But that's exactly what they were heading into their Class 3 Sectional game with the state-ranked Doniphan Dons at Poplar Bluff High School.
But if Charleston plays like they did Wednesday night, they may not be underdogs the rest of the season as they blitzed the Dons 59-42 in front of a near-capacity crowd at E.T. Peters Gymnasium.
Charleston will play Miller Career Academy (19-9) for the third straight year in a quarterfinal game at the Farmington Civic Center on Saturday at 8:15 p.m.
The Bluejays made a 51-point turnaround from a Feb. 21 blowout when the Dons defeated them 68-34 at Doniphan High School.
Bluejay coach Danny Farmer said Wednesday's game is one that stands out in his nine years at Charleston.
"This is one of the sweetest ones, believe me," said Farmer. "I didn't know what was going to happen going into the game. This is a big one."
Early on Wednesday night, it was apparent that this was a different Charleston team.
Charleston wouldn't let Doniphan breathe on offense as they played a suffocating man-to-man defense. On offense, the Bluejays were patient. Part of the plan was to draw Doniphan's 6-foot-10 all-state center Matt Rogers out of the paint. Another aspect was to play physical defense on Rogers.
The strategy worked to perfection as it appeared the Dons, despite a deeper bench, fatigued in the second half.
"We did our homework and it worked out for us," said Farmer. "We played the big guy a lot tougher this time around. We had to get aggressive with him. Last time we played them he just ran loose and did anything he wanted to do. So we had to put a body on him and that's what we did. We just got them tired. They didn't have any legs in the end."
Rogers was limited to just seven points with six blocked shots and only two rebounds.
Charleston's all-state junior center Jamarcus Williams was responsible for most of the defense on Rogers.
"Jamarcus played great defense and he grabbed rebound after rebound," said Farmer. "He couldn't have played it any better."
Williams had nine points with 12 rebounds and a blocked shot.
Charleston (22-7) jumped out to a 16-12 first quarter lead behind Justin Clark's nine points.
The 6-3 junior finished with a game-high 21 points, including four 3-
pointers and a two-handed flush in the fourth quarter.
"Clark played super and (Tavis) Hamilton had a great game," said Farmer. "It was a great effort from everybody."
The Bluejays held on to the lead the entire second quarter. Doniphan's Nick Webb scored two baskets just before the half to cut the lead to 27-25.
Doniphan (26-4) managed to tie the game at 30-30 on a Chandler Wilson 3-
pointer with 6:08 left in the third quarter. But Charleston responded with a 7
Doniphan never got close than six the rest of the way.
They cut the lead to 50-41 on an Adam Carpenter basket with 3:25 to play in the game.
But Tavis Hamilton scored a basket and Williams added a one-handed jam to stifle any comeback attempt by the Dons.
Hamilton had a nice all-around game with 14 points, four rebounds and four steals. Charleston also got a lift out of freshman Antonio Riggens, who had eight points, four rebounds and a pair of steals.
Charleston played without Hamilton and Riggens in the first meeting with the Dons.
Carpenter led the Dons with 12 points followed by Nick Webb's 11 points and five boards. Charles Wilson had seven points and eight rebounds before fouling out.
Charleston out-rebounded Doniphan 29-24 on the night.
The Bluejays forced Doniphan into 15 turnovers. Charleston, however, had its struggles as well with 13 turnovers, leaving Farmer with a scary thought.
"It wasn't a flawless game -- I think we can play better," said Farmer.
Doniphan shot itself in the foot with numerous free throw misses, including seven straight at one point. They finished 3-of-11 from the charity stripe.