This should be Loughlin’s year

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Bishop Loughlin’s Mike Williams felt he let down backcourt teammate and friend Khadeen Carrington when he was too sick sign their National Letters of Intent side by side.

Williams, a Rutgers commit, said he and the Seton Hall-bound Carrington had made a promise as juniors that they would sign together.

He said he’s determined to fulfill the other pact they made.

The Division-I senior guards want to help Loughlin win its first Catholic High School Athletic Association Class AA city title since 1992 this year.

“We said after we signed our letters we were going to focus on winning a city championship and a Federation championsh­ip,” Williams said. “That’s our goal for this year.”

The Lions should be considered the favorites to open the season because of those two and the other seniors they have returning. No one in the Catholic High School league brings back as much veteran talent as Loughlin this year.

They nearly accomplished the goal last season, but fell to eventual state Federation champion Christ the King in the title game. The Royals, which won three of the last four city titles, and Cardinal Hayes will be Loughlin’s biggest challengers again.

Carrington still believes this is the year Loughlin returns the favor to Christ the King. He and his teammates are going to use the pain of last season to drive them.

“We’ve just been taking lumps, so I think now is our time to give out some,” Carrington said.

The Lions squad is powered by one of the city’s top backcourts. Carrington is adept at getting to the rim and Williams is a sharpshooter and tenacious defender. Both figure they will see more time handling the ball.

Javian Delacruz, a 6-foot-4 senior, may be the most underrated of the bunch, often overshadowed by Williams and Carrington. Delacruz proved at different points last year that he can be equally as dangerous thanks to his length, athleticism and ability to shoot the ball.

The team expects contributions from 6-foot-8 bruising forward Anthony Vernon and fellow senior Darius James and senior Khalil Howe as well.

“I’ll put my guards against anybody in the city,” Loughlin coach Ed Gonzalez said.

It’s the backcourt of Carrington, Williams, and Delacruz that will set Loughlin apart from the rest. Loughlin has the talent, external motivation and veteran leadership to make this the season it finally brings home the crown.

“A lot of the seniors who were at Christ the King, Cardinal Hayes, Molloy are gone,” Williams said. “But we’re still here.”

Reach reporter Joseph Staszewski at Follow him on twitter @cng_staszewski.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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