By Bob Kopp

Special Correspondent

ROCKFORD – While a Buc proud parent blurted after Belvidere’s oldest high school in the city completed a strong 3-1 showing in the 2015 Martin Luther King, Jr. Shootout (Jan. 17-19) that Auburn is within striking distance, I said, “Hold on, cowboy!  We’re rising to the best of the rest; but there’s still a lot of season to be played and I think any team that beats the Knights in the NIC-10 this year will credit an assist to the big guy who parted the Red Sea!”

Surely, Coach Aaron Pearson and varsity assistant Nate Lister are developing one of the deepest rotations in the conference, with the surprising development of seniors Kurtis Dimond and Alex Hernandez raising eyebrows around the conference as major players in the Bucs’ increasing success and sophomore Austin Revolinski proving what’s been predicted not long after he shed diapers, but Auburn boasts three to four Division 1 recruits and is ranked among the best in the state.

But, O.K., we’ll see; and I’ll be using any connections that I have with the big guy who parted the…

Despite losing to the well-oiled, efficient, and highly skilled Deerfield 53-44 on Monday, the Bucs were only behind by a point at the start of the fourth quarter when they were outscored 15 to 7.

Senior Alex Hernandez, who has become fierce on the offensive boards to match his tenaciousness on defense along with unquestioned sharpshooting and has only missed one from the line all year, had 5 points.  Senior Ron Paris resurfaced in the paint and led all Bucs with 14 followed by steady senior Colton Bahling who added 11.  Rounding out the scoring were senior Tyler Lass, who will be a major force for the rest of the season in all aspects of the game with especially intense and contagious leadership, with 6, senior Kurtis Dimond with 5, sophomore Austin Revolinski with 2, and junior Deante Barnes with 1.

Johnsburg, while spunky and spirited, looked like a JV squad against the Cavs in a lopsided 66-46 win by the Bucs that could have been even worse if Coach Pearson didn’t unload the whole bench for major minutes beginning in the third quarter.  Senior Colton Bahling, who could have scored two or three times his final team-leading 18 points with 15 coming in the first half, punctuated his typically consistent contribution with four 3s.  Junior Deante Barnes knocked down 12 and was followed by senior Kurtis Dimond with 8, senior Ron Paris (6), senior Ryan McKnight (4), senior Jake Konaszewski (4), senior Alex Hernandez (3), sophomore Austin Revolinski (3), junior Alex Robelo (3), senior Tyler Lass (2), junior Matt Kopp (2), and senior Dominicke Gayles (1).

The Bucs return to conference action on Friday (7 p.m.) when they travel to Guilford and Saturday (7 p.m.) at home against Freeport.

Buy Viagra Overnight Delivery USA.