Northeast Florida Sports Jacksonville

Bolles & Bishop Kenny… Destined For The Final Four!!!

Three weeks ago, the Bolles Bulldogs and the Bishop Kenny Crusaders battled in their second of two regular season contests. Bolles got the best of Kenny in both games, but what both teams discovered in the second bout was the fact that they were ready for the next level. IMG_8225 (800x533)After defeating Kenny 69-65 in their first meeting Bolles would make adjustments in the next game to over power them in the second game 64-53. More importantly than the win was what game two reveled; a Bolles team that found its identity. A team of athletically gifted players, that gained confidence in their abilities as a team. They have the tallest line up in the city with two starters standing every bit of 6ft 10 inches or taller in Jonathan Dewane and Collin Smith. Their guards and forwards are long, rangy and athletic like Austin Williams, who can turn a negative play into a positive one in seconds. But after struggling to separate from Kenny in the first half of the second game, Coach Candelino saw his team grow right in front of his eyes, putting the clamps on Kenny’s play makers defensively and winning in convincing fashion. It was a second half that would define a regular season and quite possibly a post season ending with a championship. After defeating Jackson in a tough playoff battle and dismantling East Gasden last week 65-40, Bolles is poised to fulfill that storied ending. IMG_8141 (800x533)

For Kenny that second game meant something much different. It was a moment to self evaluate. A time to look themselves in the mirror and test themselves on how good they truly could be. With only two losses on the season up to that point, Kenny already knew they were a good team. Led by guard Christian Carlyle, Kenny rolled over most of their opponents. But one of those losses had come to Bolles, and in the second meeting, instead of getting revenge, Kenny was handed a reprimand. The message was heard loud and clear by Coach Buckley and his team. “Get better”.. and that’s exactly what they did. They defeated a very talented Wolfson team in the playoffs and beat a very good Godby team last week 54-51 to advance to the final four. Chris Joyce, Kendall Mitchum and company, have too not lost a game since that battle with Bolles on January 29th. I think it’s safe to say they indeed ” Got Better”!

Bolles and Kenny have now arrived to that next level, the State championship series. Bolles (29-3) will try to make their Final Four a memorable one, as they take on Tampa Catholic (26-4) Wednesday. The Bulldogs haven’t won a basketball championship since 1988 and 1989 (2A) under then coach Buddy Ward. Bishop Kenny kicks off their semifinal round against Tampa Jesuit (25-5) on Thursday. Kenny has not hoisted a boys basketball championship trophy since the John A. Baldwin led team in 1957(A). If both teams win, Bolles will play for a championship on Thursday night, and Bishop Kenny will play on Saturday morning. As the only two boys basketball teams left from our area in the tournament, it’s time for both teams to prove that these turning points in the season were ones that destined them now for championship glory.





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