There weren’t many words shared, but plenty of tears shed in the locker room between Bishop Loughlin coach Ed Gonzalez and his senior stars Khadeen Carrington and Mike Williams.
Both players’ stellar careers came to an end last Sunday with a 72–61 loss to rival Christ the King in the Catholic Class AA intersectional boys’ basketball title game at Fordham University.
It was the Lions’ second-straight defeat at the hands of the Royals in the final — and the end of the two stars’ quest for a city title.
Williams, a three-year varsity player, said he and Carrington, a four-year letter winner, just embraced each other after the game.
“It’s over,” Carrington said. “We are seniors now. There is nothing you can really say at this moment.”
Gonzalez was the last one out of the locker room, tears still welling up in his eyes. All signs pointed to this finally being the year Loughlin landed its first title since 1992. The Lions were senior-laden, the Seton Hall-bound Carrington won the league’s most valuable player award, and his team won the Brooklyn-Queens regular season and diocesan crowns.
“The only thing that was missing on his resume is a city championship, and we’ve come close twice together,” Gonzalez said. “We thought this was gonna be the one, and we came up a little short again.”
Carrington had been slowed by the defense of Christ the King star Rawle Alkins, but tied the score with a three-pointer that sparked a 6–0 run to give the Lions a 58–55 lead with 4:26 remaining in the game. Loughlin (23–6) wouldn’t record another field goal after that, and watched the Royals go on a 17–3 run to close the game. The Lions missed three layups in the final minutes.
“We just had to shoot the ball,” Williams said. “It just wasn’t falling.”
Carrington, the school’s all-time leading scorer, tallied 21 points, and -bound Williams had 17. Javian Delacruz was held to just eight. Loughlin was dominated on the glass, took 17 less free throws than the Royals, and shot just 38 percent for the game, including an uncharacteristic 3 of 21 from three-point range.
“We didn’t play well offensively,” Gonzalez said. “We didn’t recognize what they were doing. Tonight they were the better team.”
Alkins, who scored 24 points after guaranteeing victory, swung the momentum back Christ the Kings’ way for good. He hit a layup and then buried a long three-pointer after Carrington missed from deep. It put CK up 64–61 with 2:16 go. Travis Atson had 21 points and 10 rebounds for the Royals (23–6) and Adonis Delarosa added 10 points and 15 boards.
“It’s a tough loss,” Carrington said. “It’s going to take us awhile to get over it.”
He understands a city title is the one thing missing from his and Williams’ resumes as high school players. Carrington feels that ultimately it doesn’t take away from what they accomplished together.
“Me and Mike did a lot of great things for Loughlin, and nobody can take that away from us,” Carrington said. “If you are going to define us as players by winning a championship, so be it, but you can say we did a lot of great things.”