The Patriots likely fell from their perch atop the state rankings Friday night, losing to fellow national power Northwest Florida State (NJCAA No. 19) in day two of the Panhandle Classic at Chipola College in Marianna.
CF (8-2) was put on its heels in the first half when All-American Ricardo Ratliffe picked up two fouls and took a seat on the Patriot bench. Sophomore Jeff Neal stepped in admirably with 9 first-half points to keep CF within two at the break.
But the Raiders lived up to their name after halftime, quickly building a 15-point lead. CF hung in to keep the game in reach, but never could seize control. Ratliffe finished with 22 points and 8 rebounds, while Rahshon Tabb had 20 points and 5 rebounds and Josh Proctor added 12 points and 10 rebounds.
The Patriots finish their weekend Saturday night with another nationally-ranked opponent, this time in Panhandle Classic host Chipola (NJCAA No. 10).