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CK makes Royal statement

But coming off their first CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens defeat since 2000, the Royals were motivated and looking to make a statement. Consider that mission accomplished with a 66-55 win over The Mary Louis Academy Friday night at St. John's University."People are gonna talk; we're just going to prove them wrong," said senior point guard Jael Pena, who had 13 points. "When we win the state Federation Ð which we're going to do - we'll prove everyone wrong."Those are big words, but Christ the King (10-11, 8-1 CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens Division I), which was coming off a loss to Molloy Feb. 9, all but clinched the division crown at Carnesecca Arena, where the game was held instead of Mary Louis' small Pitaro Gymnasium because of a large demand for tickets.Hilltoppers coach Joe Lewinger's decision to move the game to St. John's might have come back to hurt his team. The more athletic Royals used the larger court to their advantage, running out to a 34-7 lead. Mary Louis did use a 15-0 run to get within 38-26 at halftime, but never cut the lead to singe digits."It wasn't a tough decision because there as no decision to make," Lewinger said. "I've got no regrets."Freshman Bria Smith had 21 points, but was forced to sit with 4:37 left in the third quarter with four fouls. Pena and junior Geleisa George (18 points) never let the Hilltoppers back in the game. The Royals' defense held TMLA star guard Amanda (Buzz) Burakoski, who is committed to St. John's, to eight points. Freshman Karin Robinson led Mary Louis with 15 points and Kelly Puwalski added 11."Everyone thinks that we're not a team to be messed with," George said. "But we are."Reach Associate Sports Editor Marc Raimondi by e-mail at mraimondi@timesledger.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 130.

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