Senior Omar Calhoun followed up his 31-point performance in Wednesday's opener, with a 28-point outing to lead Christ the King over Wings Academy, 76-65 and advance to the championship game of the 20th annual STOP-DWI Holiday Classic.
Christ the King will face-off with Neumann Goretti in Friday night's finale.
In a matchup between two top-ten ranked teams in New York State, (Christ the King No. 4 NYCHoops.net, Wings Academy No. 5) the game witnessed 11 ties and 13 lead changes. However, the trio of Calhoun and juniors Isaiah Lewis and Jon Severe proved too much for Wings Academy in the fourth quarter, which was handed its first loss of the season.
Lewis, who finished the game with 21 points, was in total control of the offense throughout, guiding the Royals to 50 percent shooting (27-of-54). Severe punished Wings Academy on the boards, finishing with a game-high 11, while adding 19 points of his own. The three combined for 68 of the 76 Christ the King points.
For Wings Academy, senior Justin Jenkins led the Wings with 25 points for his second straight 25-plus point game of the tournament (scored 30 in their win over Dixie Heights on Wednesday). Senior Steven Gomez added 14 points and junior Jaequan Brown chipped in ten for Wings Academy.
An 11-2 run in the final moments of the fourth quarter helped Christ the King pull away for the 11-point victory. Following a five second call on Jenkins, Calhoun nailed a three with 2:02 to play to put the Royals up nine, 68-59. The basket seemed to deflate a Wings team that scored just six points in the final two minutes, four of which came when the game was already decided.
In the first half a balanced scoring output by Wings Academy gave the team from the Bronx a five-point halftime lead, 34-29. With an up tempo feel to the game Christ the King held a slim one-point advantage after the opening quarter, 15-14.
In the quarter's final moments, the two featured players of the game (Calhoun and Jenkins) were going one-on-one, when Calhoun picked Jenkins pocket and cruised in for the easy two points, creating the first-quarter margin.
In the second quarter Wings center Damian Davis began to control the paint, scoring back-to-back baskets, giving the Wings a two-point advantage. A Jenkins three followed by another Davis basket pushed the lead to seven, 28-21, but Christ the King did not shy away responding with two straight buckets to cut the lead to three.
Christ the King duo of Lewis and Calhoun combined for 24 of the Royals' 29 first-half points. Lewis, who was deadly in the lane all game, poured in 14 points, while Calhoun added ten.
Jenkins scored nine first-half points as Davis and Brown added eight points apiece.
The third quarter witnessed much of the same high-intensity play from both squads as Christ the King worked the game back even, 46-46, by the end of the period. Calhoun scored seven straight points for the Royals to deadlock the game at 44, including a second steal and score. The two teams traded fast break layups before the period expired to finish the third-quarter scoring.
Wings Academy will move onto the consolation bracket and play for third place against St. Thomas Aquinas Friday afternoon at 1 p.m.
Other New York Teams In Championship Rounds
# 3 ranked St. Raymond advances to the championship of the Glaxo-Smith Klein Classic by defeating Millbrook, 60-56. Myron Hickman led the Ravens attack with 14 points with Nkereuwem Okoro adding 13 points and 10 rebounds. Daniel Dingle scored 12 points to go with 11 rebounds.
#1 Abraham Lincoln will play Mater Dei in the championship of the Max Prep Holiday Classic after defeating Harvard-Westlake, 81-70. Isaiah Whitehead was high man with 25 points.
Unranked Mt. Saint Michael walked away with the large school championship in the Josh Palmer Coach vs. Cancer Tournament, their 2nd in three years. After besting L.I. Lutheran (#1 ranked in Long Island) the day before, Mt. St. Michael defeated Bishop Timon, 55-37 for the chip.