Christ The King Wins State Championship over St. Joseph by the Sea in City Intersectional Rematch

| 03/10/2024

By: Steven Schwankert

Sophomore Olivia Vukosa scored 24 points in the 85-63 win

Members of the Christ The King High School Lady Royals basketball team celebrate following their 85-63 state championship victory over St. Joseph by the Sea.
Members of the Christ The King High School Lady Royals basketball team celebrate following their 85-63 state championship victory over St. Joseph by the Sea. Screenshot/Varsity Media.
For the Christ The King High School Lady Royals (CTK) and the St. Joseph by the Sea High School Lady Vikings, the state girls’ basketball final was deja vu all over again. 
 
In a re-match of the City Intersectional final one week before, the Archdiocese of New York and Diocese of Brooklyn champions faced off again. The game ended with CTK again coming out on top, and again by a margin of 22 points, 85-63, and the Queens school standing alone as New York State Catholic High School Athletic Association “AA” title holders.
 
It didn’t look that way at the start. St. Joe’s came out strong, defending doggedly and rebounding persistently, with the Staten Island team jumping out to a 16-12 lead at the end of the first quarter. CTK kept pace but couldn’t seem to overtake their City Intersectional playoff rivals. The Queens time finally broke through at 4:13 in the second quarter with their first lead, then scored five unanswered points with 2:18 remaining in the first half, and never trailed after. 
 
CTK’s six-foot-five-inch sophomore center Olivia Vukosa led the way with 24 points. Although she struggled to find the basket in the early stages, Vukosa cruised in the second half. Aiyanna Culver, one of only two CTK senior starters, ended her high school career with 17 points. CTK’s youth and depth speak to a bright future for the Lady Royals.
 
Vukosa has been identified by ESPN as the number two girls’ basketball prospect in the graduating class of 2026. CTK Coach Bob Mackey is a four-time coach of the year award winner.
In her final game in a St. Joe’s uniform, Danielle Williamsen, who had already scored over 1,800 points during her high school career, led the Lady Vikings with 20. Junior Angelina Hodgens was right behind her with 19.
 
The Lady Vikings completed their first season in the CHSAA’s “AA” division, considered its most competitive. In 2023, St. Joe’s, under Coach Joe Suslak, won the “A” division championship. Four of St. Joe’s starters will return for the 2024-25 season, with only Williamsen graduating and moving on to play at Marist College.
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