Scott’s Chris Harris dribbles past Fadil Robinson of Rogers. Harris finished with 26 points in Friday night’s City League battle.
Playing on the road in City League boys basketball can be intimidating.
A packed gymnasium Friday night at Rogers presented such a test for Scott.
The Bulldogs met the challenge head on as senior guard Chris Harris led the way to a 68-57 victory with 26 points, 16 in the second half.
"This was a big one," Harris said. "It was a sellout crowd, but we're used to this environment. Our coach told us how it was going to be and we’ve played in games like this. There was the one against Bowsher, but that one didn't go how we wanted it to go.
"My coach told me to step up, so I had to step up."
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Harris, a 6-foot playmaker, provided a key lift for the Bulldogs (6-4, 2-1 CL) during the third quarter after the Rams (4-4, 3-1) had overcome a nine-point halftime deficit to tie the score at 37.
Harris scored eight straight points midway through the period on back-to-back 3-pointers and a drive in the paint to help Scott regain control and take a 52-44 cushion into the fourth quarter.
Scott never looked back to hand Rogers its first league defeat of the season.
"That's Chris Harris," said Scott coach Chris Dames about his guard’s performance in the third quarter. "He's a senior and that's what he's been giving me since his freshman year. When times get going, he steps up."
Chris Darrington, a junior, also delivered for Scott, pumping in 18 points. Larry Green finished with 11 points.
Cameron Copeland paced the Rams with 15 points, while Branden Austin added 13 and Taqauris Belcher finished with 12.
Rogers led 11-9 late in the first quarter when Austin nailed one of his 3-pointers. However, the Bulldogs managed to get out of the period with a 13-11 advantage.
Rogers found itself playing catch-up basically for the rest of the game. The Rams fell behind by as much as 13 points in the second quarter before closing out the first half trailing 37-28 after Austin drained a long-range 3-pointer at the buzzer.
Scott’s Chris Darrington takes a jump shot over Daeshawn Jackson of Rogers. Darrington scored 18 points.
Rogers coach Earl Morris thought the Bulldogs' experience proved to be the difference in the contest.
"We're immature," he said. "We're young and we just don't have enough experience. We got back in the game, but then we did some things that hurt us.
"But for this group no one expected us to be where we are anyway. Everybody else is playing veteran players. We're only playing with two players back from last year."
The Rams made a 9-0 run to open the third quarter by pushing the pace.
"We got into the up-and-down game with them, which coach didn't want us to do," Harris said. "We know Rogers can run all night, that's all they do. We knew we had to slow the game down."
Winning on the road in the CL is not taken lightly. For Harris, it was the first time he has won at Rogers.
"This game sent a message to the whole City League," Harris said.
Dames credited his team for settling down as the game progressed.
"We knew what to expect and I think we kind of let the jitters get to us at the beginning," Dames said. "You can practice all week for it, but you can't imitate this atmosphere. But they held it together."