By Bob Kopp

Special Correspondent

ROCKFORD – Senior co-captain Ryan McKnight was the glue that bonded the Bucs to a convincing 72-60 win over Rockford East.

McKnight’s confident court management, assists, steals, rebounds, and tight defense along with 12 points led the Bucs to a critical victory in the meat of the schedule on the way to the post-season.

Pulling away in the first quarter 14-4 with seven Bucs scoring in another stunning example of Head Coach Aaron Pearson’s passion for balanced scoring, the Bucs were never really challenged as they move into the toughest part of conference play.

Top assistant Nate Lister had our big men ready for massive 6’8″ senior Patrick Green whose presence in the paint daunts most teams.  Seniors Kurtis Dimond, Tyler Lass, and Ron Paris took turns holding Green to 6 points with none coming in the fourth quarter.

Junior Deante Barnes led all scorers with 20 points along with strong rebounding and a dominant fourth quarter on both ends of the court.  10 of his points came in the fourth when the E-Rabs made a run that brought them within 7 points before Barnes asserted himself.

Senior Colton Bahling knocked down 15 points spread over the game.  While making Green a non-factor all night, big men Dimond (6), Lass (5), and Paris (8) dominated scoring and defense in the paint.  Senior defensive stalwart and sharpshooter Alex Hernandez (5) and rugged sophomore Austin Revolinski (1) continue as increasingly integral parts of the rotation.

The Bucs visited Boylan on Saturday at 7 p.m.

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