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State Federation notebook: Christ the King girls win ‘A’ state title

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GLENS FALLS, N.Y. -- It wasn't a typical year for the Christ the King girls' basketball team. The Royals lost their eight-year, 108-game league winning streak and their 23-year CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens championship run, too.

But when all was said and done Saturday afternoon at the Glens Falls Civic Center, Christ the King was a state champion. CK beat Franklin Academy (Malone, N.Y.), 70-63, in the state Federation Class A title game and even though 'A' isn't the highest classification, like the Royals are used to, it didn't matter to coach Bob Mackey.

"For this group to battle back from what they've been through this season...I'm very proud of them," Mackey said.

Christ the King (17-12) lost to Archbishop Molloy in the Brooklyn/Queens championship game three weeks ago and fell to the lower-level 'A' classification. The Royals then proceeded to beat St. John Villa and Holy Trinity to win the CHSAA Class A state title and Curtis on Friday to get to the state Federation final. CK finished the season winning nine of its last 10 games.

Freshman Bria Smith led the way with 32 points, senior Jael Pena had 15 and junior Geleisa George added 14 for the Royals. Senior Haley Poupore had 27 points and classmate Alyson Johnson had 13 points, eight rebounds and five assists for Franklin Academy (25-3).

Briarcliff 61, Academy of American Studies 49. Junior Raquel Gutierrez had 17 points, freshman Diani Mason had 15 points and 11 rebounds and junior Crystal James added 13 points as American Studies fell to Briarcliff (Westchester) in the state Federation Class B girls' basketball championship game Saturday at Glens Falls Civic Center.

Shelby Coon had 19 points and 13 rebounds, Taylor Pescetti had 18 points and Maggie Blair chipped in 14 points for Briarcliff (28-1), which beat Fieldston (Bronx) in the semifinals Friday. American Studies (31-1) saw its undefeated season end, but only one senior (forward Yessenia Mejia) graduates from the PSAL Class B champion.

The future seems bright for the school of less than 600 students in Long Island City.

"That's what I'm going to look forward to in the next hour when I stop feeling bad," Gutierrez said.

CeCe's time: Springfield Gardens native CeCe Dixon, the sister of former Christ the King star and current University of Connecticut freshman Lorin Dixon, had 12 points to lead Murry Bergtraum to a 67-34 win against Rush-Henrietta in the state Federation Class AA girls' basketball semifinals Saturday at Glens Falls Civic Center.

Jamaica native Shanee Williams had nine points for the Blazers, who will play St. John the Baptist in the finals Sunday at 12 p.m. Bergtraum is going for its second straight Federation title. St. John the Baptist ended Christ the King's 17-year CHSAA state championship streak last year and beat Archbishop Molloy in the CHSAA Class AA state title game two weeks ago.

Notes: Vinny Cannizzaro, the architect of the Christ the King girls' basketball dynasty, and Jimmy Gatto, the 38th-year coach of the St. John's Prep boys' basketball team, were both inducted into the New York State Basketball Hall of Fame on Saturday morning at Glens Falls Civic Center...Holy Cross arrived in Glens Falls on Saturday and will practice tonight at nearby St. Mary's HS in preparation for its state Federation Class AA boys' basketball championship game against Lincoln on Sunday. Lincoln beat Bishop Maginn in the semifinals Saturday. Holy Cross, which has a bye into the final, won its first CHSAA Class AA intersectional championship in 40 years three weeks ago and is competing in the Federation for the first time ever.

Reach Associate Sports Editor Marc Raimondi by e-mail at mraimondi@timesledger.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 130.

For more state Federation coverage from Glens Falls, read Thursday's edition of the TimesLedger Newspapers or visit www.TimesLedger.com.

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