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Cape girls advance to district finals with win over Island Coast
February 9, 2018

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After starting off slow in the first quarter, the Cape Coral Seahawks' girls basketball team finally took advantage of the Island Coast's Gators' numerous turnovers to win 51-41 Wednesday night.

The win puts the Seahawks the District 7A-10 championship game Friday night against Charlotte. Gametime is 7 p.m. at Cape High.

The Seahawks, now 21-3 on the year, actually opened the game up in the second quarter with an offensive onslaught scoring 18 points to the Gators' 7.

"It was all the girls," Seahawks' coach Brian Cruz said. "Persistence and them being here before, playing the same couple times. Their familiar with the girls."

Crystal Tisme was the main factor of that second quarter onslaught for the Seahawks, scoring 9 of those 18 points. She ended up leading the Seahawks in points on the night with 16, also two assists, four steals and two rebounds.

Thanks to the surge, the score at the end of the second period was the Seahawks 27 to the Gators 17.

Illiana Alverez kept the momentum going in the third quarter and fourth quarter for the Seahawks scoring eight points. She ended up with 12 points on the night.

The Seahawks biggest lead was by 15 points in the fourth, but the squad kept a steady 10-point lead to close the game out.

The only problem the Seahawks encountered was a lack of boxing out and getting defensive rebounds. That occurred throughout the first three quarters which kept the score closer than it should have been. Island Coast kept getting second-chance points and opportunities.

But in the fourth, the Seahawks locked down the paint, and didn't let the Gators to any second-chance opportunities, which helped keep the home team in the lead.

"It was putting people in different positions," Cruz said. "One of my forwards was playing up on the zone. I put her in the back of the zone and she started getting more rebounds. I got into them a little bit."

Another factor that kept the Gators close was the play of Naliyah Williams, who basically her team on her back.

She scored 12 straight points in the fourth quarter to keep the Gators competitive. She also had many crucial assists and was a presence under the basket as well. She ended up with game-high 23 points.

Cruz knows what his team needs to work on to be successful in the district finals.

"Executing," Cruz said. "Executing on offenses. I wasn't really happy with it. Defensively, we need to clean up a couple things."

Charlotte (19-6) made its way to the district title game defeating Lemon Bay 55-41 Wednesday night.

Score by quarters

Cape Coral 9 18 11 13 - 51

Island Coast 10 7 10 14 - 41

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