ALBANY - Another Christ the King-Long Island Lutheran game. Another heartbreaker for the Crusaders.
For the fifth straight time, and third straight in the state Federation Class AA boys basketball tournament, Christ the King ended LuHi's season.
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On Friday night, it came in a gritty semifinal as Christ the King defeated Lutheran, 50-44, after falling behind 15-0. CK beat Lutheran in the Federation final each of the previous two years.
Jose Alvarado scored seven of his 13 points in the fourth quarter for Christ the King (26-4). Devonte Green led Lutheran (19-7) with 13 points.
Lutheran got off to a blazing start, scoring the first 15 points of the game and forcing numerous turnovers before going cold.
The early burst was remarkable because of its variety: Seven different Crusaders scored. Chris Burkley hit a layup off a set play on the opening tap. Chris Atkinson drained a three-pointer from the wing and Marvin Prochet followed with a jumper. Rojaye Campbell took a slick pass from Atkinson and finished inside. Green hit both free throws after a spin move in the lane, Jose Martinez scored on a putback and Elijah Baily hit a baseline jumper.
But much of that lead was erased in the second quarter. Atkinson's pull-up jumper and Green's tip-in were the only field goals in that period for LuHi.
Rawle Alkins and Tyrone Cohen scored the last two baskets of the half for the Royals, who had to be thrilled to trail only 23-18 at the break.
Green, despite shooting 2-for-9, and Cohen were the leading scorers at the half with eight points each.
Christ the King will face PSAL champion Wings Academy in the state Federation Class AA title game Saturday at 9 p.m. Wings held off NYSPHSAA champ Shenendehowa, 44-35, in a game that was, to say the least, offensively challenged. Just as this one turned out to be.