A sophomore point guard and turnovers killed the Tigers.
Shawn Sherrell torched Cape Central for 30 points and while the Bluejays committed eight turnovers on the night, the Tigers were forced into 23 turnovers.
Coach Danny Farmer was especially pleased with the victory considering his two leading scorers, Jamarcus Williams and Justin Clark, combined for nine total points in the contest.
"I was proud of the way our team fought hard for the victory," said Farmer. "We won the game when our key people didn't play very well. The kids learned how to win a different way and that will help us down the road."
Charleston led 18-16 after one quarter in large part to the play of senior Josh Thompson.
On a night when Charleston seniors were honored before the varsity contest, Thompson was all over the floor in the first. Thompson finished the quarter with nine points, four rebounds and two steals. Thompson looks healthy after breaking his leg in mid-December.
"Josh (Thompson) had a great game," said Farmer. "He kept us in the game in the first quarter with his hustle. He was on every loose ball, got some crucial rebounds and had some timely steals early on."
The Bluejays began the second quarter in ominous fashion with a technical foul for hanging on the rim. Good news for Charleston, was that the Tigers missed the two free throw opportunities.
Charleston recovered and ended the second quarter on a 10-3 run. The final three points of the quarter were scored by Sherrell when he was fouled on a 3-pointer as the buzzer went off. Sherrell drained all three free throws and the Bluejays led 40-33 heading into the half.
Sherrell was dynamic in the second, scoring 18 of his 20 first half points in the quarter. Most of the points scored by Sherrell were of the acrobatic type, twisting and turning in the lane for short jumpers.
Senior Tavis Hamilton had six points and six rebounds (three offensive) in the first half for Charleston. Williams had one point and Clark had two points at halftime for the Bluejays.
"If you told me before the game that we would hold Clark and Williams," said Cape Central head coach Derek McCord, "I would think we would have won the game. Sherrell hit some big shots in the second quarter. He is a great player. It is pick your poison with Charleston, concentrate on stopping their post play and they beat you with the three."
David Deisher led Cape Central at the half with nine points. Darnell Wilks, a 6-foot-8 junior, had eight points, four assists and three rebounds.
The Bluejays sprinted out early in the third quarter outscoring the Tigers 9-3 to start the quarter, and led 46-34 with five minutes to play in the quarter.
Cape Central fought back on the play of Wilks, who scored seven points in the third and had some assists to aid in the scoring.
Charleston led 49-42 with two minutes to play in the third and the Bluejays went into stall mode. Thompson stood near halfcourt and held the ball until 38 seconds were left in the quarter.
The ploy backfired for the Bluejays, as they turned the ball over but it did not cost Charleston, as the Tigers did not score to end the third. Charleston led 49-42 heading into the fourth quarter.
The Tigers hung tough and after a lay-in by Wilks, trailed Charleston 49-46 with 6:22 to play. Cape Central did not getting any closer than three points the rest of the game, as the Bluejays went on a 7-0 run and led 55-46 with four minutes remaining in the contest.
The Bluejays sealed the game from the line, hitting big free throws down the stretch. Charleston won 67-59 over a game Cape Central club.
"Give us some credit tonight," said McCord, "we are the youngest team in the conference and we could have quit in the fourth, but the kids played tough and battled to the end of the game. These kids are enthusiastic and fun to coach."
McCord should be credited for an excellent game plan on the Bluejays. The Tigers played a box-and-one on the shooter Clark, and double-teamed Williams down in the paint.
"In addition to holding down Clark and Williams," said McCord, "we outrebounded Charleston 33-25 in the game. We shot 52 percent on the night. The kids shot well. But the turnovers cost us and that is going to happen when you play mostly sophomores and juniors."
Wilks led Cape Central with 17 points, nine rebounds and had five assists. Deisher ended the game with 13 points and four rebounds. Sophomore Jajuan Bell had six points, led the Tigers with six assists and had three rebounds.
Besides the 30 points from Sherrell, he had four assists, three rebounds and had two steals.
"Sherrell can score when we need him," said Farmer. "Normally, Shawn doesn't have to score a lot. Shawn can either shoot or dish and tonight he was weaving in and out of traffic causing some major problems for the defense."
Seniors Hamilton and Thompson had good games to end their play at home. Hamilton had 12 points, eight rebounds (five offensive) and four steals. Thompson ended the game with 12 points, six rebounds, four assists and three steals.
Farmer had some ending thoughts on his duo of Clark and Williams.
"Beginning with his freshman year," said Farmer, "this is Jamarcus' worst game of his life. Clark played some good defense on Wilks and made him do some things he didn't want to. Justin sacrificed his scoring tonight and concentrated on his defense."
The Tigers had more assists than the Bluejays, 16-12, but Charleston's defense was stellar with 13 steals, compared to two steals for Cape Central.
"Give Cape Central some credit," said Farmer, "they have a talented team and brought in a good game plan tonight. Proud of the way the kids fought hard for the win."
Charleston (17-5) travels to Poplar Bluff on Friday night in a game to decide who wins the SEMO Conference title outright. Heading into the matchup on Friday night, the Bluejays and Mules are tied for the conference lead.