The quarterfinal victory vaulted the Bluejays into their fifth straight final four, a record unmatched by any team in the state during that span. In its four previous appearances, Charleston has finished second twice and third twice.
"I feel good about this one," said Charleston coach Danny Farmer, seeking his first boys championship after leading the Scott County Central girls to five state titles. "The kids want it. They're focused and I can see it in their eyes. This may be the year."
Charleston (27-3) will meet Bowling Green (24-3) at the Mizzou Arena on the campus of the University of Missouri at Columbia on Thursday at 9 a.m.
Bluejay senior Justin Clark opened the game's scoring with a 3-pointer on his way to a dazzling 25-point performance, 18 in the first half.
Clark, most known for his 3-point shooting prowess, also had a great day on the backboards.
He grabbed four offensive rebounds, converting all four to points on stickbacks, including a spectacular airborne, one-handed tip late in the second quarter.
"He (Clark) was huge tonight and in the last game also," said Farmer. "Justin wants to win state this year. He's been there three times before and come up with a third and two seconds. I think he wants to win it all this year.
"He's playing a complete game now. The last three years, he was kind of one-
dimensional, now he's multi-dimensional. He can do it all."
The Bluejays' boardwork was key to their victory as they pulled down 34 rebounds, including a whopping 18 on the offensive end.
Charleston connected on 3-of-5 3-pointers in a low-scoring first quarter against Bayless' zone defense to take a 13-10 advantage.
"In the first quarter, I realized why they (Bayless) were here," Farmer said. "They're a real smart team, they run their sets great and they're hard to defend. They're very disciplined and those kind of teams are hard to play against. We just had the manpower to wear them down."
With Clark lighting the scoreboard for 13 points, the 'Jays delivered their most productive offensive quarter in the second to open a 35-20 halftime lead.
A scary moment in the second quarter saw Charleston's all-state senior post player Jamarcus Williams go to the floor grasping his right ankle. Williams suffered an ankle sprain, but did return.
"I hope it's not a severely sprained ankle," said Farmer. "It's not swollen so we'll just have to see day-to-day."
Wearing down the Bronchos with their patented defensive pressure, Charleston extended the margin to 51-29 in the third period.
Senior point guard Shawn Sherrell scored six of the 'Jays 10 fourth-quarter points to hold off Bayless.
Sherrell finished as team scoring runner-up with 13 points and added six rebounds and five assists.
Senior forward Jerrell Quinn chipped in with seven points and eight rebounds including six offensive boards.
Charleston shot 36 percent (5-for-14) from 3-point range and 44 percent (19-for-43) on 2-pointers.
Bayless, primarily a 3-point shooting team, hit just 16 percent (4-for-25) from beyond the arc and 44 percent on 2's (11-for-25).
Brandon Ewing paced the Bronchos with 12 points.
The 'Jays held leading scorer Mersad Ramic to six, well below his 23-point average.
Charleston 61, Bayless 41
BAYLESS (41) -- Mersad Ramic 6, Tony Parrott 7, Kory Dowell 7, Brandon Ewing 12, DeVonte Cosby 2, Bradden Tewolde 7. FG 11, FT 7-10, F 16. (3-pointers: Ewing 2, Dowell 1, Parrott 1. Fouled out: none).
CHARLESTON (61) -- Antonio Riggens 3, Shawn Sherrell 13, Jerquawn Sherrell 2, Jamarcus Williams 6, Jerrell Quinn 7, Justin Clark 25, Markale Kent 4, Brian Parham 1. FG 19, FT 8-12, F 12. (3-pointers: Clark 3, Riggens 1, S. Sherrell 1. Fouled out: none).