CHARLESTON -- The Charleston Bluejays had to fend off a scrappy Doniphan squad late for a 68-63 win in its regular-season finale on Tuesday.
Charleston (16-9) broke a 16-all first-quarter deadlock with a strong second-quarter performance for a 38-28 halftime advantage.
The Bluejays knocked down four 3-pointers (4-of-6) in the 22-point second period. For the game, Charleston hit 10-of-21 from beyond the arc, an impressive 46.7 percent.
"We're capable of shooting like that, hitting the open shot," said Charleston coach Danny Farmer. "Our best is yet to come. What I see in practice still hasn't come out in games."
The defensive effort was also stellar as the 'Jays forced five turnovers while limiting the Dons to 12 points.
"That 10-point lead we picked up in the second quarter was big," said Farmer. "We wanted to get that cushion on them. We wanted to play with a lead."
But, the Dons, while appearing a bit rattled in the second quarter, opened the second half with renewed confidence. Showing better patience and shot selection, the Dons cut the margin to five late in the third quarter.
Charleston, off Tavis Hamilton's last-second trey, took a 52-44 lead into the fourth quarter.
"Doniphan didn't quit fighting," said Farmer. "That No. 22 (Adam Carpenter) hit some big shots to keep them close."
A 10-3 Doniphan run, keyed on two 3-pointers by Carpenter, closed the gap to one at 55-54 with about 6:30 remaining.
After a Josh Thompson field goal, Ashton Farmer hit a short baseline jumper from a tough angle to lift the Bluejays to a 59-54 lead. Again, Carpenter answered with a 3-pointer to shave the lead back to two at 59-57.
The Dons' Charles Wilson's rattling jumper dropped following Farmer's single from the charity stripe to set the score at 60-59 with 1:57 left.
An exchange of turnovers preceded two clutch free throws by Charleston sophomore guard Shawn Sherrell which pushed the Bluejays ahead 62-59 with one minute remaining.
On Charleston's next possession, a hurried 3-point shot missed but Sherrell corralled the long rebound in the lane and buried a jumper to give the Bluejays a little breathing room at 64-59.
Forced to foul, the Dons sent Jamarcus Williams to the line where he hit both ends of a one-and-one for a 66-59 edge.
Two consecutive baskets by Doniphan's Matt Rogers closed the gap to 66-63 with 23 seconds to go.
With 12 seconds left, Farmer hit both ends of a bonus free-throw situation to close out the scoring.
"I was pleased because, going down the stretch and in the postseason, you can't win all the games the same way," said coach Farmer. "You have to do different things to win a game and the key is to win. That's what we were trying to do tonight. Make sure we came out with the victory."
(Ashton) Farmer, announced as a McDonald's All-American nominee at halftime of Senior Night, led the Bluejays with 18 points.
The sophomore trio of Justin Clark, Williams and Sherrell added 13, 13, and 11, respectively.
Doniphan (18-5), the Ozark Foothills Conference champion, was led by the 6-foot-10 junior Rogers with a game-high 22 points and five blocks. Wilson added 16 points and Carpenter 12.
Charleston's junior varsity, in its final game of the season, held off Doniphan 66-61.
The Charleston varsity, the second seed, faces No. 7 Woodland on Saturday in its Class 3, District 2 Tournament opener at Greenville.