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Jackson basketball beats Charleston to win conference consolation title

Sophomore guard Jackson Shock registered 15 points and hit a team-high three 3-pointers in Jackson’s 58-48 win over Charleston in the SEMO Conference Tournament consolation championship game last Friday night in Sikeston. Photo by Nick McNeal

Despite currently not having its lone 2022-23 Class 6 All-State selection Blayne Harris, who is still recovering from a fractured elbow, the Jackson boys basketball team still managed to bring home some hardware from this year’s SEMO Conference Tournament.

The No. 4 seeded Indians did so with a 10-point, 58-48 win over No. 6 Charleston to claim the consolation championship. This victory also brought Jackson’s record to .500 as it sits at 3-3 overall.

Luckily for the Indians, leading the way for the Indians versus the Blue Jays was a duo of first-year full-time varsity members junior Kole Deck and sophomore Jackson Shock, who combined for 31 points with 16 and 15, respectively.

Shock scored all of his points while coming off the bench, having hit a buzzer-beating jumper to narrow Charleston’s first-half lead to 29-27 at the break. He then went on an 8-0 scoring run of his own around the end of the contest to secure the Indians the consolation title.

Shock and Deck also combined for all five of Jackson’s 3-pointers as Shock knocked down three while Kole hit two of his own. Deck also had a big game in the Indians 66-41 win over No. 8 seed Kennett (3-3) with a team-high 17 points in the consolation semifinals.

“Kole is a natural scorer, and he’s learning the game still, but he’s getting better on decision making,” Jackson head coach Kory Thoma said. “Shock is not shy of the spotlight — the kid’s played a lot of basketball. You can tell he’s got ice in his veins and almost too much ice at times for me. He made some big shots tonight, and he’s getting more minutes every night.”

Pacing this duo in scoring versus Charleston were seniors Judd Thoma and Gavin Holdman, who combined for 23 points with 13 and 10, respectively. While Thoma was making great plays to get to the basket versus the Blue Jays, Holdman had a few slam dunks in his final conference tournament game.

As for Charleston, it only had one player finish with double-digit points as senior Ko’Terrion Owens produced a game-high 19. Charleston only made one 3-pointer the entire game, which was by senior Owen Willis, who finished with nine points.

Like Jackson, the Bluejays are without one of their returning all-state selections from last season in junior PJ Farmer. Over the offseason, Farmer moved to Sikeston and has led the Bulldogs to an unblemished 6-0 record and win this year’s SEMO Conference Tournament Championship with a 72-70 victory over the reigning Class 3 State Champions New Madrid County Central.

Sikeston, of course, fielded the No. 1 seed for the tournament as New Madrid was actually seeded No. 3 behind Cape Central. The Tigers are battling injuries as well, falling to the Eagles 64-51 in the semifinals and lastly 64-60 to No. 5 seed Poplar Bluff in the third-place game. The Mules upset Jackson 49-45 in the opening round of the conference tournament.

Moving on for the Indians, they expect to hopefully have Harris back from his injury sometime in January. In the meantime, Jackson will face the likes of Dexer, Vianney, Farmington and Marquette before playing in the Christmas Tournament.

The Indians have earned the No. 2 seed for this year’s 16-team tournament held at the Show Me Center. Cape Central is the No. 1 seed, while Charleston is No. 3 as Notre Dame, which fell to Charleston 71-55 in the consolation semifinals, is No. 4. Remaining seeds include No. 5 Woodland, No. 6 Kelly, No. 7 Oak Ridge, No. 8 Scott City, No. 9 Oran, No. 10 Leopold, No. 11 Chaffee, No. 12 Meadow Heights, No. 13 Scott County Central, No. 14 Advance, No. 15 Bell City and No. 16 Delta.

Nick McNeal covers high school sports, college sports and community events for The Cash-Book Journal. He graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a degree in multimedia journalism and has lived in Cape Girardeau County for the past five years. He can be reached at cbjsports@socket. net.

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