Tag Archives: CHSAA

Christ the King boys and girls win basketball titles, advance to state tourneys

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo via CTKNY - CK Campus Facebook page


Make it a three-peat for Christ the King Regional High School’s boys basketball squad.

For the third straight year, the varsity Royals captured the Intersectionals title, capturing the CHSAA title with a 59-56 victory over Xaverian High School. Christ the King advanced to the New York State tournament, which begins a week from Friday in Albany.

They’ll be joined in Albany by the Lady Royals, who also captured the city championship and advanced to the state girls basketball tournament.

Led by Coach Joe Arbitello, the Middle Village boys brought home the 2013 and 2014 titles with little surprise, but fought a tough battle with Xaverian to take their third title in a row.

“We had to overcome a lot to win this game,” said Arbitello, whose squad posted a 25-4 record. Credit went to the whole team, including its star player, Rawle Alkins, who was named the CHSAA most valuable player.

Alkins, as it happened, missed the start of the game, as he got stuck in traffic on the way to Fordham University for the championship game. Despite the worry from players and fans alike, Alkins eventually arrived and made contributions toward the Royals’ win.

“I came ready to play,” he said. “It was amazing. No one team has ever won three city championships in three straight years.”

Rebounding was the key to the wins for the entire season, but they didn’t show it during the championship game, as Xaverian out-rebounded them, 32-26. Otherwise, it was a well-balanced team effort turned in by the Royals, who were led by seven caroms off the boards by Tyrone Cohen. Alkins led all the scorers with 21 points.

“We show very good teamwork and play very good defense,” said assistant coach Gene Schatz. “We should be able to win the close games.”

The Royals played tremendous basketball during the season and next year there is no reason why they can’t win for the fourth time. The junior Alkins is playing at the top of his game, reaching a game-high 37 points at one point during the season.

With Alkins set to return and 10 underclassmen scheduled to move up to the varsity squad next season, the foundation for a four-peat appears to be in place.


Sports Star: Nyasha Irizarry, senior guard, Archbishop Molloy HS girls basketball team

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

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Name: NYASHA Irizarry
School: Archbishop Molloy
Grade: Senior
Sport: Basketball
Position: Guard

Nyasha Irizarry is a senior basketball player on the Archbishop Molloy High School girls basketball team. Irizarry averaged about 18 points per game for her final season and was selected to play in the NYC Mayor’s Cup All-Star game on March 29. She scored nine points in the All-Star game and helped the CHSAA league defeat rival PSAL to win the title “best in the city.”

Irizarry is also an excellent student as she maintains a 91 percent academic average. She earned a four-year scholarship to play Division 1 basketball at Manhattan College in the Bronx. Although Irizarry would like to play basketball beyond college, if turning professional doesn’t work out, she would like to become a veterinarian because of her love for animals. She plans on majoring in biology during a pre-veterinarian program.

During her spare time when she isn’t studying or at basketball practice, Irizarry draws. Although she doesn’t have a theme or specified art style, she draws whatever comes to mind and even takes requests from friends.

How did you start playing basketball?
“I started when I was 8, because of my dad. I played with my boy cousins.”

What do you like to draw?
“I draw whatever I’m in the mood to draw. Or I draw for my friends.”

Why do you want to be a vet?
“I always loved animals and I have them around the house. I have three dogs. I grew to love animals and I think it will be really cool to help them out. They are like family, so somebody there to take care of them for you is really cool.”

How excited are you to play Division I college basketball?
“I’m extremely excited and I can’t wait. When I was younger I didn’t think I would stick for something this long. I just happy it worked out this way and I’m really appreciative of it.”




With hopes of attracting colleges, players participate in city all-star game

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

It’s already April but the PSAL’s most prolific scorer of the 2014 basketball season, Nohah Vickers, still doesn’t know which college he will play for next year.

With just a few months remaining in the NCAA college commitment period, several schools have expressed interest in Vickers, but they are still looking at him closely before giving him official offers.

Vickers, a point guard for the Campus Magnet Bulldogs, led the league with 466 points, averaging 33 points and 6.5 assists per game. But the Bulldogs had an undersized team and finished second-to-last in the Queens AA league with a 4-12 record.

Vickers, however, was invited to play in the 2014 Mayor’s Cup All-Star boys basketball game on Saturday, March 29, which featured the top high school seniors from the season.

Some players who participated in the game had already committed to college teams, but the game also had athletes, who, like Vickers, aren’t sure where they’ll end up next year and were playing to display their talents and impress college coaches.

“It definitely helps you with showcasing your talent,” said Vickers, who has been contacted by Delaware State University, among other schools. “Even though it’s an all-star game, you got to hustle, you got to make sure to defend, you know, just the little things to impress [recruiters].”

The PSAL lost 108-86 against the CHSAA in the all-star game, which featured high flying dunks, alley-oops and slick ball handling skills that excited the crowd of fans.

Officials hope the all-star mixing, which is in its fourth year, will not only become a traditional city bragging rights tournament, but eventually become a recognized name for college coaches and recruiters to see city players.

“They more people they are able to get in front of, the more opportunities they are going to have,” said Jeffrey Mohl, vice president of sports marketing for NYC and Company, which organizes the annual all-star event. “And that’s the whole goal, to say seven, eight, nine kids got scholarships or looked at, or opportunities that they wouldn’t have had before this.”

Francisco Williams, a senior forward from the 2014 PSAL champion Benjamin Cardozo High School basketball team, is just another example of a top player who has yet to commit to a school. Williams, whose mother has health problems, is still looking at colleges but is heavily considering staying close to home. He said Long Island University of Brooklyn has expressed interest in him, but he is keeping his options open and hoped the Mayor’s Cup would help showcase his abilities to more coaches.

“This is just a continuation of schools looking at him,” Cardozo head coach Ron Naclerio said of the all-star game. “It’s like dating a girl or marrying. He wants to know schools are looking at him, but we have to find the right one.”



Christ the King player leads CHSAA to win NYC Mayor’s Cup All-Star game

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Liam La Guerre

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Christ the King senior forward Kollyns Scarbrough’s last game as a member of the CHSAA might have been her most meaningful.

Scarbrough, who will play for Siena College next year, led the CHSAA All-Star girls basketball team over the PSAL All-Stars to win the NYC Mayor’s Cup, 85-80, on Saturday and earn the title of “best in the city” for her league.

Scarbrough scored 17 points and was named the MVP of the game.

Being that it was her final game in the high school league, the senior wanted to win for bragging rights.

“The PSAL and the Catholic league, there has always been a rivalry, so I really wanted to win that,” Scarbrough said. “It’s New York basketball. Its bragging rights.”

Following the girls game, the boys’ NYC Mayor’s Cup All-Star game commenced. Once again, the CHSAA defeated the PSAL, 108-86.



Christ the King’s Sierra Calhoun named Gatorade New York Girls Basketball Player of the Year

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy Christ the King High School

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Christ the King High School girls basketball senior guard Sierra Calhoun received yet another honor before going to college.

The Duke University bound high school basketball star earned the 2013-14 Gatorade New York Girls Basketball Player of the Year award on March 13.

Calhoun is the seventh player from Christ the King to be given the honor, which has recognized athletes for their abilities on the court, academic achievements and character demonstrated outside of sports since 1985.

Calhoun led the Royals to a 21-4 record, averaging 24 points, 9.3 rebounds and four steals per game. Although the Royals were strong, Christ the King lost to Nazareth High School in a CHSAA semifinal.

A First Team All-American selection by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association, Calhoun was also chosen to play in the prestigious McDonald’s High School All-American Game and is a two-time First Team All-State honoree. Calhoun volunteers to assist local special needs students at an elementary school and coaches youth basketball players.

With the honor, Calhoun is now a candidate for the Gatorade National Player of the Year award, which will be announced later this month.



Christ the King regains crown, wins back-to-back city championships

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy Rick Atson

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The Royals are once again wearing the city crown.

It was only two weeks ago that the Christ the King boys’ basketball team lost the Brooklyn/ Queens Conference championship game against Bishop Loughlin by nearly 20 points.

But with a renewed focus, the Royals dominated their rivals in a rematch in the CHSAA Class AA intersectional championship game Sunday to come up with a 72-61 victory at Fordham University.

“We were the underdogs coming into the game,” junior forward Travis Atson said. “People didn’t think we would win, but we surprised a lot of people.”

With the win, the Royals continued their era of dominance, becoming back-to-back city champs. Christ the King has also won four city championships in the last five years.

But in previous games recently, Loughlin posed a major threat.

The Lions defeated the Royals in two of their three meetings this season. So to win the city title, Christ the King shifted their focus to tougher defense.

“We didn’t allow any transitions,” Atson said. “We made sure everybody got back and stopped the ball.”

With about four minutes left, the Royals used a 17-3 run ignited by stifling defense to outpace Loughlin.

Sophomore guard Rawle Alkins led Christ the King with 24 points, and Atson, who had a double-double with 21 points and 10 rebounds, was named the tournament MVP.

Atson also played tough defense, holding Loughlin senior guard Javian Delacruz to only eight points.

“Take away his offense, just the eight points that he held Javian Delacruz to, if you’ve done that, then you’ve done your job. I think that’s why he was named the tournament MVP,” Royals coach Joe Arbitello said.

The Royals will play PSAL champion Benjamin Cardozo in a Class AA state Federation semifinal on March 21 at the Times Union Center in Albany.



Sports Star: Alexandra Rubiano, captain, Archbishop Molloy HS girls swim team

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Alexandra Rubiano

Name: Alexandra Rubiano
School: Archbishop Molloy High School
Sport: Swimming
Grade: Senior
Position: Captain

Archbishop Molloy girls varsity swimming co-captain Alexandra Rubiano is an outstanding student and athlete. Rubiano has been a major reason her team was able to win consecutive GCHSAA Division A swimming championships, during back-to-back undefeated seasons. Rubiano was awarded the league’s Outstanding Career Swimmer award as top senior swimmer. Rubiano holds the school’s record for the 200 yard individual medley and the 100 yard butterfly. Besides her high school team, Rubiano is also part of the LaGuardia Twisters, an independent swimming organization. Out of the pool, Rubiano maintains a 90 average at Molloy and is part of the school’s Asian Club and environmental advocacy group, I A.M. Green. In I A.M. Green, she helps the school recycle and participates in an annual clean up at Rockaway Beach. Rubiano has also been in the school band for three years, playing the flute. She dreams of majoring in physical therapy at Hunter College, where she hopes to join the swim team.

When did you start swimming?
“I learned how to swim [when] I was two and have been on the team (LaGuardia Twisters) since six. I didn’t start competing until I was eight.”

What has motivated you?
“I have to say pressure is a major factor. You always have to push yourself to be better.”

What have you learned by being a leader?
“I’ve gained a lot of experience in being a leader that I didn’t have before. I have learned to communicate better with others and be more open. I hope to bring that to college.”

How does it feel to graduate, having won two championships?
“It’s pretty amazing. I remember I finished my last event and I came out of the water and I said to another of the co-captains that this was our last high school race. It just felt great over all.”




Molloy girls swim team hooks second consecutive championship

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy Archbishop Molloy

The Archbishop Molloy High School girls swim team is still the princesses of the pool.

The team made a big splash on Sunday, winning its second consecutive crown in the GCHSAA Division A championship at Eisenhower Park on Long Island.

The win also completes the second consecutive undefeated season for the team as well.

“We had a very strong team,” said Swimming Director Donald Green. “Everybody on the team did their personal best.”

During the championship, Molloy competed so well that the swim squad set new school records. The team won all three relays events, and set records in the 200 yards medley and 400 free style relays.

Molloy senior co-captain Alexandra Rubiano won the 100 yards butterfly with a time of 59.4 seconds, which became the new school record in that category. Rubiano also received the Joe and Anna Stetz Outstanding Career Swimmer award, which is given to the league’s top senior swimmer.

Green attributes the girls’ winning ways to their work ethic. He said in September they come eager to practice and set goals for themselves for the year. The team even trains during winter break.

“It’s actually the girls’ mind set,” Green said. “Basically, we are just there to help and guide them. They know what they want, and they go and achieve it.”

After having won the championship again, the girls are aiming to make it a three-peat.

“They are already talking about next year,” Green said. “They already set their minds that they want to do this again next year.”



St. Francis Prep hockey wins with late rally against Xaverian

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

St. Francis Prep hockey head coach Giancarlo Racinelli didn’t know what else to tell his struggling team in the game against Xaverian High School on Friday.

Trailing the Clippers 3-2 with about five minutes left in the game, Racinelli had exhausted his breath, preaching to his team that they weren’t playing their usually formations correctly and needed to find a way to wake up their offense and stabilize the defense.

But realizing that his team wasn’t listening, he decided to try a new strategy: say nothing at all.

“Things began flying off the hinges a bit and we weren’t playing our systems, so the coaches stepped back,” Racinelli said.

With a quiet coach, the Terriers (CHSAA, 3-1) quickly realized they were in trouble of losing to a team that hasn’t won a game for the season yet. They talked among themselves about their errors, and in the last five minutes of the game they scored two consecutive goals to escape Xaverian (0-4) with a score of 4-3.

“Our coaches didn’t say anything, that got us thinking even more like ‘Oh God,’” said forward Tyler Murphy. “You kind of looking to the guys and are thinking they are going to say something, but when they aren’t saying anything then they must be mad, so now we had to do something to fix it.”

The equalising goal came in at 4:52, when Murphy traveled the length of the ice, beating defenders and faked out the goalkeeper before slapping the puck in.

Murphy had taken many shots throughout the game, but his first goal of the night got the Terriers back into the game.

“They [Xaverian] were on the other bench and they were kind of chirping a little bit,” Murphy said. “That kind of got us a little mad, a little pissed off, and made us really want to win the game.”

Three minutes later sophomore Jack Mastronardi, with 2:02 left in the game, blasted a shot into the goal from a few feet away to give the Terriers the lead. St. Francis held the lead in the final two minutes for the win.

“We came out a little weak, but towards the second and third period we started to pick the game up a little bit; we got more energy,” senior captain Theodore Gallucci said. “If we start doing that in more games we’ll hopefully do better.”

The next game for the Terriers will be on Friday, January 3 versus St. Edmund High School.



Holy Cross basketball falls to Xaverian

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

The Holy Cross High School basketball team is having a tough start to the season.

Following three consecutive losses to begin the year, including a 25-point deficit to powerhouse St. Raymond High School, the Knights narrowly missed winning their first game of the season against Xaverian High School Friday.

Knights junior guard Matthew Newton, who scored all his 12 points in the fourth quarter, fueled a second half burst, but Holy Cross (CHSAA 0-4) lost 64-57 to the Clippers (3-3).

“We just missed it by a little,” Newton said. “If we play a little harder next game we’ll win.”

With 2:33 left to play in the game, Newton hit two free throws to make the score 58-51. Following a free throw by Xaverian, Newton made a steal at 1:33 and scored a layup to bring the Knights within six points of tying the game, 59-53.

“I just tried to come back and help the team out. Try to get that W [win],” Newton said.

But with such little time left Holy Cross had resorted to fouling to stop the clock and couldn’t catch up to Xaverian.

Besides Newton, Jermaine Bishop scored 13 points, Joshua Wallace scored 11 points and added eight rebounds and five assists for the Knights.

The Knights trailed for most of the game. By halftime they were only behind 36-31, but after the break, Xaverian dominated Holy Cross by aggressively attacking the inside with layups and offensive rebounds, and quickly expanded the lead on an 8-0 run to go up 44-31.

Holy Cross players continued to shoot from the outside and avoid taking the ball inside and were missing long range shots. This caused the lead to expand until Newton hit two threes in a row. But even he admits that next time they need to stop relying on shooting.

“Coach said attack the basket more and stop shooting threes,” Newton said.


UPDATE– Holy Cross won their first game of the season against Fordham Prep High School on Monday, December 23, with a score of 59-49.




Holy Cross continues winning tradition

| smosco@queenscourier.com


The Holy Cross Knights capped off a rough season on a high note by defeating the Bishop Loughlin Lions, 60-57, netting the Catholic High School Athletic Association (CHSAA) Brooklyn/Queens Diocesan title for the second time in the last seven years.

Made up mostly of seniors, the second-seeded Knights fell behind by double digits early but clamped down defensively and went into halftime down by four. The fifth-seeded Lions showed their sophomore inexperience and relinquished the lead for good in the second half.

Senior Marquise Moore led all scorers dropping 21 points for Knights, while senior teammate Anthony Libroia finished the game with 10 points, 9 rebounds and 9 assists. Elisha Boone led the Lions with 18 points. The Knights also recently defeated Archbishop Molloy in the CHSAA intersectional quarterfinals. Moore starred again, scoring 23 points, grabbing nine rebounds and dishing out six assists.