HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL

Rams keep control of City League, despite key injuries, with 70-49 win over Start

2/3/2013
BY DONALD EMMONS
BLADE SPORTS WRITER
Rogers' Tribune Dailey, Jr., keeps a rebound away from Start's David Cox in the Rams' victory. Dailey scored 12 points.
Rogers' Tribune Dailey, Jr., keeps a rebound away from Start's David Cox in the Rams' victory. Dailey scored 12 points.

Rogers tipped off short-handed against Start on Friday night in a City League matchup.

Rogers senior Tony Kynard, who finished with 24 points, goes to the net against  Start's Michael Mitchell.
Rogers senior Tony Kynard, who finished with 24 points, goes to the net against Start's Michael Mitchell.

Seniors Clemmye Owens and DeVonte Pratt were not in the Rams lineup. Both were bothered by injury, keeping Owens out of the game for the opening quarter and Pratt for the entire contest.

Rogers' normal starting routine may have been altered, but it didn't stop the Rams from remaining undefeated in league play as they outran Start for a 70-49 win before a Rams home crowd.

PHOTO GALLERY: Boys Basketball: Rogers vs. Start

The league victory for Rogers (10-6, 8-0 CL) over Start (8-7, 4-4 CL) comes a few days after suffering a disappointing 81-74 nonleague loss at No. 5 St. John's Jesuit.

"It was good, but we still got some things to work on," Rogers coach Earl Morris said. "It's always good to bounce back and get a win."

Rams senior point guard Tony Kynard led the way by pumping in a game-high 24 points, including four 3-pointers. Tribune Dailey came through with 12 points, including a pair of crowd-pleasing slam dunks in a game the Rams led the entire second half.

After taking a 34-27 lead into halftime, Rogers came out after the break and increased the lead to 53-40 by the end of the third quarter.

Kynard came up with a steal, drove down court, and scored on a layup just as the final second of the third quarter ticked off the clock to give the Rams a 13-point cushion heading into the fourth quarter.

"We had to step up our defense because we were playing sluggish," Kynard said. "It was a new group, and we had to get used to playing together and start to gel.

"After the first half, we started to gel and started scoring."

Rogers reserves Keandre Gilmer and Chris Austin, who filled in for Owens and Pratt in the Rams starting unit, combined for 14 points. Gilmer scored eight and Austin six.

Owens, who came off the bench at the start of the second quarter with a wrist wrapped in tape, saw limited action and scored eight points. Fadil Robinson also scored eight points to give Rogers six players who scored at least six points.

"We played some kids that we normally don't play, but they came through and did what we needed them to do," Morris said.

Dion Ivery finished with a team-high 21 points to lead Start. Scott Hicks and Michael Mitchell added nine and eight points, respectively.

The Spartans struggled against the Rams on the defensive end. They allowed too many putbacks for the Rams.

"They put a little pressure on us, and we started throwing the ball away a little bit," Start coach Gil Guerrero said.

Ivery, who scored 12 points in the first half, said the Spartans didn't match the Rams' intensity, particularly on defense.

"We needed to play defense because that's all we can do," Ivery said. "They're fast, and they were faster than us."

The Rams took a double-digit lead into the fourth quarter and never looked back. They led by as many as 21 points during the final period.

Contact Donald Emmons at: demmons@theblade.com, 419-724-6302 or on Twitter @DemmonsBlade.