Corey Edwards loves everything about Bishop Loughlin — climbing the three flights of stairs to the cramped gym, playing in front of a large and boisterous crowd. But most of all he loves facing Jayvaughn Pinkston.
“We’ve been playing AAU for so long together that you get up for this game,” the Christ the King junior point guard said. “It’s a good gym to play in, it’s long, not too wide. I just like the rims.”
Edwards showed just how much he loves playing there in the second half, leading the Royals, No. 3 in The Post’s New York City boys basketball rankings, to a 68-57 victory at No. 2 Bishop Loughlin last week.
Edwards had 21 points and 10 assists, seemingly making every big play in the third and fourth quarters.
“That’s the difference between him being a sophomore and a junior,” Christ the King coach Joe Arbitello said. “I thought [Omar Calhoun] and [Edwards] stepped up big time tonight. They’ve been playing great for us. This was a true test for us. This is a tough place to come and play, a small court, a big crowd.”
When Edwards played his first varsity game at Loughlin last year, he admitted he was “scared to death.” But Calhoun felt right at home in the gym, a few minutes from his Park Slope, Brooklyn home.
“I love this gym, I love the intensity,” Calhoun said. “I just wanted to make sure I came out here and brought my intensity and let everything else come to me. Having the crowd as a sixth man, you just have to make sure you’re going hard because if something bad happens the crowd is going to get on you for it.”
Calhoun, a sophomore guard being recruited by a host of Big East schools, had 16 points, including a clutch 3-pointer from the top of the key to open the fourth quarter, giving Christ the King (11-3) a 50-43 lead.
“I thought it was the biggest play of the game,” Arbitello said.
Christ the King used its collective bulk inside to make things difficult on the Villanova-bound Pinkston, playing in front of future coach Jay Wright. The Post’s Preseason Player of the Year scored a game-high 23 points and grabbed nine rebounds, but he had none on the offensive glass and had nine of his team’s 22 turnovers.
“I felt that I was getting hit when I was driving and I wasn’t getting any fouls calls,” said Pinkston, who fouled out with 40.4 seconds left in the fourth quarter. “But I have to play through it.”
Dominykas Milka added 13 points and 12 rebounds for Christ the King, while Davonte Dunham had 13 points and Branden Frazier had 12 for Loughlin (13-4), playing without starting guards Anthony Givens and Kareem Canty, who were benched for violating team rules.