ENGLEWOOD — Coming off the first loss of the season, Charlotte High coach Matt Stephenson was looking for the Lady Tarpons basketball team to bounce back on Tuesday night.
Charlotte bounced back in a big way, with a 76-31 victory over host Lemon Bay in a Class 7A-District 10 matchup.
Five Tarpons scored in double figures as ten players found the scoring column. Meanwhile, Charlotte’s full-court press forced numerous turnovers as the Manta Rays had trouble bringing the ball past mid-court all evening long.
“It was a good night for us coming off a tough one at Lehigh on Saturday,” Stephenson said. “We had to refocus and come out. We missed a lot of free throws in that game.”
No such problems for the Tarpons on Tuesday, as they sank 20 of 22 shots from the charity stripe.
“Our defensive pressure tonight was where it needed to be,” Stephenson continued. “We got a good team effort from everybody, so it was a good night for us tonight.”
Lemon Bay coach Mike Young was frustrated by the Manta’s inability to handle the Tarpons pressure.
“Their press was good, but we’ve been pressed already three games,” Young said. “We just didn’t do the things tonight that we needed to do. We knew it was coming and we practiced against it. Give them credit because they were flying around the court way faster than we were. It’s a very versatile team, a great shooting team and they change defenses, so they had us on our heels from the beginning. They turned us over quite a bit, and you can’t play when you’re giving up two-on-zero layups.”
Charlotte jumped on top early, building a 20-2 first quarter lead. The Mantas then went on a 9-0 run of their own before Victoria Simeone hit a jumper at the buzzer to give Charlotte a 22-11 lead at the end of the period.
“When we were playing 5-on-5 and able to slow it down and make them play defense, we got back in the game in the first quarter,” Young said. “We’ve just got to slow down and run our offense. We’ve got a lot of work to do, but it’s early in the year. It’s a long season and we’ll get to play them again in January.”
The Tarpons extended the lead to 47-21 at halftime, and outscored the Mantas 22-4 in the third period to start a running clock midway through the quarter.
Aryana Hicks and Matisyn Moses led Charlotte with 12 points apiece. Dylan Anthony, Bella Desjardins and Lauren Jackson added 10 each. Abby Turner was the Mantas high scorer with 9.
With the victory, Charlotte improves to 3-1 overall and 2-0 in district play. Lemon Bay is now 3-2 overall and 1-1 in the district.
CHARLOTTE 76, LEMON BAY 31
Charlotte 22 25 22 7 — 76
Lemon Bay 11 10 4 6 — 31
CHARLOTTE: Hicks 12, Moses 12, Desjardins 10, Jackson 10, Anthony 10, Vicente 7, Pascal 6, Joseph 5, Hopper 2, Simeone 2. Totals: 26(4), 20-22, 76.
LEMON BAY: Turner 9, Ziarnicki 7, Chandler 5, Redmann 4, Straub 2, Gibb 2, Carley 2. Totals: 11(0), 9-17, 31.