Comfortable wins and complete performances haven’t come with the same frequency as in the past for Christ the King. The Royals have struggled, lost to multiple nationally ranked teams and saw two league wins get away in the fourth quarter.
None of that was the case against Mary Louis. Christ the King put together a dominant second half behind sophomore star Sierra Calhoun controlling the glass. It led to multiple transition opportunities. There were plenty of smiles for the Royals after a throwback 75-45 whipping of the Hilltoppers in CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens Division I girls’ basketball Sunday afternoon in Jamaica Estates.
“Winning a game at their home by 30 is a big momentum swing for us,” Calhoun said. “We were on a losing streak for awhile. I think this will really push us in the right direction.”
She led the way with what seemed like a quiet and efficient 19 points and 16 rebounds, taking advantage of the Hilltoppers’ lack of size. TMLA forward Jordon Agustus missed the game with knee tendonitis and Elizabeth Gully was in foul trouble.
“I really didn’t know she had all those rebounds,” Adelphi-bound guard Lauren Nuss said. “I remember turning around and being like, ‘All right she got it, let’s go,’ and started running.”
CK ended the half on a 9-0 run capped by a Rayne Connell jumper at the buzzer and never trailed again, up 37-31 at the break. A Calhoun three-point play off a feed from Alyssa Gatti, who had six assists to just one turnover, pushed the advantage to 53-36 with 3:48 remaining in the third. CK consistently beat Mary Louis down the floor and a switch to a zone forced TMLA into jump shots and one-and-done possessions.
“I’m not a fan of the zone, but I really thought we played a good zone,” CK Coach Bob Mackey said.
Nuss had 16 points and three assists and Connell added 14 points, five assists and four rebounds for Christ the King (5-8), ranked No. 5 in the city by the New York Post. Reana Mohamed scored 15 points and Jasmine Nwajei had 12 points to lead No. 8 TMLA (7-9). Gully added eight points. It was a bounce-back performance for Nuss, who did not start and struggled in a loss to Archbishop Molloy last week.
Mary Louis’ tumultuous season continued. It was another game the Hilltoppers started fast, saw the lead evaporate and were unable to respond. TMLA led 18-11 in the first quarter and got away from attacking the basket.
“We came out really strong and then when it comes to the second half we don’t come out with that some intensity,” Mohamed said. “We are still trying to figure out why we don’t come out with the same pressure, passion to get the win. I don’t know why.”
Christ the King, on the other hand, might have seen the secret to its success — ball movement, transition and balanced scoring.
“That’s the way this team is capable of playing,” Mackey said. “They are very, very talented. They haven’t shown it. You know what, it’s a long season. That’s why you play the season. You play the season to get better and they are getting better every day.”
©2012 Community News Group
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