Admiral Farragut struggled from the floor for three quarters before finding its jump shot and rallying for a 51-46 victory over Evangelical Christian on Thursday.
The Blue Jackets (17-9) scored 21 in the fourth quarter, led by sophomore Josh Burch and freshman Chance Russel. Burch scored 10 of his team-high 15 points in the final stanza while Russel hit a 3 and converted a turnover into a easy basket to pull Admiral Farragut within 39-38.
"I've been hammering (Russel) all season long to turn into the player that I know he is," coach Anthony Lawrence said. "He picked the right time to turn the corner because we really needed him."
Burch hit consecutive 3-pointers to give the Blue Jackets a 44-41 lead, their first since the first quarter, and closed out the game with free throws. Chris Myrick added 11 points while Joel Vander Pol led the Sentinels with 15 points.
AFA's fourth-quarter offensive explosion proved the difference in a physical battle controlled by defense. The style of play worked to Evangelical's favor as the Sentinels (20-8) had a 27-19 halftime lead and a 36-30 advantage at the end of the third.
"I credit this comeback to the type of schedule we played this season," Lawrence said. "We didn't win them all but those tough games gave us the experience we needed to pull this one out."