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Friday, Aug. 26, 2016

Top-ranked Bluejays soar past New Madrid County

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Charleston's Jamarcus Williams blocks a shot put up by NMCC's Remond Willis.
NEW MADRID - The Charleston Bluejays showed why they are ranked No. 1 in the state in Class 3 when they defeated SEMO Conference foe New Madrid County Central 71-52 on Tuesday at NMCC High School.

It ranks as one of the Bluejays' most dominating performances of the year as they opened up a 62-34 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

Bluejay head coach Danny Farmer emptied his bench for the entire fourth quarter to coast to the league victory.

"We came out ready to play," said Farmer. "After that B game, we got a lot more focused. The B team didn't play very well and they lost a close game, so our guys got fired up."

For the second straight game, Charleston (14-1, 3-0 SEMO Conference) shot well from the perimeter, tying a season-high with six 3-pointers.

Leading the charge was senior point guard Marcus Biles, who had a game-high 18 points with three 3-pointers.

"He's pretty tough," said NMCC head coach Scott Kruse. "He can do a lot of things. But their whole team is tough. They play great team defense, they got us putting it on the floor, they got us having trouble moving the ball. I thought they looked like a really good ball team tonight."

NMCC (4-10, 1-1 SEMO), which showed some promise in tight losses to Blytheville (Ark.) and Massac County (Ill.), looked totally out-matched against the Bluejays.

"I was concerned about New Madrid coming in," said Farmer. "They played Massac and a few other teams tough. I was expecting a really tough game, but I think our pressure does a lot to teams. I think it has a lot to do with the way a team looks."

Charleston's pressure defense caused 21 NMCC turnovers, many of which were converted into breakaway layups.

The Bluejays jumped out to a double-figure lead in the first quarter. A Jordan Kimball 3-pointer cut the lead to 19-11 at the end of the first.

NMCC closed the gap to 23-15 early in the second quarter, but the Bluejays went on a 13-3 run to lead 36-18 with 2:06 left in the half.

The Eagles' Vaughn Shepherd hit a free throw and scored inside to cut the lead to 36-21 at the half.

Charleston put the game away for good in the third quarter, out-scoring the Eagles 26-13.

Charleston led 71-43 after a Matt Jackson 3-pointer with 2:30 left in the game, but NMCC went on a 9-0 run to keep the score more respectable.

"My guys didn't quit and I'm proud of them for that, but we've just got to keep working," said Kruse. "They played better in every aspect of the game tonight. We rebounded well at the beginning, but they were still making shots."

Charleston also got 17 points out of Ashton Farmer and 10 points out of Trentez Lane.

NMCC was led by sophomore Jordan Kimball with 13 points, including three 3-pointers. Shepherd also had 13 points.

The Eagles were just 1-of-9 from the free throw line while Charleston made 5-of-6.

"We're going to try to keep our heads up," said Kruse. "We've been doing a lot of good things. This is a tough stretch of our schedule. We've just got to go back to doing things right. And I mean exactly right, which is what we've got to do to really compete against some of these teams."

Charleston will host Scott County Central on Friday at 6 p.m. NMCC will host Cape Central in a SEMO Conference matchup on Friday at 6 p.m.