BROOKLYN, NY - Bishop Loughlin and St. Francis Prep met in Brooklyn on Tuesday afternoon, with the upstart Terriers looking to keep surprising everyone in NYC.
It ended up being all about special achievements for star Lions guards Khadeen Carrington and Mike Williams though, as they helped pace Loughlin past the Terriers, ending their unbeaten six game start to the season, 79-65.
It was a 1 point Loughlin lead at the half, but the Lions had plans to not just get the win, but get Carrington and Williams the milestones they were looking to achieve.
SFP came out and grabbed the lead to start the 3rd quarter, but a pair of threes from the wing by the Rutgers bound Williams opened up a slight gap for Loughlin, and when Issak Bodon missed a jumper with 2:52 to go in the quarter, Williams was there for the putback bucket, which was also the basket that gave him his 1,000th career point for Bishop Loughlin. The game was stopped to honor the moment. He was awarded a basketball to remember the achievement, and he said afterward it's a moment he will never forget.
"It's a great feeling, to get 1,000 points speaks a lot about how hard I have worked, and to do it at home makes it all the more special," Williams said.
Carrington's moment almost didn't come. Coming into the game, the Seton Hall bound guard was 26 points away from breaking the Bishop Loughin career scoring mark of 1,560 points, but he was 8 away heading into the 4th. He hit a jumper, and then 2 FT's, and with 2 minutes to go, he was 2 points away, something that took Loughlin Head Coach Ed Gonzalez a bit by surprise.
"It was actually Mike who came up to me and said Khadeen was points away from the record. I knew he needed 26, but when he said that I was like when did he get the other 24? He scores so smoothly that it doesn't feel like he has that many points when he does," Gonzalez said.
The moment came for Carrington with 1:31 to go. The Lions had taken a 73-63 lead at this point, and off a steal by Jayvian Delacruz, Khalik Howe got the ball and threw up a beautiful alley oop pass to Carrington who slammed home the dunk. It was an emphatic way to put his name into the Bishop Loughlin record book. 1,561 points, and Carrington was the schools all time leading scorer, and while he wasn't sure he would get it on Tuesday, he was ecstatic by the fact that he did.
"I wasn't so I would get it when I needed 8 in the 4th, but when it got down to 4 I said I'm gonna get it tonight, and I did. It's a special moment, and to do it in front if my family and friends, and at home, it's very special," Carrington said.
The fact they both got there moments on the same night made it even more special for the duo, but there was still the game.
St. Francis Prep played Bishop Loughlin about as tough as they could've. With a lead as late as 5:40 to go in the 3rd, the Terriers showed they could hang with some of the best the city has to offer, and even though pressure defense by the Lions made it a 79-65 final, Prep Head Coach Tim Leary was proud of his group, knowing that after their 5-0 league start, that they were playing with some house money in this one.
"Of course we wanted to win, but we really had nothing to lose coming in here. I told the team beforehand to have some fun, do what you do, and see what happens," Leary said.
He was impressed with the effort, and the fact they hung with what he considers one of the top 2 or 3 teams in the city, and he feels a statement was made by it.
"It's good that against a team this level, we showed we could compete. We are still learning, and our schedule early on worked out nicely for us, but I do believe we showed we can compete with anyone this season," Leary explained.
For Loughlin, Carrington led the way with 26 points, exactly what he needed to get the record, while Williams added 18, and Delacruz chipped in with 12.
SFP was paced by the 19 points a piece of big man Brian Haggerty and guard Shane Herrity, with Michael Fields adding 17 points as well.
It was great to see the 2 achievements be achieved on Tuesday according to Gonzalez, especially since this is the Lions last home game until after the New Year, but first in his mind all game long, was getting a win over what he considered to be a very good team.
"Records are great, and I know it meant a lot to the kids, but all I wanted was the win against a very very good St. Francis Prep team," Gonzalez said. "They play very disciplined and are very well coached, and we came out and did what we needed to do in the 2nd half, so I was pleased."
Williams went on to say that he was very impressed with this St. Francis Prep team admitting that they are drastically improved over what he remembers them to be from last season, and that after Sunday's tough loss to Philadelphia power Archbishop Carroll, the win, on top of his 1,000th point, it made for a special day.
"We hated the feeling of losing on Sunday. We were ready to come out today and forget that and play a much better game. To get this achievement today, and to get the win as well, it's an amazing feeling that I will never forget," said Williams.