TAMPA — Last season, Admiral Farragut navigated through the ultra-tough Class 4A, District 4 tournament to make the playoffs under first-year coach Julian Allen.
The Blue Jackets did it despite playing a weak non-conference schedule that did not give them many tests before the start of district play.
That was something Allen wanted to change this season. AFA had already played IMG Academy's elite team and Clearwater International Academy's post-graduate squad.
On Tuesday, the beefed-up schedule continued with a road game against Jesuit.
The trip turned out to be a successful one. The Blue Jackets overcame a halftime deficit to pull away in the second half in a 47-40 victory.
"The schedule was already made when I got here last year," Allen said. "I made it this season. I wanted these teams early so we can see what we need to work on. That way we when January and February rolls around well be good to go."
At the half, the Tigers (3-1) had built a 22-18 lead. The low-scoring game suited Jesuit.
AFA (2-1) changed the outcome by changing the tempo. The Blue Jackets applied more pressure and got the ball out of the hands of Jesuit's biggest playmaker, Thierry Moliere.
Then Andreas Fuller took over. The 6-foot-6 UCF commit scored a team-high 18 points, five coming during a critical stretch in the fourth quarter.
Tyreek Montgomery, who averaged double figures in scoring off the bench for the Blue Jackets last season, had 13 points.
Moliere led all scorers with 19 points and teammate Nick Weir had 10.
What hurt the Tigers the most was their poor shooting from long range. Jesuit hit just 5 of 27 3-point attempts.
"The game played exactly how we wanted to," Tigers coach Neal Goldman said. "We slowed them down. We handled their athleticism and press. But we're built on shooting. We had good looks. We just couldn't make them."