If there was any doubting the Christ the King boys' basketball team's motivation in Wednesday night's rather meaningless non-league game against Cardozo, Larry Davis emphatically put those thoughts to rest with a barrage of three-pointers in a magical first quarter.
The NC State-bound guard torched Cardozo for 17 points in the opening eight minutes, knocking down five treys to lift the Royals to a convincing 79-62 victory in Middle Village.
Davis finished with a game-high 28 points and in doing so broke Omar Cook's program record for three-pointers in game, knocking down his eighth with 56 seconds left in the fourth quarter.
"Everything I was shooting was going in, it just felt good," Davis said. "I kept shooting when I got the ball or when I was open."
Davis' sharp shooting was contagious as sophomore sensation Erving Walker (19 points) also buried three three-pointers in the first half as Christ the King (19-3) shredded the Judges' 2-3 zone.
Wisely, Cardozo coach Ron Naclerio switched to a man-to-man defense to start the second quarter and stayed with it the rest of the way.
"We shot the ball as good in that first quarter as we've shot it the last four or five years," Christ the King coach Bob Oliva said. "The story tonight is Larry Davis. He was absolutely fantastic."
Led by Sean Crawford, a transfer from Holy Cross who relished another shot at Christ the King, the Judges got to within 37-30 on his three-point play with 2:23 left in the second quarter.
But the Royals scored the final seven points of the first half and Davis nailed another triple to open the third quarter and Christ the King had a 17-point bulge. Five days after a stinging 15-point loss to Rice, the Royals have reeled off three straight convincing victories.
"We've come back," Oliva said. "Tonight is as good a game as we've played all year."
On a layup by Rob Hampton (16 points), the Royals led by 20 going into the fourth quarter but Crawford, who scored 26 points, Mike Troll (15 points) and Ed McRae (14 points) made sure Cardozo (16-4), which dropped its second straight, didn't pack it in the final eight minutes.
"This is probably the best loss because everyone says we're not a team, we don't play together," Crawford said. "Honestly, I really thought we played to our potential. It's just that they were so hot."
Reach Sports Editor Dylan Butler by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 143.
©2006 Community News Group
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