The Patriots got their eight-game Mid-Florida Conference schedule off to a brilliant start on Wednesday, handling host FSC-Jacksonville 81-68 behind an offensive outburst from Ricardo Ratliffe and a stifling overall defensive effort.
Ratliffe, who last Friday became the school's career scoring leader, padded his new record with a dominant 37-point effort. Josh Proctor added 12 and Travis Johnson 10 to join him in double figures. CF's defense, after facing four consecutive subpar offenses in a series of non-league games in January, celebrated the long-awaited date with a conference opponent with a signature defensive performance that should send a message throughout the MFC.
CF (19-4, 1-0) visits St. Johns River on Saturday before hosting Santa Fe in the nightcap of a women's and men's doubleheader Jan. 27.