NEW PORT RICHEY - George Jenkins used its speed to run past host Ridgewood, 64-40, at the William G. Hulton Ram Classic Thursday night.
The Eagles were led by swingman Jerrick Stevenson and point guard Chris Burgess, who had 25 and 20 points, respectively. The Eagles pressed from the start, jumping out to a double digit lead in the first period.
But the Rams hung tough in the second period. Behind the inside play of Mike Wood (14 points, 9 rebounds), Ridgewood got to within five points before going into the halftime break down nine, 35-26. They would get no closer than that.
Jenkins used its full-court press in the third quarter, and the young Rams turned the ball over six times in the quarter. Ridgewood was held to only four points in the third period and entered the final period trailing 47-30, and the lead grew from there.
First-year Ridgewood head coach Mike Bua was frustrated with the opportunities that slipped away in the first half.
"We missed a lot of easy shots and free throws that could've made the score a lot closer in the first half." said Bua.
Still, it was a learning experience and in some way, a positive experience for his young team.
"It's good to play talented teams that you aren't familiar with." said Bua. "They outplayed us in every area of the game, but that's how you learn and get better."