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In the first rematch of last year’s district championship game, the Charlotte Tarpons girls basketball team traveled to Cape Coral looking for revenge against the reigning champion Seahawks. They walked away with a 47-35 win and sole possession of first place.

Charlotte went on a 9-0 run in the closing minutes of the first half to head to the locker room with the 21-12 advantage. Matisyn Moses scored six points on the run and Vanessa Vicente drained a 3-pointer in the waning seconds to give the Tarpons a little breathing room.

Moses and Vicente led the Tarpons in scoring with 15 and 13, respectively. Bella Desjardins chipped in with eight, while freshman point guard Ary Hicks compiled five points and four assists.

A common theme that seems to be occurring during Charlotte wins is the selfless play of senior Lauren Jackson. Jackson doesn’t often light up the scoreboard, attempting just two shots on Monday, but her team undeniably plays better when she is on the court. Jackson tied Moses for the team lead with six rebounds on the night, but led the Tarpons with a 17 +/- rating during her 25 minutes on the court.

“She rebounded the basketball very very well tonight,” head coach Matt Stephenson said about Jackson’s play on Monday. “With her height and her presence in the middle, she’s changes a lot of shots from people trying to attack the basket. That’s stuff that doesn’t show up in the stat sheet, but tonight it showed (on the court), they weren’t able to hit shots early because her presence down there forced them to change their approach and not be comfortable with what they’re doing.”

It was an all around impressive performance from the Tarpons as they came in tied with the Seahawks, both having a perfect record in district play coming into the night. Stephenson said he wasn’t happy with the way his team shot free throws, 15-23, and they missed some rotations, but he was ultimately proud of the team performance Charlotte put together.

“They executed the game plan that we had to a tee,” said Stephenson. “Defensively we executed, offensively we executed, they put in the work to do what they were supposed to do to beat this good team.”

Charlotte shot 50 percent from the field and from 3-point range, while holding the Seahawks to a dismal 14-46 shooting night and 1-16 from beyond the arc. The Seahawks were able to corral 12 offensive rebounds and outshoot Charlotte 46 to 28, but the Tarpons efficient play and ability to get to the free throw line proved too much for Cape Coral to handle.

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