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Christ the King into CHSAA final with 72-64 win over Hayes

Tyson Walker scored 21 points and Kofi Cockburn had 20 points and 19 rebounds, as Christ the King powered its way into the CHSAA AA final with a 72-64 win over Cardinal Hayes at Carnesecca Arena on Thursday night.

Walker and Cockburn have combined for a total of 79 points for the Royals over the past two games. 

Christ the King went on a 15-0 run in the first half, with Walker's layup putting the Royals ahead 19-6 before CTK took a 24-10 lead into the second frame.

Christ the King continued to cruise in the second, as Quaran McPherson's 3-point play with 6:28 left in the half gave the Royals what would be their largest lead of the game at 29-12. Hayes struggled to keep CTK's guards out of the lane, and the Royals held a comfortable 41-25 advantage at the half.

Hayes started to knock down permimeter shots in the third, pulling within five at 52-47 on a 3-pointer by Tyrese Williams, but Christ the King went back ahead 61-51 at the 3:42 mark after two baskets by Cockburn and a 3-pointer by Ryan Myers.

A 3-pointer by Terry Dawkins with 2:17 left made it 63-59, but Walker drew a blocking foul on the ensuing possession, converting a 3-point play to give the Royals a 66-59 cushion with 1:50 left. 

The Cardinals narrowed the margin to four again at 66-62 after a 3-pointer by Jontai Williams with 1:19 on the clock, but Cockburn swooped in the lane to recover a loose ball on the next possession, converting it to put Christ the King in front by six at 68-62 with just 1:02 remaining.

A layup by Jontai Williams made it 68-64 with 40.5 seconds left, but Christ the King would ice the game with free throws, avenging its early season loss to Hayes in the Bronx and earning a berth into the CHSAA AA final.

The Royals will face Archbishop Stepinac, which defeated Archbishop Molloy 88-84 in the other semifinal, in the championship game on Sunday at Fordham University.

Tyrese Williams had a game-high 22 points for Cardinal Hayes.


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