The word spread through Alumni Hall like wildfire Sunday during the CHSAA state championship games at St. Johns University.
I learned seconds after walking through the doors at about 2:30 p.m.
Chaminade-Julienne lost, said Joe Smith, the director of the Womens Basketball News Service, the girls basketball version of Tom Konchalski.
I knew exactly what that meant because its what I hoped would happen.
It meant the team ranked No. 1 in the country by USA Today the only legitimate high school basketball rankings lost in the Ohio state championship game.
It meant that if Christ the King won its CHSAA Class AA championship game against St. Peters which it did, 56-48 for the 15th consecutive year then Fridays game against Murry Bergtraum in Glens Falls would be for so much more than a spot in the state Federation final.
It means that the Glens Falls Civic Center will be the site of the high school girls basketball national championship game at about 1:30 p.m. Friday between No. 2 Christ the King (26-1) and No. 3 Murry Bergtraum (28-1).
That is, if the winner can beat heavy underdog Greece-Arcadia in the state Federation title game Saturday at 2 p.m.
While USA Todays Chris Lawlor, who compiles the papers national poll, couldnt officially comment on the next and final poll, which will be released March 31, the winner of Fridays game will be the No. 1 team in the country should that team win the Federation crown.
OK, so its not the official national championship there isnt one and some call it the mythical national championship. But it will be the first time since USA Today started its national poll 23 years ago that the top two teams from a city, ranked No. 1 and No. 2 (essentially) in the country, will meet this late in the season to determine an undisputed national champion.
Its the same thing as the BCS, Smith said, referring to the system used in college football to pick a national champion. Theres no way you can play an actual national championship in high school.
It will be the fourth straight year the citys and now the countrys top two teams meet upstate.
Bergtraum, which won its sixth straight PSAL title March 17, has won the last three meetings including back-to-back championship games.
But Christ the King, along with Oregon City, are the only two schools in the country to have won three national titles. The Royals, then coached by Vinny Cannizzaro, won the crown in 1990, 1993 and 1998.
Carrem Gay, who along with 6-foot-4 Tina Charles makes up Christ the Kings formidable and nearly unstoppable frontcourt, was one of only two girls on the team last year that lost a controversial 65-63 decision to Bergtraum. Its a result that has haunted Gay ever since.
I know I dont want to feel that way again, said the 6-foot-1 junior forward. And Ill do anything to not feel that way again.
While Gay and 6-foot-4 Charles are Christ the Kings strengths, Bergtraum will look to Epiphanny Prince, Shannon Bobbit and Erica Morrow on the perimeter.
So whos going to win?
Its a pick em, Smith said.
Is it Friday yet?
Reach Associate Sports Editor Dylan Butler by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 143.
©2004 Community News Group
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