Bowsher senior guard Nate Allen arrived Monday at the Martin Luther King Jr. Classic plenty motivated about facing Elida in the boys basketball holiday tournament.
Facing Elida's sharp-shooting guard Dakota Mathias, who will play at Purdue, was a chance to see how he measured up against one of the state's top talents.
Allen pumped in 31 points and was one of four Rebels to score in double figures on their home court in an 86-81 triumph over the Bulldogs.
Allen connected on 11 of 21 shots, including 7 of 12 3-pointers, as Bowsher (10-1) drained 12 of 23 treys.
"I had a chip on my shoulders because he's ranked higher than me in the Ohio rankings for shooting guards," said Allen. "I felt I was better than him, so I had to go at him pretty strong.
"He's the No. 2 shooting guard and I'm ranked No. 5, so I wanted to show him he's not that much better than me."
Mathias also delivered a stellar performance, pouring in 38 points, including a 7-for-12 effort from 3-point territory.
Elida (11-3) made it close down the stretch after trailing by 19 points after three quarters. Mathias also grabbed a team-best 10 rebounds.
"He's a heck of a player," Bowsher coach Joe Guerrero said of Mathias. "I think Nate was really, really fired up to play and I think it really showed."
Cameron White scored 22 points, while Dajuan King added 17 for the Rebels. Mark Washington added 11 while grabbing a game-high 12 rebounds.
Bowsher bolted out to a 48-35 lead at halftime and appeared to be coasting with a 71-52 edge heading into the fourth quarter.
However, the Bulldogs trimmed the led to single digits with a minute to play.
But the Rebels, who finished 8-for-11 from the foul line, knocked down free throws to hold on.
"You can never give up against a good player like Dakota Mathias," Allen said. "He's not going to Purdue for nothing. He started hitting at the end and they started the come back."
Guerrero commended his team, which has won nine straight.
""We hadn't been in a close game in a while. I think it's important for our guys to know that you can't always walk through the end of the fourth quarter," he said. "Tonight we couldn't because they kept hitting threes."
■ Rams rally to win
Rogers rallied from a 14-point halftime deficit to beat Detroit's Oak Park (Mich.) 72-67 in the MLK Classic.
The Rams (5-4) trailed 44-30 before Cameron Copeland, a 5-foot-9 sophomore, poured in 19 of his career-high 26 points after halftime.
Brandon Austin pumped in 13 points, Fadil Robinson added nine and Taquaris Belcher seven for the Rams.
"In the first half we didn't play as a team and we had to get organized," said Copeland. "We were off, but we got it together in the second half. We played as a team and ran our offense. We did good."
Oak Park's Ja'Christian Biles finished with a 24 points. Rodney Scales scored 14, while Orlando Fikes and Kelvon Fuller added 11 apiece.
The Rams, who were coming off a disappointing loss to Scott.
Rogers coach Earl Morris thinks the comeback win could be a statement game for a his team.
"This has to do something for our confidence because this was a good team," Rogers coach Earl Morris said. "These teams coming out of Detroit are good teams. After the way we played Friday night, this was make-or-break for us season-wise.
Copeland gave the Rams the lead for good when he made two free throws for a 69-67 edge with 27 seconds left.
Detroit Osborn 87, Woodward 54
The Polar Bears (7-5) were shut down by Osborn's imposing 6-foot-10, 6-9, 6-8 front line, and dismantled by the 1-2 scoring punch of DeAndre May and Jermaine King, who had 22 points apiece in the MLK Classic.
The Knights (6-3) outrebounded Woodward 43-28.
Woodward was led by 21 points and 11 rebounds from Romoan Fane. Craig Kirkwood and Daijour Whittington added nine points each.
Delaware Hayes 53, Start 51
The Spartans (1-11) led 40-39 entering the final quarter, and had a chance to force overtime with 0.9 seconds left in regulation when Mike Mitchell was fouled while attempting a 3-pointer at the MLK Classic.
But Mitchell, who led all scorers with 21 points, missed the first two free throws before making the third, and Hayes hung on.
The Pacers (12-4) were led by 16 points from Phil Frentos and 13 from Khalil Iverson.
The Spartans also got 12 points from Hermonte Scott.
Cardinal Stritch 55, Gibsonburg 44
GIBSONBURG — The Cardinals (5-8, 5-4 TAAC) got a road win behind the scoring of CeCe Gozdowski with 14 and Kama Hardy with 10.
Amanda Shammo and Brittney Holcomb scored 10 each for the Golden Bears (5-7, 5-2).