Pirates fall to district foe Andrew Jackson

The Pirates dropped their home opener, falling 48-41 to the Andrew Jackson Tigers in a district matchup Thursday night.

The Pirates led 10-8 after a quarter and by a point, 24-23, at halftime. Jackson outscored the home team 15-7 in the fourth quarter to secure the win.

“I couldn’t be more proud of how we fought against Jackson,” said Matt Schreiber, head boys basketball coach at Fernandina Beach High School. “They’re an extremely physical and quick team that presents problems that you just don’t get against everybody else.

“Typically it takes players until they’re seniors before they find a way to be effective in a game like that. We had the mindset that if we did things we needed to do, we could win the game. We stuck to the plan and came up short.

“Really toward the end, foul trouble hurt us. We just allowed them to get too many second shots.”

Antonio Vendola was again the leading scorer for the Pirates, who are 1-1 overall and in the district with the opening win at West Nassau. Vendola scored 16 points and had seven boards and a steal.

Anthony Kortekaas and Dylan Psulkowski scored seven points apiece. Joey Harris and Ian Harrison pulled down four boards apiece.

“There’s a learning curve that goes into playing top-quality athletic teams,” Schreiber said. “You have to limit turnovers, second shots and easy baskets. It’s hard to simulate that in practice so you have to have games like that.

The junior varsity Pirates lost to Jackson 69-35.

The Pirates hosted Trinity Christian Monday night and are back on the road Friday with a game at Ridgeview. They head to Hilliard Monday, play at University Christian Tuesday and are back at home Dec. 3 with Bishop Snyder.

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