Bowsher boys basketball coach Joe Guerrero thinks highly of his starting shooting guard Nate Allen.
The 6-foot-3 junior at least made a case in the Rebels’ season opener Friday night against Springfield that he's one of the best long-range shooters in the area.
Allen scored a game-high 21 points, including four 3-pointers, to lead Bowsher to a 74-69 home victory.
"I think he's one of the better players in the area right now," said Guerrero, of Allen, who scored 13 points before halftime. "He's got to be one of the top juniors in the area. He's our leader and I thought he stepped up and played really well tonight."
The rest of the Rebels seemed to follow Allen's lead as they held off the Blue Devils to start the season on a winning note.
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Aundre Kizer did his part by pumping in 18 points, including two 3-pointers. Dajuan King scored 16 points, including two 3-pointers in a game where Bowsher sank 10 shots from behind the arc.
"I liked our effort," Guerrero said. "We have a lot of guys who have never played varsity basketball before. We were excited and probably a little nervous if not more than a little nervous.
"I thought we handled some adversity late in the game really well and I liked the effort."
Springfield owned a 69-68 lead when Blue Devil Marquan Hodges sank two free throws with 1:41 left in the game.
However, Bowsher performed more steady down the stretch and closed out the game with a 5-0 run to seal the win.
"I think the fact that we pressed the whole game, sooner or later, someone was going to turn the ball over," Guerrero said. "I thought they were pretty good in spots, but it seemed like we got a spurt at the end of the game and that was the game."
Hodges paced the Blue Devils with a 15 points, including seven in the fourth quarter. Chad Roy chipped in 14 points and Markese Hicks added 11, including three 3-pointers for Springfield.
"I thought Bowsher was a little more quicker than us down the stretch," Springfield coach Stan Joplin said. "They got the loose balls. They hurt us on the boards and we turned the ball over.
"We have to learn how to finish those games. I thought the effort was good, but we lost close games last year. We've got to get over the hump and start winning those."
Bowsher created plenty of baskets with fullcourt pressure it employed most of the night. The defensive approach played a role in the Rebels outscoring the Blue Devils 25-17 during the third quarter to take a 61-54 cushion into the fourth.
Springfield slowly chipped away at Bowsher's lead by opening the final period with a 10-5 run. However, the Rebels withstood the surge and were able to put together the final run.
Both teams started the game pushing the pace and the Blue Devils took a 37-36 lead into halftime.
Bowsher opened the game 5-0 after Cameron White scored the first two points, followed by an Allen 3-pointer.
That stood as the largest lead by either team during the first quarter as Springfield fought back to tie it at 20 by the end of the period.
The Blue Devils came out in the second quarter and went ahead by as much as six points and led 28-22 when Hodges scored on a fastbreak with 6:25 left in the second quarter. The Rebels responded with a 7-0 spurt and took a 30-29 lead on a pair of free throws by Allen.
The lead exchanged hands four times before Springfield went into the break with a one-point advantage.
Roy scored eight of his points in the first half to lead the Blue Devils early.
Contact Donald Emmons at:
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