Rogers senior guard Cha'Ron Sweeney gathered the loose basketball from the opening tip of last night's game at Bowsher and dribbled past a couple of defenders for an uncontested layup.
That started a flurry of easy looks and scores for the Rams in the opening quarter.
It ultimately led to Rogers building a 25-0 lead on the way to an 88-22 rout over the Rebels in a City League girls basketball opener.
"We wanted to make a statement," said Sweeney, who finished with 14 points and was one of four Rams to score in double figures. "We want to take over the tempo of every game at the beginning of the game."
The Rams certainly didn't have a problem taking control early even without three of their regulars due to one-game suspensions handed out to six players for an incident that occurred Saturday before the season opener at Canton McKinley.
Rogers closed out the opening quarter against Bowsher with a 25-4 advantage and continued to increase the lead with each quarter.
"It's good to get our first win," Rogers coach Lamar Smith said.
Toriana Easley, a 6-foot-1 junior, paced four players in double figures by scoring a game-high 19 points for the Rams (1-1, 1-0 CL). Jasmyne Smith and Marquelle Williams added 18 points apiece in a matchup the Rams dictated with their fullcourt defensive pressure that led to most of the their points coming as layups or putbacks.
The defending City League champions came out aggressive on defense and attacking on offense against an overmatched Rebels team that didn't score its first basket until more than seven minutues had elapsed in the first quarter.
Rachel Marter broke the ice for the Rebels with a jump shot to make it 25-2 with 54 seconds left in the opening quarter
Smith said the Rams put together a solid effort coming off a loss to McKinley.
"We got a chance to play our style of basketball," Smith said. "We were able to work the basketball around and we played as a team."
Sasha Dailey, a 5-8 junior guard, Keyanna Austin, a 5-2 junior guard, and Keasja Peace, a 6-2 freshman center, did not play in the game as a result of serving a one-game suspension handed down by the Ohio High School Athletic Association for being on the court during an altercation involving some fans at the end of the junior varsity game against McKinley.
Sweeney, a 5-2 guard, Tatyana Reynolds, a 5-8 junior guard, and Smith's daughter, Jasmyne, a 5-9 junior guard, will have to sit out the Rams' next game on Saturday against defending Division III state champion Columbus Africentric.
Smith said none of the six players were actually involved in the altercation, but were suspended for being on the court when it happened.
"It's a learning experience for them," Smith said.
However, the Rams didn't show much signs of being short-handed. They finished the first half with a comfortable 41-12 advantage.
The Rams came out in the second half and continued to build on their lead even while utilizing their bench players to keep the up-tempo pace going with starters watching from the bench. Rogers went into the fourth quarter with a 65-18 lead.
Katlyn Westhoven led Bowsher with six points, while Celeste Wade and Daija Rayford added five apiece.
Waite 64, Scott 45
Kre’ana Henry scored 26 points and Latesha Craig added 19 points to lead Waite (2-2, 1-0) to a home win.
Erica Besteder paced Scott (1-1, 0-1) with 24 points.
Start 54, Woodward 25
Torie McDuffie scored 15 points to lead Start to a home victory.
Taima James added 11 points and Deshayla Mosby chipped in with 10 points.
K’Shanna Barnett led Woodwad with 17 points.