As the Lady Tarpons basketball team hosted First Baptist Academy on Friday night, there was one common theme being yelled from the home coaches, “talk more.” The Tarpons would cruise to a 65-31 victory over the Lady Lions, but for almost three quarters, the sound of shoes squeaking on the court was more prevalent than teammates communicating.
Charlotte led by 10 after one quarter and 12 at the half, but on a night where the referees were plenty liberal with the use of their whistles, the game felt like it got off to a slow, silent beginning.
After the half, senior forward Matisyn Moses scored the first seven points to push the Tarpons lead to 37-22, and with roughly a minute and a half left in the third quarter, the team started to give their coaches what they were demanding all night, more communication.
FBA wound up being outscored 20-9 in the third quarter, which would effectively end any chance of holding the game close, as the Tarpons finally showed the intensity they’re known for. Open shots were not falling early for some Tarpons, including sophomore Bella Desjardins, who still wound up with nine first half points and 14 on the night.
With the number of fouls called in the first half (16), each team may have been granted forgiveness for being thrown off rhythm and playing out of their element. That didn’t seem to be a good enough excuse for the the Charlotte coaching staff, however— visibly frustrated by the lack of talk on the court by their girls.
The Tarpons were also at times very young on the court, as freshmen Maya Joseph, Kassidy Hopper and Ary Hicks logged plenty of minutes. Hicks, the Tarpons’ lightning fast point guard, was not able to display her patented break-away speed to drive to the basket, as Charlotte focused more on setting up plays at the top of the key and feeding the ball from the inside-out.
Grace Dean was the lone problem for the Tarpons to defend, scoring 10 first half points and ending up with 14, after getting into foul trouble in the third quarter. The 3A Lions were ultimately no match for the depth and overall talent of the 7A Tarpons. Dean didn’t see the court much in the fourth quarter, one where the Lions ended up scoring just four points.
The persistent badgering from the Charlotte bench seemed to finally click after one player was told if she didn’t want to come off the court, to simply be vocal with her teammates. The game was never in doubt, and Charlotte played suffocating defense the whole night, but a better showing will be needed against some upcoming foes.
Charlotte will travel to Cape Coral on Monday to battle for first place in the district, as both teams have yet to lose in district play.
CHS 20 10 20 15 65
FBA 10 8 9 4 31