double-teaming me, boxing me out, but I felt nobody on me so I just put up a prayer and it went in."Lorin Dixon had 17 points and Sky Lindsay added 10 for the Royals while Erica Morrow had 14 for Bergtraum in a potential preview of the state Federation championship game."[This was] a March game," Mackey said. "That was madness out there. A little early this year."Reach Sports Editor Dylan Butler by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 143.

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