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Knights want Lance: Landesberg, teammates hope for rematch with Stephenson, Lincoln in state Federation

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"We want them - we want to play against Lincoln," the Holy Cross senior guard said. "They're the defending champs and they have all the buzz in the city. To finish our high-school career by beating them would be good."A full 21 days after beating Christ the King to win the school's first CHSAA Class AA intersectional title in 40 years, Holy Cross will step back on the court on the final day of the state Federation tournament. As the CHSAA representative, the Knights have a bye into the final and will meet either Lincoln, the three-time PSAL champ, or Bishop Maginn, which defeated Niagara Falls last week to win its first-ever state public-school title. Glens Falls is a long way from Fordham University, where Holy Cross celebrated the CHSAA intersectional title in front of a partisan packed house at Rose Hill Gym. Gilvary likens the wait to that of a college football team preparing for a bowl game. But the difference is that a game like the Rose Bowl is what those teams play for. Holy Cross already reached the pinnacle. "I think if someone would have said to us on March 9 after that Christ the King game that this was it, that we were done, we would have all been fine with that," Gilvary said. "This is a lot to ask of these kids to be able to sustain their level of play for this long a period of time." But if he's worrying about the level of importance his team is placing on the state Federation tournament, perhaps Gilvary will be reassured by these words by McDonald's All-American Sylven Landesberg. "We're a senior-led group and we want to win every game we could," the Virginia-bound guard said. "This is our last game so we're definitely going to try and win this. We're not just going to give it away. Everybody is going to remember winning the city championship, but this is our last time playing together and nobody is going to forget this."Landesberg flew to Milwaukee, Wis., Saturday and was scheduled to compete in the McDonald's All-American game Wednesday night. He'll then fly back to New York Thursday, practice with his team Thursday night and Friday and then head to Glens Falls, where he'll be handed the Mr. New York Basketball award. Landesberg, too, wants Lincoln. The Railsplitters beat the Knights, 81-60, in the main event of the Crotty Classic at Hofstra University in January and Landesberg, who finished with 21 points and 11 rebounds, was limited because of flu-like symptoms. Afterward, Lincoln star Lance Stephenson, who scored a game-high 26 points, took a verbal shot at Landesberg, further fueling the rivalry between the former friends and AAU teammates. The previous time the two faced off on a basketball court, they got into a scuffle during the Boost Mobile Elite 24 all-star game."Every time he plays against me, he's sick or something," the 17-year-old from Coney Island said. "I'm just going to go out there and play my game, I'm going to play hard and do what I do," Landesberg said. "I was sick, but I played regardless. I didn't want to let my team down. That's what I did that game. But this game coming up, it adds a little bit to the fire what he said."Reach Sports Editor Dylan Butler by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 143.

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