Christ the King handles St. Anthony’s in CHSAA state semis

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Dominque Toussaint couldn’t shake the pain of losing in the CHSAA semifinals a season ago. The Royals junior guard kept thinking throughout the day about how much it couldn’t happen with her team again a win away from the title game.

“When I woke up this morning I said make today not be the day where it repeats again,” Toussaint said. “I’m thinking we are back to the same position. I swear it was the only thing I was thinking about throughout class, eating my breakfast, throughout lunch. I’m so serious. I just wanted to win this game.”

She can rest easy for now as Christ the King handled defending Catholic state champion St. Anthony’s 63-50 in the CHSAA Class AA girls’ basketball semifinals March 13 in Middle Village. Christ the King, which lost 11 seniors from last season, reaches the championship game for the first time since losing to Nazareth in 2011. It faces rival and host Archbishop Molloy 7 p.m. today for the crown.

Toussaint, who is healthy again from an ankle injury, scored 12 of her 20 points in the second half and Kaela Kinder tallied 16 points and 10 rebounds. Zambrotta added 21 points. CK also got a big boost off the bench from forward Ashlie Howell. She grabbed eight rebounds and provided a physical presence in the paint against the Friars’ formidable front line.

The task in front of CK now is to beat the Stanners for the fourth time this season and the third time in Briarwood. It topped Molloy 52-37 in the Brooklyn/Queens final back on March 1.

“It’s going to be a tough one, but I feel like we can pull it out if we play as a team and continue going the way we have been going,” Kinder said.

She helped the Royals (21-6) take control of the game after her team survived early foul trouble for both Toussaint and Zambrotta and strong play from St. Anthony’s center Jayla Jones-Pack. Taylor Goode led St. Anthony’s with 21 points.

CK went on a 13-4 run to close the second quarter with the St. Anthony’s bigs in foul trouble and Kinder continually attacking the rim. Her drive with 53 seconds to go before the break put the Royals up 33-23 against the Friars (19-7). Kinder, Zambrotta and Toussaint all got into the act during a 9-0 spurt that ballooned the Royals lead to 45-28 midway through the third quarter.

They left little chance of being denied the opportunity missed out on a season ago.

“That was our motivation to get out there, get past where we did last year,” Kinder said. “That was last year’s legacy –an upset. We didn’t want to repeat that.”

Posted 12:51 am, March 14, 2015
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