Division I recruits doom Bluejays
NEW MADRID - The 8th Annual Riverbend Classic resumed on Saturday at New Madrid County Central High School.
In the early game Saturday, Caruthersville defeated Sylvan Hills (Ark.) 59-54. In Game 2, Charleston fell to Mills (Ark.) 62-58.
Mills, led by Ole Miss signee Bam Doyne, withstood a late Charleston rally to pull out the win.
Charleston came back from 14 points down to take the lead in the fourth quarter. The Bluejays took a 58-57 when Trentez Lane picked up a loose ball rebound and scored with 1:36 left.
But a free throw by Doyne, followed by a layup by Gabriel Moore, also a Division I recruit, gave the Comets a 60-58 lead with 23 seconds left.
Charleston's Joshua Strayhorn attempted a 3-pointer which would've given the Bluejays the lead but it was off the mark. Moore grabbed the rebound and was fouled with 14 seconds left.
He hit both free throws to seal the win.
Even in the loss, Charleston head coach Danny Farmer saw good things out of his team.
"We were playing a super team -- that team is very good and very fundamentally sound," said Farmer. "I was pleased with our guys, to play the No. 1 team in the state of Arkansas with four college recruits on the floor and we played them tit for tat. I knew we could play with tough people and not give up. We're looking forward to the rest of the season."
Mills jumped out to an 18-10 first quarter lead. The 6-foot-4 Doyne dominated the early part of the second quarter, connecting on three 3-pointers and another inside basket to give the Comets a 29-17 lead with 4:43 left in the half.
But the Bluejays battled back to trim the lead to 36-30 when Ashton Farmer scored a layup at the buzzer.
Mills continued to control the third quarter, opening up a 14-point lead at 49-35 with two minutes remaining in the quarter.
The Bluejays were able to get it back under double digits when Strayhorn hit a 3-pointer at the end of the quarter to trim the lead to 49-40.
After falling behind 51-40 to start the fourth quarter, the Bluejays went on a 9-0 run to get back in the game.
The Bluejays took their first lead at 56-55 on a Kewain Gant free throw with 2:27 left in the game. The Bluejays would lead one other time before the Comets were able to pull out the win.
"We missed a few buckets right there at the end," said Farmer. "If we hit those then it could've been a different outcome."
Charleston (1-1) was led by Gant's 14 points and Farmer's 13 points. Deshaundray Hamilton added 12 points for the Bluejays.
Mills was led by Doyne's 27 points, including five 3-pointers. Moore chipped in with 11 points.
"He's legit," said Farmer of Doyne. "I watched him last night and I didn't think too much of him. But after today, he's legit, I can see why he signed with Ole Miss. He played Division I-type ball."
The Bluejays will play at Dexter on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
Caruthersville 59, Sylvan Hills 54
The Tigers trailed 29-23 at the half but rallied to win the game behind the sharpshooting of Chris Springer.
The Southeast Missouri State signee scored all 17 of his points in the second half, including five 3-pointers.
Shaudre Jennings added 10 points for the Tigers.
Sylvan Hills was led by Asa Mason with 17 points and James Jackson with 15 points.
Caruthersville out-scored Sylvan Hills 36-25 in the second half.