Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

BOYS BASKETBALL ROUNDUP; Palatka Edges Bishop Kenny

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

BOYS BASKETBALL ROUNDUP; Palatka Edges Bishop Kenny

Article excerpt

Byline: JEFF ELLIOTT

An intentional foul call on Bishop Kenny's Keith McDougald with four seconds left in the game led to an eventual three free throws by Palatka's James Williams and propelled the Panthers to a 66-63 win in a Region 1-4A contest on Kenny's home court Thursday night.

With the score tied at 63-all, Palatka held the ball for 50 seconds until Williams made a move to the basket with seven seconds on the clock. Bishop Kenny had committed four fouls up to that point and had been instructed by coach Jerry Buckley to foul before the Panthers tried a shot. McDougald slapped at Williams' wrist. When that wasn't called, he grabbed Williams as he was about to drive to the basket.

Williams sank both free throws, and Palatka retained possession of the ball. Three quick fouls in two seconds sent Williams back to the line where he made one of two. Bishop Kenny grabbed the rebound with two seconds left but the Crusaders couldn't get a shot off in the remaining time.

Had the call not been an intentional foul, Palatka would have had the ball in a tie game with 4.2 seconds left in the game.

"We thought Keith went for the ball. The officials said he wrapped him up," Buckley said. "Without saying too much, I disagree with the call."

McDougald concurred.

"I went for the ball, and they didn't call it as he was driving to the hole," the Crusaders point guard said. "He was coming behind me, so I hacked behind him, and they blew the whistle. I was really surprised when they called it intentional because I went for the ball."

Palatka led almost the entire game. The Panthers took a 10-9 lead midway in the first quarter and never lost the lead, but Kenny tied it in on several occasions. Palatka's biggest lead came at the six-minute mark of the third quarter at 40-28. But McDougald keyed a comeback, scoring eight points in the final minutes of the quarter to pull the Crusaders to within two.

"To bounce back from where we were Saturday night [a loss to Creekside in the district finals] to now, it feels good, real good," Palatka coach Lamar Purifoy said. "The kids want to see Creekside again. …

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