By Bob Kopp
BDR Sports Correspondent
ROCKFORD – Belvidere traveled to Guilford for the second game of NIC-10 action on Dec. 4 and left with a hard-earned 60-57 win and won the rematch at home on Friday, Jan. 22, 61-57 in a game that went down to the wire.
After the Vikings took a 12-11 lead at the end of the first quarter, the Bucs seemed in control at the half 27-17 with balanced scoring and its renowned stingy defense directed by head coach Aaron Pearson and top assistant Nate Lister.
After inching back 42-35 at the end of the third, the visitors stunned the packed gymnasium with two quick three-pointers to pull within a point 42-41 at 7:23.
The last seven minutes of frenzied action kept everyone on the edge of their seats.
The lead went back and forth until the remarkably composed and icy resolve of the coaches and team took the lead 56-54 with 1:02 left to play as senior Deante Barnes knocked down two of his eight points.
After Guilford senior Austin Peterson landed a bomb from beyond the arc to pull the Vikings within a point 58-57, the never-to-be out-coached, out-hustled, or out-toughed Bucs defended their turf as Barnes hit both ends from the foul line with 16.5 seconds on the clock and senior Eric Munoz added another from the charity stripe with 11 seconds left for the final 61-57 margin.
Junior rebounding machine Xavier Dent led the Bucs with 14 points, Munoz had 12, junior Austin Revolinski with his never-ending motor all over the court added 11, and juniors Nate Horton (eight), Joey Hernandez (four), and Will Morris (four) completed the victorious total. Senior Matt Kopp along with juniors Austin Brockmann and Jacob Rodriguez also saw action.

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