C3D1 Boys Semifinal: Charleston coach Danny Farmer secures 750th career win against Caruthersville 94-55

Photo by Dustin Ward, staff
Charleston’s Brian Visor dives for a ball in a Class 3, District 1 boys basketball semifinal against Caruthersville Tuesday night at Kennett High School.

KENNETT, Mo. - Charleston varsity boys basketball coach Danny Farmer doesn’t count the wins and losses.

But he loves winning.

“I just go play and try to win,” Farmer said. “I don’t keep up with the numbers. I just love to coach and love to win.”

Farmer's squad won again Tuesday night. The legendary coach picked up the 750th victory of his varsity coaching career as the No. 1 seeded Charleston Bluejays knocked off the No. 4 seeded Caruthersville Tigers 94-55 in a Class 3, District 1 semifinal at Kennett High School.

Kennet athletic director Jim Vaughan presented Farmer with a plaque for reaching the milestone in front of a near-capacity crowd following the game.

“I didn’t know anything like that was going to happen,” Farmer said. “It was unbelievable."

The longtime defending district champion experienced little difficulty booking a return trip to the district title game. Charleston, which last lost a district tournament game in 2010, built a 22-point lead by halftime and led by more than 20 points throughout the second half.

“Going into the game we put an emphasis on playing hard,” Farmer said. “We wanted everyone to get after it and I think we accomplished that tonight.”

Charleston enjoyed two long strings of success in the first half. The Bluejays went on a 16-2 run in the first quarter and scored 15 unanswered points in the second period.

The Bluejays enjoyed similar success in the second half. Charleston padded its lead to 72-42 by the end of the third quarter and also won the fourth quarter by nine points.

“They are just so active and quick,” Caruthersville coach Lamonte Bell said. “We broke their press a few times but then we couldn’t make a basket. We also didn’t shoot the ball like we shot it the other night against Malden. Once you get behind against Charleston you are pretty much down if you don’t make shots.”

Senior guard Samuel Bledsoe was one of four Charleston players to score in double digits. Bledsoe knocked down five of the Bluejays’ six treys on his way to a game-high 27 points.

“If you leave him open he can knock it down,” Farmer said. “He’s a great shooter. He’s improved on every aspect of his game this season. He’s a good player.”

Blessin Kimble added 14 points, Isaiah Gillespie contributed 12 points, and Rico Coleman tallied 11 points for the Bluejays.

Dundi Hamilton recorded 15 of his 19 points after halftime to pace Caruthersville with 19 points. Brandon Fonda, who hit both of his team’s 3-pointers, also finished in double digits for Caruthersville with 10 points.

Caruthersville finishes its season with a record of 9-13. It graduates five seniors.

“Our guys worked hard,” Bell said. “We knew this wasn’t going to be our best shooting team coming into the season. But we thought we could hold our own because of our defense and athleticism. We did OK. I’m not upset about tonight, we just didn’t make shots. Charleston just smelled blood early and attacked.”

Charleston (24-4) will take on No. 2 seeded New Madrid County Central in the district final Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Kennett High School.

“We’ve been in the district final quite a few times,” Farmer said. “The more you’ve been there the scarier it gets. We’ve played New Madrid County Central twice and they are a very good team. We were probably going to have a game on our hands Friday night.”

No. 1 Charleston 94, No. 4 Caruthersville 55

CARU 7 15 20 13 - 55

CHAR 20 24 28 22 - 94

CARUTHERSVILLE (55) - Dundi Hamilton 19, Billy Cobb 6, Jernas Wilson 2, Brandon Fonda 10, Jermaine Alexander 2, Desmond Davis 2, Isaiah Rodgers 6, Zhamius Smith 8. FG 120, FT 13/28, F 25. (3-pointers: Fonda 2; Fouled out: None).

CHARLESTON (94) - Evontrez Hill 1, Terridean Bogan 9, Samuel Bledsoe 27, Aimareion Williams 2, Fletravion Stanback 4, EK Davis 6, Brian Visor 1, Tynell Ware 2, Isaiah Gillespie 12, Rico Coleman 11, Blessin Kimble 14, Dentrez Ewing 5. FG 34, FT 20/35, F 25. (3-pointers: Bledsoe 5; Gillespie 1; Fouled out: None).

Photo by Dustin Ward, staff
Charleston’s Blessin Kimble (45) eyes Caruthersville’s Zhamius Smith as he penetrates to the basket in a Class 3, District 1 boys basketball semifinal Tuesday night at Kennett High School.
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