By Bob Kopp
BDR Sports Correspondent
Standing at 9-11 with conference play resuming on March 1, the 2015-2016 edition of Belvidere basketball can be summed up succinctly: “The Bucs can almost beat anybody and definitely lose to anybody.”
Knowing no one will out-coach, out-hustle, or out-tough the Bucs under the leadership of head coach Aaron Pearson and top assistant Nate Lister with consensus first-team all-conference players senior Deante Barnes and junior Austin Revolinski forming the nucleus of a team that can make a serious run in the post-season with one or two tweaks, the first stern test will be against an improving Guilford on Friday.
The annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Showcase Shootout hosted by Jefferson (Jan. 15 through Jan. 18) proved typical for the Bucs; noting the greatest fullback of all time Jim Brown often said, “Potential means nothing. Only the final score counts.”
Opening against Harlem on Friday, Belvidere dominated the opening eight minutes 17-10, allowed the Huskies to inch closer at the half 30-26, held a fragile 39-37 margin after the third, and held on for a surprisingly close 51-47 win with Revolinski and junior Joey Hernandez leading the way with 14 and 13 points respectively.
Saturday’s early afternoon contest featured hot-shooting Deerfield’s dominating 75-45 triumph featuring eleven three-pointers. Barnes led the Bucs with 14 points.
Belvidere bounced back in the late Saturday’s game against Johnsburg 46-44; but it wasn’t easy. In a game that most observers felt should have been decided much earlier, the Bucs needed a buzzer-beater by Barnes for the win. Junior Austin Brockmann led the Bucs with 12 points.
Monday opened with a loss to Lutheran 74-68 in a game much closer than the final score. Aside from the usual groans and moans about recruiting and players nurtured at South Middle School before being recruited by the Crusaders, it was Barnes’ finest game of the season with 13 of his 27 points coming in the third quarter that ended with the Bucs up 51-45. The aforementioned tweaks can obviate the implosion of the 4th.
Monday afternoon’s 89-49 loss to Bloomington was expected as the Raiders are one of the best teams in the country. With several D1 prospects on the roster, they are formidable and should make it to this year’s state championship finals. Hernandez scored a team-leading 12 points.
With the “Once a Buc Always a Buc” partisans hoping almost becomes definitely as Belvidere moves to the meat of its schedule.

Buy Viagra Overnight Delivery USA.