Rogers coach Earl Morris was the first to admit the Rams' performance against crosstown rival Bowsher on Tuesday night was far from a work of art.
"We were sluggish," Morris said. "We thought we could roll in and get a win. They thought [Bowsher] would come in and just lay down, but I knew it was going be hard."
Despite looking like a team that lacked focus at times throughout a contest in which the teams combined for more than 30 turnovers, Rogers played well enough to come out on top 80-63 in the the City League game held on the Rams’ court.
The Rams’ starting backcourt of Tony Kynard and Clemmye Owens combined for 45 points, including four 3-pointers, to help Rogers (11-6, 9-0 CL) secure the No. 1 spot for the league's final four pairings to ultimately determine the league championship.
Kynard delivered a game-high 24 points, including 12 in the third quarter. Owens pumped in 21 points, including seven in the final quarter to help the Rams maintain a double-digit lead for most of the final period.
Tribune Dailey, who stirred up the crowd with an alley-oop dunk in the first half, added 14 points and grabbed eight rebounds to help the Rams' cause. Kurtis Jeffery came off the bench to grab a team-high 10 rebounds to go with one point.
The Rams, who owned a 34-29 lead at the half, took total control of the game's momentum in the second half by outscoring the Rebels 46-34 after the break.
"Coach told us at the half, we had to play Rogers basketball," Owens said. "We were walking the ball upcourt, but we had to get the ball out and run."
Dajuan King led the Rebels (14-5, 6-3 CL) by pumping in a team-high 17 points. Cameron White scored 15 points, including two 3-pointers, and Nate Allen added 12.
However, the Rebels struggled shooting the ball from behind the 3-point arc, sinking only 2 of 24 3-pointers attempted in the contest.
"I loved the effort we put out tonight," Bowsher coach Joe Guerrero said. "It was a hard fought game, but we were only 2-for-24 on 3-pointers.
"You have to give them credit," Guerrero said. "Rogers is just a phenomenal team. They're so fast and they're so deep, it just wears on you."
Both teams struggled offensively in the first quarter. It wasn't just trouble shooting the basketball that kept the score low during the first eight minutes of the game. The Rams and Rebels had a tough time making baskets, particularly in the opening quarter.
Nearly three minutes of the first quarter elapsed before either team had made more than one basket. Rogers eventually came out of the quarter owning a 15-14 lead.
The Rams held on to the lead the rest of the way.
Contact Donald Emmons at: firstname.lastname@example.org, 419-724-6302 or on Twitter @DemmonsBlade.