NEW PORT RICHEY - The Jenkins Eagles used their speed and full court press defense to pull away from Anclote, 74-66, at the William G. Hulton Jr. Ram Classic in New Port Richey.
Specifically, it was the play of speedy point guard Chris Burgess that gave the Sharks fits all night. Burgess scored 31 points and registered five steals. He came out firing in the first half, scoring 21 points as Jenkins took a 10-point lead into halftime.
Anclote came out in the second half playing inspired defense, which paid of in the offensive end. Brandon McWhorter (19 points) scored seven points in a row, capping a 9-2 run to close out the third period, pulling the Sharks within seven at 51-44.
But the fouth period proved to be a nightmare for head coach Jason Szymanski's Sharks. Four consecutive turnovers led to an 8-0 Jenkins run, and Anclote never got the lead under double digits after that.
"Their speed was unbelievable. (Burgess) was just lights out," Szymanski said. "In the fourth period we really defeated ourselves. Not to take anything away from Jenkins, but we just lost our focus."
Also hurting the Sharks was losing second-leading scorer Aaron Hester (10.0 ppg) early in the first period with an apparent lower body injury.
"Losing Hester really hurt, because he's really good from the outside," said Szymanski.