(Photo by David Jenkins, Staff)
BLOOMFIELD -- The Class 3, District 2 boys semifinals took place on Tuesday night at Bloomfield High School. Top-seeded Charleston blew past Bloomfield 93-49, then Kelly upset second-seeded Scott City, 61-55.
Charleston will face Kelly in the championship game on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.
Four players finished in double figures as Charleston blistered Bloomfield in Tuesday's first semifinal game, 93-49.
The Wildcats hung tough early with some big shots from Tim Perry, Chuck Bridges and Dustin Massey.
Bloomfield trailed 26-17 at the end of the first quarter, and scored the first two points of the second period to shave the lead down to seven.
"For some reason, people get up for us," said Charleston head coach Danny Farmer. "When we played East Prairie (in the first round), they hit nine 3-pointers on us -- from halfcourt just about. I knew (Bloomfield) would get up for us. I'm just glad it didn't last for the whole game."
After Bloomfield's two points to start the second period, it was all Charleston.
The Bluejays blew the game wide open with 16 unanswered points, highlighted by a Kewain Gant slam dunk to put them up 42-19.
"We just couldn't stop them," said Bloomfield head coach Travis Brown. "Our transition defense wasn't there to stop their push, then we got into the habit of taking quick shots. Those things get you behind quickly. I was proud of the way we came out, but I would have liked to see a little better execution down to the end."
Charleston held a commanding 57-30 halftime lead. The Bluejays played their bench the entire second half, cruising to the 44-point victory.
"We turned the intensity up a little bit (in the second quarter)," said Farmer. "We started moving more on defense and creating turnovers. We've been working hard the entire year, playing tough people. I think it has paid off for us."
Ashton Farmer scored 18 points for Charleston, followed by Joshua Strayhorn with 15, Gant with 12 and Trentez Lane with 12.
For Bloomfield, Perry led the way with 16 points.
"Charleston is an excellent basketball team," said Brown. "They are really going to go far in the state tournament. They're athletic, they execute very well, defend very well and they're difficult to keep off the boards."
Bloomfield ends the year with a record of 13-13. Charleston improves to 24-3, and will face Kelly in the title game Thursday night at 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday's second semifinal proved to be the most exciting game of the evening as Kelly upset Scott City, 61-55.
The Hawks won it on the defensive end as Scott City's potent offense shot just 31 percent from the field.
"We changed our defenses up and the boys played real well," said Kelly head coach Nick Lanpher. "(Scott City) didn't get a whole lot of good looks. We had a pretty good defensive game on them."
Scott City came into the game riding a seven-game winning streak. In those wins, the lowest the Rams shot the ball from the field was 48 percent.
"We weren't hitting like we have been in the last seven games," said Scott City head coach Kerry Thompson. "The thing that really hurt us was we made some crucial turnovers, plus the free throws. We were shooting 70 percent from the free throw line as a team on the year, and tonight, we were 11-for-21. In a close game, that will always jump up and bite you."
Kelly trailed most of the contest, but was in striking distance the entire way. They took control in the fourth quarter, sinking 6-of-10 field goals to pull out the win.
"The boys were real patient on offense and didn't take many bad shots," said Lanpher. "I think that was the key to it. We were very confident we could beat them if we played up to our potential."
Guards Lance Scheffer and Major Burger both came up big for the Hawks. Scheffer scored 20 points and pulled down nine rebounds. Burger contributed 16 points and six boards.
For Scott City, 6-foot-8 center Tyler Ward was unstoppable in the paint, scoring 20. D.J. Walton added 13 points. The Rams end the season with a record of 17-7.
"We had a tremendous season," said Thompson. "Our players have nothing to be ashamed of. They went through a tough year last season. This year we won 17 games and were regular season conference champs. They worked hard every day, I couldn't go out with a better group."
Kelly (12-14) will face Charleston in the district finals on Thursday night at 7:30 p.m.
"Anytime you can get into the championship of the district, you have to be proud for your boys," said Lanpher.