Road warriors: CK drops second straight
CHESTER, Pa. – Everything was stacked against Christ the King.
Less than 48 hours after a 32-point lambasting by Neumann Goretti (Pa.) in the STOP-DWI Holiday Classic, the Royals were nearly 200 miles south at Widener University, taking on Chester in Chester.
Ideal playing conditions these were not.
The Royals came up short, losing 65-53 in the finale of the Villa Classic Sunday night, but coach Joe Arbitello saw didn’t see the same problems that plagued his team in Binghamton.
“You never say you’re happy after a loss, but I thought we came out and competed hard,” he said. “You have to be sharp to beat that team and we missed a couple of free throws and layups.”
But the biggest mistake was a mental one by one of the Royals most talented players. Isaiah Lewis slashed to the basket to cut Christ the King’s deficit, which was as many as nine earlier in the fourth quarter, to just three with 2:41 left in regulation.
It was a big basket, one that was essentially negated when the junior was given a technical foul for taunting.
“I scored the ball, I clapped and the ref teched me,” Lewis said. “I’m a very emotional player so I got a little too emotional… He was right there, but I didn’t mean to clap directly in his face.”
Chester’s lead ballooned to 57-50 in a span of 37 seconds, sealing the win for the No. 14th ranked team in the county by USA Today.
“I take the blame for this loss…I have to play smarter,” Lewis said. “I guess I owe my teammates one.”
Omar Calhoun led Christ the King (4-3), ranked No. 4 in New York City by MSG Varsity, with 24 points, going 15-of-18 from the line, Jordan Fuchs had 10 points in a stellar performance and Lewis added nine.
“I think we showed a lot of heart,” Lewis said. “We showed we’re going to be competitive. Everyone keeps forgetting, this is our seventh game of the season. A couple of these teams we’re playing are already 10-15 games in.”
Junior Rondae Jefferson led Chester (9-0) with 18 points, 10 rebounds, four blocks and four steals as the Clippers insured Philadelphia claimed bragging rights in this year’s Villa Classic, which pits top teams from New York against squads from the City of Brotherly Love.
This year’s series was tied at two games apiece heading into the anticipated finale.
“It means so much,” Jefferson said. “I’m just happy we got the ‘W’ to seal the deal. There was a lot of pressure on us. They’re in our hometown so it was either win or the whole city was going to be mad at us.”
While Lewis is upset at the loss, he isn’t as concerned about the bragging rights.
“It might matter to them, but our goal is to win a city and state championship,” Lewis said. “That’s what we’re focused on.”
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