Nearly two years had passed since Scott played a home game inside the Ben E. Williams Field House.
Plenty of enthusiasm filled the gym long before the tip-off of Scott's matchup with Bowsher on Friday night.
It was apparent the return to the Bulldogs' home court was long overdue.
However, the Rebels spoiled the evening for the home crowd in the newly renovated facility by escaping with a 60-57 victory over the Bulldogs.
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Kharri Dailey, the Rebels' 5-foot-5 point guard, led the way by scoring a team-high 18 points, including eight in the fourth quarter. Nate Allen did his part in helping with the win by coming through with 16 points, including four 3-pointers. Eric Hopkins finished with 11.
"We came in and we just wanted to show we could play with them," Dailey said.
Bowsher jumped ahead early in the game and held the lead from start to finish. The Rebels led by as much as 19 points before the Bulldogs fought back and turned it into a nail-biter during the final seconds.
The Bulldogs had two attempts at tying the score during the final 10 seconds after Dailey missed a foul shot with 16 seconds and Bowsher ahead by only three points. Scott's Dontonio Kynard, who scored a game-high 24 points, including four 3-pointers, was off the mark with a 3-pointer with six seconds remaining. The Bulldogs (8-4, 5-2 CL) ended up rebounding the miss and freshman Chris Darrington fired up a 3-pointer from the corner that swished through the net.
However, his potential game-tying basket was ruled not good by the referee because he released the shot after the game-ending buzzer sounded.
"This is a real big win for the team," Dailey said. "This is a very big win for me because I grew up around the corner from here. This is my district and I know every body on their team."
Both teams were guilty of not taking care of the basketball. Scott committed 31 turnovers while Scott was guilty of 24.
Scott coach Chris Dames thought his team had a tough time dealing with playing in front of their home crowd for the first time this season.
"We were way too amped up," Dames said. "We were throwing the ball all over the basket in the first half. We missed about 47 layups in the first half.
"We tried to keep it laid back in practice this week because all week they've been hearing from people in the community about, ‘You've got to win your first home game.'"
The Bulldogs settled down a little after halftime and gradually trimmed away at a 14-point halftime deficit.
Rashad Lane, the Rebels' 6-5 senior, became a factor near the basket and scored 13 points in the second half after going scoreless in the first half.
However, too many turnovers and not enough defense down the stretch against Dailey and Allen led to the Bulldogs (7-5, 5-2 CL) coming up on the losing end of the City League contest.
The Rebels came out at the outset and seemed more at ease on the court. A pair of foul shots by Nate Allen resulted in the first points of the game. He made it 5-0 when he knocked down his first 3-pointer with six minutes left in the opening quarter.
Bowsher closed out the first quarter with a 14-8 lead and carried the momentum into the second quarter. The Rebels outscored the Bulldogs 22-14 in the second quarter and went into halftime with a 36-22 lead.
The last time the Bulldogs played at home was on Jan. 29, 2010, which ended with Scott topping backyard rival Woodward.
The historic gym, named after Scott's former basketball coach who led the Bulldogs to the 1990 Division I state championship, has been under renovation for two years. New bleachers, scoreboards, locker rooms and a new sound system are among the fresh amenities. New light fixtures, along with the brick wall on the east side of the gym being replaced almost entirely with windows, provide a brighter setting inside the facility.
The Bulldogs will have a chance to redeem themselves tonight before a home crowd when it plays host to Sandusky.
Contact Donald Emmons at: firstname.lastname@example.org, 419-724-6302 or on Twitter @demmonsblade
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