Cha'Ron Sweeney, who scored 20 points, cuts down the net after Rogers defeated Waite to win the City League girls basketball championship for the second straight year.
THE BLADE/LORI KING
Back-to-back championships leaves no doubt who is dominating City League girls basketball.
Rogers reeled in a second straight title Saturday with a a 74-23 rout over Waite in the CL playoffs final on the Indians’ home court.
Cha'Ron Sweeney pumped in 12 of her game-high 20 points in the second half when the Rams outscored the Indians 42-8. Rogers finished 3-0 against Waite this season.
"We were a little sluggish at the beginning, but we picked it up after halftime," Sweeney said. "It means a lot to win it. It's my senior year and it's good to go out with a bang."
The Rams should be a force next year as well — Sweeney is the team’s only senior.
PHOTO GALLERY: Rogers repeats as CL girls champs
"I feel very proud for the girls because it's two years in a row," Rogers coach Lamar Smith said. "It's taken hard work, but we knew it wouldn't be an easy task.
"You have to give Waite credit. They played hard in the first half."
Waite coach Manny May credited the Rams for a strong performance.
"We were poor under pressure," May said. "We didn't focus.
"They [Rogers] ran and we tried to run with them. Our youth showed again."
Yet, Waite six-foot junior Mary Perkins, who came off the bench to score a team-high eight points, kept the Indians in the game early in the second quarter. She scored two straight baskets and Waite (8-11) trailed 19-13 with four minutes left in the half. A 13-2 run by the Rams to close out the first half allowed Rogers to go into halftime with a 17-point advantage.
Rogers (19-3) went into halftime with a 32-15 cushion, yet the game seemed surprisingly closer than what the score indicated.
However, the Rams came out of the locker room after halftime and made it clear they weren't ready to relinquish hold of the CL crown.
Sweeney received plenty of help putting away Waite before a a couple hundred on hand for the afternoon contest that took place on the Indians home court.
Akienreh Johnson, a six-foot freshman, provided 16 points, including four 3-pointers. Toriana Easley also scored in double figures, finishing with 11 points.
Marquelle Williams finished with nine points and Tatyana Reynolds added eight for the Rams.
"It's a great feeling to win it two times," said starting junior guard Sasha Dailey, who had four points. "We've worked hard for it."
Smith thought Johnson's play on offense was a factor in the Rams pulling away from the Indians.
"She stepped up really big," Smith said. "She's been working hard on her shot. She's growing up fast. She's just a freshman and is only going to get better."
Rogers broke the game wide open in the third quarter when it outscored Waite, 22-4, to take a 56-19 lead into the fourth quarter.
Celebrating another league championship was only a matter of time for the Rams.
Contact Donald Emmons at: firstname.lastname@example.org, 419-724-6302 or on Twitter @DemmonsBlade.