So on Sunday, with the CHSAA Intersectional championship on the line, of course they'd put on an even better show.
CHSAA Playoff MVP Maurice Barrow scored 26 points, and the Christ the King Royals rallied from a nine-point fourth quarter deficit to outlast Bishop Loughlin in three overtimes, 81-78, and win the CHSAA Intersectionals.
For the Royals, who fell in the Intersectional title game last year to Rice, the victory was even sweeter.
“I'm never going to forget this game,” said Royals guard Kareem Thomas, who hit a huge three-pointer with 14.3 seconds left in the second overtime. “I can't even explain the feeling, especially after last year.”
For a while, the Royals seemed destined to repeat last year's disappointing ending. With 6:48 left in regulation, Bishop Loughlin held a 52-43 lead and appeared to be heading toward a payback win over the Royals, who had defeated them 66-61 for the Diocesan championship.
But Christ the King responded with a 13-2 run over the next three minutes, capped by a three-point play by center Dominykas Milka, and took a 56-54 lead with 3:36 to play.
Loughlin's Jayvaughn Pinkston responded with a basket to tie the score at 56, but Christ the King rolled off four straight points to grab a 60-56 edge with 2:33 left.
The Lions rallied, and Pinkston's free throws tied the game at 62 with 34.5 seconds remaining.
The Royals had a chance to win at the end of regulation, but Barrow missed a game-winning shot with two seconds left.
Both teams traded three throws through the first overtime, which ended with a 66-66 tie.
Loughlin exerted control in the second overtime, taking a 74-70 lead on a Pinkston basket with 1:04 remaining. Milka answered with two free throws, pulling the Royals back within two.
Pinkston drilled a huge jumper with 24 seconds left, putting the Lions back up by four. Then Thomas caught a long pass and drilled a quick three, pulling the Royals back within one with 14.3 remaining.
“I was wide open,” Thomas said. “I didn't think twice.”
After a timeout, the Royals pressing defense forced a Davonte Dunham turnover. On the ensuring possession, Barrow drew a foul on Joel Angus with 9.6 seconds remaining.
Barrow hit one of two free throws, tying the game at 76, and the Royals forced a third overtime.
Barrow opened the third overtime with a basket, giving CK a 78-76 lead. Both teams went scoreless over the next two minutes, until Anthony Givens nailed a twisting layup to tie the game at 78 with 50 seconds left.
The Royals forced a quick inbounds pass, and Curry converted a wide-open layup with 40 seconds left, giving Christ the King an 80-78 edge.
The Royals defense forced a travel with 12 seconds, and Terel Hunt drew a foul and converted a free throw, giving CK a three point edge.
Loughlin missed a desperation three at the buzzer, and Christ the King players and fans stormed the court to celebrate CK's city championship.
Pinkston finished with 32 points for the Lions, who lost to Christ the King for the third time this season.
The Royals advance to the CHSAA State championships in Glenn Falls.