In a City League rivalry game that has seen some its most recent contests become instant classics, there was reason to believe this particular one may not measure up, as on paper Rogers is by far and away a more talented and simply a better basketball team. But as the cliche goes and reigned true here, “in rivalry games you can throw out the records.”
To open the game Rogers senior guard Dru Pettigrew would find standout junior Christian Smith down low for two quick buckets to get things rolling for the favorites in this one. That, followed by a technical by the usually calm Coach Fred Coogler for Scott would give Rogers an early cushion and this one looked to be getting away from the hosts early. But the energy from the home crowd and an effective and active 2/3 zone defense from Scott would keep the scrappy underdogs in the ballgame.
Rogers standout TQ Belcher would find himself in foul trouble and miss most of the first half, allowing Scott to keep it close, and actually hold a 23-22 lead at the midway break thanks to senior Mikey Mitchell’s late push and energy. Coming out of halftime however, the aforementioned Belcher would get cooking, and pour in 9 points in the 3rd quarter alone to give Rogers a slight 36-35 lead heading into the final period.
Scott would stay in their zone defense that would continue to frustrate the visiting Rams, and Scott’s ability to crash the glass and be physical would allow them to get their biggest cushion of the night, 43-39, with 5:38 left in the 4th. TQ Belcher and Vonte Middleton triples would pull Rogers back in front, only to have Scott tie it up with a steal and transition layup with under a minute to go. Rogers would inbound it quickly leading to an Ahmad Smith finish in transition to give them a 48-46 lead with seconds left. Marquise Brown would get fouled with 2.6 left for Scott, sending him to the line with a chance to tie it up. After he missed the pair, Scott would send Rogers to the line where the Rams would eventually escape with a road win by a final of 50-46.
Rogers was led by Christian Smith and TQ Belcher who finished with 13 points each, while Vonte Middleton followed with 11 points for the victorious Rams.