ORANGE PARK - When Orange Park head basketball coach Derek Kurnitsky scheduled perennial power Bishop Kenny going into this season it was to get his team prepared for playoff basketball.
“We want to challenge our players with step up games like tonight," said Kurnitsky. “It is important to get ready for an end of the season run.”
Senior guard Kadin Elmore’s last second shot fell short enabling the visiting Crusaders to escape with a thrilling 50-49 victory over Orange Park.
The Raiders fall to 12-6 on the season while a Bishop Kenny improves to 15-3.
Orange Park junior D’Marre Craddock, who scored a game high 18 points, including a conventional 3-point play to give the Raiders a 49-48 lead with 17 seconds left in the contest.
Patrick Buckley scored on a layup with 6.9 seconds left to give Kenny the lead at 50-49.
“Playing in games like this is only good for us if we learn from our mistakes,” added Kurnitsky. “We need to learn to execute on the offensive and defensive ends of the court.”
Sophomore Josiah Sabino had 12 points and nine rebounds while Javon Dickerson added 12 points on four 3-pointers for Orange Park.
Dan Buckley scored a team-high 17 points including 12 in the pivotal fourth quarter in which Bishop Kenny out-scored OP 24-14.
“We need to play better situational basketball,” said Kurnitsky. “We need to learn from this game.”