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Royals clinch B/Q top spot with rout of Mary Louis

Coach Bob Mackey isn’t big on history even though Christ the King added to its storied past Saturday.

CK used a big third quarter to pull away for a 73-50 win over visiting The Mary Louis Academy in CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens Division I girls basketball. The victory gives the Middle Village squad, which has dominated the division for years, the regular-season title and the No. 1 seed from the league in the diocesan and CHSAA state Class AA playoffs.

Ariel Edwards scored 16 points and grabbed 17 rebounds and Bria Smith had 18 points and seven boards for the Royals. Nia Oden had 15 points and Lauren Nuss added nine on three three-pointers. Karin Robinson led Mary Louis with 13 points and Camille Romero had 10. CK, which lost to St. Michael Academy in the CHSAA state quarterfinals last year, wants this to the start of more titles to come.

“I sure hope so,” Edwards said. “I don’t want it to end the same way it did last year. We want to be No. 1 when we finish our season.”

The Royals (16-4, 10-1 B/Q) clogged up the middle and took advantage of cold Mary Louis shooting in the third quarter. They put together runs of 7-0 and 8-2 to take a 59-40 lead heading to the fourth. TMLA (12-6, 8-3) was within five after a Jackie Kresse jumper early in the third. Nuss hit a three-pointer to get Christ the King rolling as it dominated the defensive backboards behind Edwards, who had 14 defensive rebounds, and got out on the break.

“She was huge,” Smith said of Edwards’ rebounding effort. “She got 17. That’s amazing.”

The Penn-State-bound forward is in the midst of a tremendous senior season. She has been the Royals’ most consistent player so far and has been almost a sure double-double every time she steps on the floor. But Mackey feels she can still be better and possibly needs to be more selfish.

“Like, why aren’t you dropping 25?” he said.

Edwards thinks there are times where she needs to be more aggressive, but she is usually in the giving mood.

“Sometimes I just think I should share the ball and give it to other people,” she said.

Edwards was one of many Royals players who went to the funeral for Katrina Hunt, mother of Christ the King junior football and basketball player Terrel Hunt. She died of ovarian cancer early last week and players also wore her name on the back of there pink warm-up shirts for Coaches vs. Cancer week.

“We all loved her and love Terrel,” Edwards said. “Even the boys [team], we are all like we are going to go out and play for her.”

The Royals, though, had to fend off a pesky Mary Louis squad that went on a quick 8-2 run in the final 1:46 of the second quarter to trim the lead to 38-31 at halftime. Christ the King, behind three straight three-pointers, opened up a 13-point lead on a Bria Smith jumper before the Hilltoppers forced four straight turnovers to get back into it. But the comeback was short-lived.

“We let them get some easy layups and easy shots,” Smith said. “In the third, to actually clinch the lead and not have them go on any runs was just a good feeling.”

Reach Joseph Staszewski at jstaszewski@nypost.com.

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