Entering their meeting Tuesday night,.the Fairfield Prep boys basketball team had never beaten Career Magnet.
But thanks to a near-perfect first half, the Panthers no longer have the Jesuits' number.
Prep built 32-point first-half lead, rolling the Panthers 73-57 at Career High School.
"I think when we play the way we're capable, we're a better-than-average basketball team," Prep coach Leo Redgate said. "I liked what I saw a lot. It was nice to see us put a half together."
Four different Jesuits scored in double figures, led by Tim Butala's 23. Butala added eight rebounds and six assists, and Paschal Chukwu scored 12 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and blocked five shots.
Prep improved to 8-0, avenging two SCC semifinal losses to the Panthers in as many years. Career claimed both the conference and Class L titles a year ago.
"It was good to come in here and get a `W,'" Butala said. "They lost a lot of guys from last year, but they're clearly still a good team. Any win against them is impressive."
Junior forward Jordan Lomax led Career with 18 points and eight rebounds. The Panthers fell to 4-3.
"We got off to a real bad start," Career coach Larry Kelley said. "That's what you get when you have an inexperienced team. You've just got to get better."
The Jesuits played a near-flawless first half, using a 19-0 first-quarter run to build a 22-4 lead after one quarter. The Jesuits outrebounded Career 17-10 and took advantage of the Panthers' 12 first-half turnovers, scoring many of their baskets in transition.
"We really focused on our defense," Redgate said. "I was pleased with our effort, and I was very pleased with our defense."
Freshman guard Ryan Murphy scored 10 of his 16 in the first half, and Prep closed the half with a 10-0 run, taking a 42-10 advantage into the break.
"He's a great option for us," Butala said of Murphy. "That's just one of the multiple options we have."
Career outscored Prep 47-31 in the second half, led by Lomax's 16 second-half points. But the Panthers could not get closer than the final margin.
"In the second half we basically outplayed them," Kelley said. "It's always good to see that. That's progress ... but you've got to play defense."
Fairfield Prep 73,
Career Magnet 57
FAIRFIELD PREP (8-0)
Lawrence McGill Jr. 3 0-0 7 Justice Phifer 5 0-0 10 Jordan Lomax 7 3-5 18 Amos Ford 1 1-2 3 Justin Campbell 1 0-0 3 Matt Hamilton 1 0-2 2 Tyrell Eaddy 1 0-0 3 Lyman Depriest 2 4-4 9 Tyreek Perkins 0 2-2 2. Totals 21 10-15 57.
FAIRFIELD PREP 22 20 17 14--73
CAREER 4 6 23 24--57
3-pointers: FP--Butala 2; C--Eaddy, Lomax, Campbell, McGill, Depriest. Fouled out: C--Campbell.