For the third time this season, City League foes Bowsher and Rogers faced one another, this time in the championship game in front of a packed house at Waite High School. There would be no “third time a charm” for Rogers on this night though, as Bowsher road uber talented senior Dalonte Brown to a championship.
The energy in the gym was high as usual for a City League championship game before the opening tip, and that same energy would transfer into a fast pace, up and down contest for much of the game, including the bulk of the opening period. Bowsher would get two quick buckets, the latter coming off of a turnover as they started the game with full court pressure. Christian Smith would calm things down for the Rams with a baby hook and get them on the board before things got too out of hand early. LJ Rayford, Brown, and Jalen Elliott had things cooking early and often for Bowsher, getting them a 20-13 lead after the 1st.
In the 2nd quarter of play the aforementioned Brown asserted his will on the game for the first of what would be many times for Bowsher. Most of Brown’s damage on this night would be done in the paint, and it would only be somewhat buoyed by Rogers’ Christian Smith (it’s no coincidence these are arguably the top two players in the CL). Smith’s efforts would be aided by senior guard Dru Pettigrew who would have 7 points in the period keeping Rogers alive, as they would trail Bowsher 26-35 at the halftime break.
Dalonte Brown would come out of the break in a flurry for Bowsher, as they opened up their largest lead of the game with only a few minutes gone from the 3rd quarter, 47-32. From that point forward TQ Belcher would take over the quarter for Rogers, scoring 9 points in the 3rd, once again pulling the Rams within striking distance heading into the 4th, trailing 43-52.
The frenetic pace would pick up in the 4th and Belcher would continue to fill it up for Rogers, showing off his complete offensive skill set. He would get some help from Smith, Vonte Middleton, and Tre Smith, who would all contribute to the Rams finally getting their first lead of the game, 57-55 with 5:32 remaining. However, that would be as close as Rogers would get as Bowsher would regroup and take control of things from there, led by Brown and fellow senior Antonio Carter. Carter would come through in the clutch with timely buckets throughout the evening, but especially in the game’s final minutes. Rogers would not be able to convert on their final few possessions, and Brown would get free for an alley-oop jam off the glass from Elliott to finish this one off with a bang. Bowsher would defeat Rogers by a final of 70-60, to claim the City League Championship.
Dalonte Brown would lead Bowsher with a game-high 29 points, while Antonio Carter would compliment him with 16 points in the victory. Rogers was led by senior TQ Belcher who finished with 24 points, with Christian Smith adding 16 points in the loss.