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December 17, 2007

Royals Bounce Back on St. Doms & Win a Ring

When Christ the King started off slowly against St. Dominic at home on Sunday, head coach Bob Oliva had to at least entertain the notion that his team was experiencing a hangover from its tough loss at St. Raymond's on Friday night.

St. Dominic began Sunday's game with a 10-2 run on a few uncontested threes, prompting Oliva to call a timeout and rally his troops. "Was I worried? No, but I was concerned," Oliva would say later. "We just seemed to come out a little bit flat." Whatever was said in that first-quarter huddle, the Royals certainly got the message, going on to dominate the remainder of the game and score a 62-44 victory over the visiting Bayhawks, Long Island's third-ranked team on NYCHoops.

Christ the King went on an 11-4 run immediately following Oliva's timeout, and trailed by just two points, 17-15, after a quarter. The Royals would then seize and maintain control of the game on the strength of their defense, allowing just seven points in each of the next two quarters.

Christ the King led by six at the half, 30-24. In the third quarter, the Royals blew the game wide open, outscoring the Bayhawks 21-7 behind 11 points from senior guard Erving Walker. "We wore them down," said Oliva matter-of-factly.

With CK holding a 51-31 lead to start the fourth, Oliva was able to pull Walker and senior guard Ryan Pearson, with the rest of his starting five coming out soon after. "Winning comfortably was important for me and it was important for them," Oliva said, "and it's always nice when you can empty your bench."

Pearson led all scorers with 21 points, with Walker chipping in 15. Leading the way for the Bayhawks was senior guard Brian Katz with 18.

Before the game, the coaching staff, the holdovers from the 2006-07 championship season, two graduated seniors, and the parents of two other graduated seniors all received rings commemorating the Royals' CHSAA title from this past March. It was Oliva's fifth ring as coach of Christ the King.

The win pushed the Royals to 2-1 on the season, while St. Dominic fell to 1-3 on the year with the loss and are still without their big man, Paul Bilbo who is injured.

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