Charleston blows out Bearcats
CHARLESTON -- The talented Charleston Bluejays had little trouble dismantling the inexperienced Dexter Bearcats in a non-conference matchup at Charleston on Monday.
Charleston pounded Dexter 80-49 to improve to 3-0 on the young season, while the Bearcats fell to 0-1.
"They lost a lot of starters from last year and we had most of ours back, so that tells the story," said Charleston coach Danny Farmer.
In a ragged beginning, both teams battled shaky ballhandling which resulted in several turnovers.
Charleston came on late in the first quarter with a 10-2 run to go up 16-9, but Dexter's Eric Rinehart hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to cut the margin to 16-12.
Charleston's Jamarcus Williams' nine points keyed a 22-point second quarter which vaulted the 'Jays to a 38-25 halftime lead.
"I was pleased at halftime that we had given up only 25 points, so our defense was there and that's our No. 1 concern," said Farmer.
Dexter coach Eric Sitze felt the score could have been tighter in the first half. "I thought our nerves got to us and we missed some easy shots in the first and second quarters that we should have made," he said.
The Bluejays, led by Shawn Sherrell's 11 points, turned up the heat in the third quarter to extend the lead to 65-36. The smooth 5-9 point guard finished with a game-high 21 points and dished three assists.
"We just ran into a better team tonight," said Sitze. "If we could have come out in the third quarter and withstood that run they had early, we could have stayed a little closer to them. We're not as quick as Charleston, but you still have to get the job done."
Six-foot-five Williams posted a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds and the Bluejays' long-ball specialist Justin Clark dropped 15 points, including 3-of-6 from beyond the arc.
Senior forward Josh Thompson had a nice all-round game with his usual hustling defensive play and work on the boards. He scored six and handed three assists.
With Charleston reserves playing the entire fourth quarter, 6-4 junior Jerrell Quinn took advantage of his playing time with 10 points.
Said Farmer, "We were able to get everybody in the game and that's always a nice thing to keep morale up. And, hopefully, they get some experience so that I can sub more."
Dexter, with senior Rinehart the only double-figure scorer with 18, searched for a positive.
"It shows our kids what they need to work on and where we're at against one of the best teams in the area," said Sitze.
Charleston completed the sweep with a 66-55 victory in the junior varsity contest.
Paul Johnson and Brian Parham paced the Bluejays with 17 and 15 points, respectively. Donald Dixon chipped in with 11.
Dexter's Kevin Hart led all scorers with 23.
Next up for Charleston is a matchup with rival Sikeston at the Sikeston Invitational Tournament on Tuesday.