Leading off today:
As doubleheaders go, this is about as good as you can get in New York basketball: two schools whose boys and girls teams have been playing in rarefied competitive air for a long, long time and are serious contenders to play for Federation championships next month.
Senior forward David Cole was the difference in host Christ the King's 71-61 win over Long Island Lutheran in the boys game Friday night.
"He came out and dominated the last two quarters of the game," Christ the King coach Joe Arbitello told The Daily News.
Junior point guard Jose Alvarado added 17 points for the Royals.
An 11-0 run in the second quarter pulled LuHi within 31-26 at the half. But with Cole and Alvarado leading the way, Christ the King outscored LuHi pulled away to a 14-point lead with 1:34 left in the game.
"We just knew that we had to work hard and just go out and have our motor higher," Cole said. "Offensively we were just working hard."
Last weekend, LuHi mauled the Cardozo team that owns two close wins over Christ the King. It's realistic to think those three will join the NYSPHSAA champ next month in Albany for the Federation tournament.
In the girls game, St. Peter's recruit Ashlie Howell finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds as Christ the King beat LuHi 69-55. Long Island Lutheran was missing leading scorer Sarah Mortensen, sidelined with a concussion.
Christ the King racked up half a dozen steals and held LuHi to one shot on numerous other possessions.
"Our help defense was the key," Dominique Touissant told MSG Varsity after finishing with 14 points and five steals. "When they beat us, we know that there's somebody behind us to help out and that's the big difference. We live off that transition and I don't think teams can stop us when we get the rebounds and then get out."
Grace Stone paced the Crusaders with 27 points.
Sec. 1 school mourns: Albertus Magnus AD Joe McGuinness died of complications from cancer. He was 56.
Earlier in his career, McGuinness coached both the Albertus Magnus girls and boys basketball teams to Section 1 championships. He will be inducted into the Rockland County Sports Hall of Fame later this year.
"Joe's loss is very big to the whole Rockland athletic community. He's loved and respected by the whole basketball community," principal Christopher Power said. "My daughters played for him, and they loved Joe