Most of the attention was focused on the one-two punch of senior forward Jordan Fuchs and senior guard Jon Severe during the Catholic High Schools Athletic Association basketball season. However, this one – two duo will not return next season as they will be graduating Christ The King High School. Fuchs is headed to the University of Connecticut (UConn) for football.
In the title game on last Sunday afternoon before a packed Fordham University, Rose Hill gymnasium in The Bronx, Bishop Loughlin of Brooklyn opened the margin to 44-42 and 46-43 in the third quarter before the Royals from Middle Village, Queens, went on a spurt and closed the quarter ahead 54-49 thanks to a three-point shot by Isaiah Cosbert not far from mid-court and time expiring.
With 18 seconds into the fourth quarter, Cosbert hit another similar shot that went through the basket and stunned the cheering capacity crowd. The Royals went on a scoring spree and led 57-49 and 68-52 with almost three minutes left in the fourth session.
Loughlin wouldn’t give up, and behind the play of guard Michael Williams, tried desperately to rally but just could not cash in as they missed shots in the last period.
The Royals were just too much for their rivals, winning out 78-63, and thus advancing to Albany where they will compete in the New York State tournament. The Lions ended up the season with a 20-7 record.
The title game marked the unbelievable play of Cosbert, who, like Severe, are seniors. All the seniors will certainly be missed. Severe, who hasn’t made up his mind about college as yet, was named Most Valuable Player of the Class ‘AA’ Division of the regular season and repeated the same honor during the playoffs.
“I knew at the end of the third period , I (put in) a great and lucky shot,” Cosbert said. “I never hit a shot from that far away. On the second shot, I knew it looked good after leaving my hands. I knocked it down.”
“Cosbert is a knock down shooter,” said assistant varsity and head freshman coach Greg Lemko. “You got to know where he is. Guys look for him. He shot another three at the start of the fourth quarter and we didn’t look back after that.”
“Cosbert has come a long way. You can’t do much about his (5-9) height. If he were a little bit taller he would be a major Division I (college) player. He has a lot of colleges looking at him right now because he can knock down shots.”
Cosbert, whose decision of coming to Christ The King in his freshman year, was his own, wasn’t the high scorer of the championship contest. That honor belonged to Severe, who ended up with 19 points, two more than Fuchs. Cosbert tallied nine point. Teammates Adonis Delarosa and Rawle Alkins each scored 14 points.
All the players on the Royals ended the regular season and the Intersectional playoffs on a high note and with a team’s incredible 25-3 won-lost record head up to Albany for the New York State tournament.
“It feels good that I ended my career as a champion,” Cosbert added. “And when we go to the State tournament we hope to get another one.”
Christ The King thus captured its third CHSAA Class ‘AA’ title under head coach Joe Arbitello. The first came in 2010, and the second the following year. Last week’s crown marked a three-peat for them-winning three such titles.
“You always have to take it one game at a time,” continued Lemko. “We won the Brooklyn- Queens (Archdiocese of Brooklyn) championship, and (then) the City Championship. Now we want to win the State Championship… And we want to get it done.”