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Royals crowned champions

Christ the King players, coaches and cheerleaders celebrate the team's win in the city CHSAA Class AA championship. Photo by William Thomas
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In the closing minutes of the third quarter, it appeared the CHSAA Class AA basketball championship between Christ the King and Bishop Loughlin was going to come down to the wire.

Royals senior Isaiah Cosbert changed that quickly by hitting a buzzer beater from just inside half court to end the third quarter and started the fourth quarter with a three-point shot on Christ the King’s first possession.

The back-to-back threes would extend the Royals’ lead to eight — a lead they would never look back on — as they went on to defeat Loughlin 78-63 to win their third boys’ basketball city title in the last four years.

Following Cosbert’s buzzer beater to end the third quarter, the opening play had been drawn up for him.

“He had a lot of confidence in me,” said Cosbert, of CK Coach Joe Arbitello. “I knocked the shot down. It was a big shot.”

The Royals opened the frame on a 17-3 run.

Cosbert, who had nine points, propelled the Royals to a dominated fourth quarter, outscoring the Lions 24-14 in the final frame.

“They came punching, we came punching, but I think we just got the last punch in the fourth quarter to win the game,” said CK senior Jon Severe, who scored a game-high 19 points.

Severe added five assists and five rebounds and was named the game’s MVP. Jordan Fuchs scored 17 points and Adonis DeLarosa and Rawle Alkins each added 14 for the Royals (26-3). Loughlin’s Khadeen Carrington led all scorers with 24 points and teammate Mike Williams added 23.

The championship was even more satisfying for the Royals because they were upset in the quarterfinals last year. The biggest difference between this season and last is the togetherness of the team.

“Last year we weren’t a team; this year we’re a team,” Severe said.

The Royals defeated Loughlin (21-8) four times this season, which is an accomplishment to be proud of, Arbitello said. He knows first hand how special it is to win this tournament, having won it both as a player and a coach.

“I said to my wife today, ‘I don’t know why I coach basketball.’ My stomach was all upset, I was all messed up,” Arbitello said. “But now I know why I coach, seeing how happy they are.”

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