Charleston defeats Cape Central 62-42 in championship game of Southeast Missourian Christmas Tournament

Monday, December 31, 2012
Central’s Andre Statam loses control of the ball between Charleston’s Robert Bogan, left, and Delfincko Bogan during the first quarter. (Fred Lynch)

Charleston's second straight Southeast Missourian Christmas Tournament title and record 17th overall didn't seem as much like a championship as it did a coronation.

Just about everybody expected the top-seeded Bluejays to have little trouble during the 68th annual event.

That's exactly how things turned out as the Bluejays capped their dominant run through the 16-team event with Sunday's 62-42 win over second-seeded Central at the Show Me Center.

The defending Class 3 state champion Bluejays' closest tournament victory was by 18 points over Jackson in the semifinals. Their other two wins were by 83 and 27 points.

"It never gets old," said Charleston coach Danny Farmer, whose squad improved to 11-1. "We responded. Defending champions, expected to win. ... We couldn't have done it any better.

Charleston’s Shandor Webster goes up for a shot against Central’s Jamal Cox during the first quarter of the championship game of the Southeast Missourian Christmas Tournament on Sunday at the Show Me Center. Charleston won 62-42. (Fred Lynch)

"Our closest game was 18 points. I feel like we did everything we had to do."

Central (6-4) looked like it was primed to give the Bluejays a run for their money when senior guard Garan Evans scored the game's first five points.

The Tigers bolted to a 7-1 lead and were ahead 15-10 late in the opening quarter.

But then the young Tigers, who start just one senior and have only two seniors on the squad, began to look their age.

Charleston amped up its defensive pressure, and Central scored just 27 points the rest of the way.

Central's Al Young takes a shot against Charleston's Sumner Foster during the fourth quarter of the championship game of the Southeast Missourian Christmas Tournament on Sunday at the Show Me Center. (Fred Lynch)

"They did a phenomenal job defensively," Central coach Drew Church said. "The second half I think they turned it up."

The Bluejays scored the final six points of the first quarter to lead 16-15.

Central briefly pulled into a 16-16 tie early in the second period before Charleston used a 7-0 run to take control.

It was 31-20 at halftime, meaning Charleston outscored Central 21-5 from when the Bluejays trailed 15-10.

"Their defensive pressure really took us out of our game," Church said.

Charleston’s Michael Hull drives against Central’s Mikey Jones during the first quarter.

Charleston stayed ahead by double figures virtually the entire second half, except for late in the third quarter when a basket by Central junior forward Jamal Cox made it 42-34.

The Bluejays took a 44-34 lead into the fourth quarter and steadily pulled away.

"I felt we kind of slacked the first half," Charleston senior guard Michael Hull said. "We came back with more intensity the second half."

Hull led a balanced Charleston attack with 15 points. Senior forward Sumner Foster scored 14 points and senior forward Darrion Carter added 11.

The Bluejays cruised to the title despite all-state senior point guard Ryan Parham being at less than 100 percent with an ankle injury that forced him to miss the first two games of the tournament.

"A lot of people stepped up," Farmer said. "We always stress being a team."

Evans finished up a strong tournament by leading Central with 17 points.

"He shot the ball well. He was really our only guy who wanted to attack," Church said.

The 6-foot-6 Cox, averaging about 19 points, was limited to 10 points. He got into first-half foul trouble and did not score in the opening two periods.

"Defensively we did an OK job," Church said. "I think their ball pressure took away our ability to throw into the post."

Central also hurt itself by making just 6 of 18 free throws, while Charleston was 12 of 16 from the line.

Church came away satisfied by the Tigers' showing at the tournament, but he wishes they could have held up better Sunday.

"I'm happy," Church said. "Obviously you'd like to compete a little better than we just did, getting beat like that.

"But I think we'll continue to improve. I really think we'll be a better team at the end of the season."

Cape Central155148--42
Charleston16151318--62

CAPE CENTRAL (42) -- Al Young 3, Garan Evans 17, Jamal Cox 10, Mikey Jones 6, Andre Statam 4, Marcus Dixon 2. FG 17, FT 6-18, F 15. (3-pointers: Evans 2. Fouled out: None.)

CHARLESTON (69) -- Delfincko Bogan 2, Robert Bogan 4, Ryan Parham 9, Michael Hull 15, Sumner Foster 14, Shandor Webster 7, Darrion Carter 11. FG 24, FT 12-16, F 15. (3-pointers: Hull 1, Foster 1. Fouled out: None.)

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