Bishop Loughlin Lions, 70, Cardinal Hayes Cardinals, 74

Lions spent too much time showboating than playing smart, players say

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So much for making a comeback.

Bishop Loughlin fell to visiting Cardinal Hayes 74–70 on Friday — the same team that beat the Lions in last year’s Class AA quarterfinals.

The Lions were hoping to exact some vengeance on Cardinal Hayes as it opened its Catholic High School Athletic Association boy’s basketball season, but could never advance past the charging Cardinals. Loughlin trailed by as many as 16 points midway through the second quarter, but managed to cut the Cardinals lead to 70–68 with 20.7 seconds left. Yet the Cardinals still had gas in its tank: Hayes’s Shavar Newkirk, who scored 17 points, hit a perfect 4-of-4 from the free throw line to seal the win.

The game was close, yet even players agree that the Fort Greene squad was showboating for the standing-room-only squad instead of playing smart.

“What we were doing during the comeback, we should have been doing from the jump,” said Lions junior guard Khadeen Carrington, who poured in a game-high 29 points during Friday’s contest. “Going through the whole play, digging in on defense.”

Carrington said his team was out of control for more than the first half of the game.

“We had to slow down and nobody slowed down,” he said. “I take the blame for that. Coach [Ed Gonzalez] expects me to lead the team.”

Mike Williams scored 15 of his 17 points in the first half and Javian Delacruz added 13 points for Loughlin. Mustafa Jones dropped in 15 points and Chris Robinson racked up 12 points for Hayes, which had five players in double figures.

Despite the loss, Loughlin — who is expected to compete for a city title — put a scare into Hayes. The Lions switched to a 2–3 zone early in the fourth quarter and finally produced turnovers that pulled them within five points with 39.5 seconds left on two Carrington free throws.

Accepting the bitter defeat, Carrington said he’s glad his team got its lackluster play out for the way for the season.

“I thin we got it out now,” the junior guard said. “We are going to comeback hard tomorrow.”

Reach reporter Joseph Staszewski at Follow him on twitter @cng_staszewski.

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