INDIAN ROCKS — After spending last season as an independent, Admiral Farragut proved Thursday afternoon that it will be a factor in Class 3A, District 9 this season. Led by 17 points from center Charlisa Jenkins and 13 from guard Zariyah Daniels, the Blue Jackets routed host Indian Rocks Christian 61-38.
AFA (4-2) completed a week of two straight district wins, including one over St. Petersburg Catholic on Tuesday. It makes up for the week before, when the Blue Jackets suffered two lopsided losses.
"We had a rough start," first-year coach Julie Pickering said. "We played two very good teams (Academy at the Lakes and Calvary Christian) and that was a reality check for us. We just reset everything and actually have started playing great."
AFA started well and never looked back against the Golden Eagles (1-3). Jenkins got several first-quarter layups and Claudia Pizzarelli scored from outside to give the Blue Jackets a 16-8 first-quarter lead.
The lead grew to 25-18 at halftime. IRC stayed in the game in the first half thanks to 12 points from Autumn Frost. She finished with 20.
AFA started the third quarter on a 15-1 run that included three Daniels layups and two more from Pizzarelli. She had 10 points in the game.
With a 45-24 lead at the end of three quarters, the Blue Jackets were able to survive an early 8-0 run. The game ended with three straight baskets by AFA, including the third straight 3-pointer by Bayli Roeder.
"I figured this would be a challenge for me," said Jenkins, whose brother is former AFA and current University of Miami football player Rashawn Jenkins. "They have some very good post players. I had to work hard and we were able to pull it out."
Aside from Frost, Brooke Morten was in double figures with 10 points for IRC.
"You just don't know what you're going to get with us right now," IRC coach Phil Farver said. "We didn't get any 3-pointers. We only had four players even score. That can't happen. That won't happen next time."