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Christ the King sets sights on Federation playoffs

TimesLedger Newspapers

Jordan Fuchs’ memory of his last trip to the state Federation tournament is not pleasant. It is one he so desperately wants to replace.

The Christ the King forward was a sophomore back in 2011 when the Royals boys’ basketball team lost in overtime to Mount Vernon in the final. Fuchs called the post-game locker room horrible, filled with seniors crying long after the defeat.

“I don’t want that feeling,” he said. “It makes me want to win so bad. I hate that.”

Wanting their season to end in celebration has helped build the team’s strong chemistry and enabled Christ the King to get this far, according to senior guard Jon Severe. Last year’s season ended with the CHSAA intersectional quarterfinals, well short of Albany and a Federation title.

“Nobody wants to lose,” Severe said. “Now everybody knows what they have to do to win.”

The Royals (25-3) head upstate with a balanced and versatile roster trying to win their first Federation title since 2010. They face Bishop Kearney (Section V) in the Class AA semifinals at 6:45 p.m. Friday at the Times Union Center.

CK has its stars in Severe, Fuchs and point guard Malik Harmon, who verbally committed to St. Francis (Pa.). Center Adonis Delarosa has come on as a major factor in the post season.

Even with all of that talent, it’s been the Christ the King role players, such as Isaiah Cosbert, Andre Walker and the emergence of freshman Rawle Alkins, that has gotten them here. Cosbert hit the biggest shots, two three-pointers, in the city championship game win over Bishop Loughlin.

“All our guards can shoot it from the outside and penetrate,” Harmon said. “Then we have bigs who can finish, rebound and we have a lot of bench players who can do everything. We have a lot of pieces.”

If all the pieces fit in place this weekend, the group of Royals can join elite company at the Middle Village school. Coach Joe Arbitello kept reminding his team that only two Christ the King squads have ever won a Federation title.

“To be one of the most elite teams in Christ the King history is a tremendous accomplishment,” Arbitello said. “You are talking about some great players who do not have a state championship.”

This team wants to be in the more hallowed group by finishing what it started from when the season began. Christ the King has proven to be one of best teams in the area at closing out opponents. Now the players want to end the season the right way and enjoy what comes with winning.

Fuchs points to a photo of the 1989 Federation title team behind one of the baskets in the Christ the King gym. He then looks at the 2010 team pictured on the other end.

“I want one of those,” Fuchs said.

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