"We talked about that Malden loss and I told the kids, 'this doesn't matter, it's how you respond after this loss that matters,'" said Charleston coach Danny Farmer. "We couldn't have responded in a better way."
Charleston (15-5) played a near-perfect first quarter, on both ends of the floor, to set up a 64-46 thumping of the Indians.
The Bluejays improved to 6-1 in the conference, behind undefeated Poplar Bluff at 4-0, while Jackson (16-5) fell to 6-2.
Charleston scored off the opening tip and never looked back. The 'Jays hit 6-
of-8 2-pointers and 2-of-4 3s in the first quarter to charge to a 20-6 lead.
Intense defensive pressure in the backcourt forced five turnovers and Charleston's 6-foot-5 post Jamarcus Williams blocked two shots in the first quarter to set the tone.
"When their pressure got to us, we looked like we couldn't hang on to the basketball, couldn't get the ball in the post and, obviously, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that we need to get the ball inside," said Jackson coach Darrin Scott. "We didn't match their intensity and I don't know if we backed down, but we let their quickness bother us."
Charleston's team defense simply choked the Indians' offense, negating their huge frontline of 6-10 Aaron Redecker, 6-6 Hunter Grantham and 6-5 Spencer Goodman. Jackson's big men were held to a combined 20 points.
"We got loose balls, we rebounded, we boxed out their big guys and took them out of the game," Farmer said. "We did everything that we went over in practice. Our defensive rotation was outstanding."
The defensive catalyst was guard Tavis Hamilton, the lone senior starter. The six-foot Hamilton pulled down eight rebounds -- five offensive -- and had five steals. He also contributed on the offensive end with 14 points, including two tips of missed shots.
"He played like a man possessed," said Farmer. "He played great."
Hamilton said, "On any given night, I feel like I can come out, set the tone and help the team win. That loss Saturday just fueled the fire."
Junior point guard Shawn Sherrell also turned in a nice all-round performance with a game-high 17 points, six steals and six assists.
"We hung together and I felt like we just wanted the game more," Sherrell said.
Farmer, on 6-3 junior forward Justin Clark's defensive contribution, said, "We had Justin on the big guy (Redecker, seven points) and I thought he did a super job on him. I had no idea he could guard him like that."
Clark finished with 14 points while Williams added 15 points, along with a team-high 10 boards, in the Bluejays' balanced attack.
Charleston forced six more turnovers and maintained its hot-shooting hand in the second period -- 7-of-14 2s, 1-of-2 3s -- to take a 39-14 lead at halftime.
The third quarter was a standoff at 12-12 as the Bluejays, with the game well in hand, showed patience on offense and went into the final quarter up 51
Jackson outscored the 'Jays 20-13 in the garbage-time fourth quarter against mostly Charleston reserves.
"We came back and beat a good team," said Farmer. "We were down after the Malden loss. The team was down, the coaches were down and to respond like that was great. It showed our pride. I was embarrassed and I think they were embarrassed."
Jackson was without two injured starting guards Drue McNeely and Jake Leet, but that provided no solace for Indians coach Scott.
"That set us back some, but that's beside the point," he said. "We've got to go forward with the guys we've got and figure out how to take care of it (basketball) and get the ball into the post."
Ryan Leet was the lone Indian in double figures with 14 points.
Charleston's junior varsity topped Jackson 51-46.
Donald Dixon and Brian Parham led the 'Jays with 15 points each.
Next up for Charleston is a Tuesday home game against Hayti.