Northeast Florida Sports Jacksonville

Bishop Kenny Crusaders; Class 5A Boys Basketball State Runner Ups!!

Lakeland, Fla- It was a fun ride for Bishop Kenny, but just like every good roller coaster, it came to an end with the Crusaders wanting more. More for Kenny would’ve come in the form of championship rings and hoisting the Class 5A State Championship Trophy. Instead, they had to settle for less in the form of a 66 to 42 drubbing at the hands of the Poinciana Eagles and hoisting the Runner Up Trophy.

Bishop Kenny picked the worst game of their season to play their worst game of the season. They would score their lowest point total all season, and when they weren’t missing shots, they were being forced into turnovers by the Poinciana guards. It was not the way many envisioned the Crusader’s championship game to go. Poinciana jumped out to a 15-6 lead in the first quarter, and would not relent. They seemed to know that the Crusaders had made a name for themselves in the playoffs by making comebacks, and keeping games close. The Eagles were determined not to allow the Crusaders an opportunity to get close.

Christian Carlyle was the focus of the Crusaders offense all year, which meant he would be the focus of the Poinciana defense. Carlyle would find ways to score early on. He got to the foul line by driving to the basket, and continued his aggressive play on offense with his signature floaters in the lane. He led all scorers with 11 points at halftime, but he could not prevent his team from being down 24-16. The talented team out of Kissimmee put the clamps on the Crusader offense. They clogged the lanes, contested every shot, and deflected passes, leading to Bishop Kenny’s lowest first half total all post season.

In the second half, Bishop Kenny’s abysmal shooting continued. With Poinciana focusing on containing Carlyle, other Crusaders would need to step up in order for them to get back into the game. Chris Joyce would respond with 14 points and 11 rebounds, but outside of him, Coach Jerry Buckley could not find the answer with any combination on the court. No matter who entered the game, the iron was unkind to all. Carlyle went 4 of 9 from the field, Joyce went 6 for 22, and Kenny as a whole shot 30% from the field for the game.

Poinciana had three players score in double digits including Brandon Murat (14 pts), Nate Louis (12 pts), and Kimar Edwards (10pts). They were the driving force behind their team’s impressive showing in the championship game. Kenny’s Christian Carlyle finished with 13 points in the game, and ended his career at Bishop Kenny with over 2,000 points, an awesome accomplishment. What his team accomplished this year is not diminished by their second place finish in the state championship. They can look back at their wins against teams like Wolfson, Ribault, South Miami and Godby where they showed incredible resolve to defeat some of the best teams in the state. And as the Class 5A State runner Ups, they have certainly cemented themselves as one of the best in the state for the 2015-2016 season.



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