bball2By Bob Kopp

BDR Sports Correspondent

DEKALB – One team played at its best for three quarters and one team played at its worst over the same periods.

Ridgewood was hot and Belvidere was not.

As 75 percent of the game was frittered away by the Bucs, a loyal booster observed, “It looks like they hit the snooze button on their alarm clocks.  When are they going to wake up?  This is a lethargic, listless, and lackluster trainwreck.”  Not knowing it would last for one more quarter, a coach deadpanned at intermission, “This is embarrassing.”

Playing at their best for three quarters (56-29), Ridgewood was 9-19 from beyond the arc in the first half (47 percent) and 6-10 from the same distance in the second half (51.7 percent).  Forty-five of their game-winning 68 points were from long range.

Conversely, the Bucs shot only 20 percent from the field in the first half to dig a hole that proved insurmountable despite fourth quarter heroics.

Led by seniors Deante Barnes and Eric Munoz along with its increasingly renowned defense emerging from slumber, the Bucs outscored the Rebels 28-12 in the last eight minutes.  Barnes had 13 of his 22 points and Munoz had eight of his 10 points to narrow the score to its final 68-57 margin.

Ridgewood’s Zach Rzewnicki had 16 points and was selected to the All-Tournament Team as Keith Kerrigan fell one short of Barnes game-leading total with 21 points.

Junior Austin Revolinski notched 12 points and played aggressively for every second of every minute of the entire game.  Juniors Nate Horton (nine), Xavier Dent (two), Austin Brockman (one), and Will Morris (one) added to the total with juniors Joey Hernandez and Jacob Rodriguez logging minutes along with senior Matt Kopp.

Radio announcers covering the game were equally shocked by Ridgewood’s uncharacteristic offensive display and the resurrected tenacity of the Bucs in the final quarter.

While the Rebels never took their first unit off the court and pressed from the start of the second half until the buzzer, the Bucs comeback in the fourth hinted at better days to come.

But as the 88th Annual Chuck Dayton Holiday Classic concluded for the Bucs, they woke up too late to claim a W.  The tournament proved the Bucs are a formidable foe for any team, can beat anyone in their conference and class, and just as easily lose when they snooze.

After a lengthy layoff, the Bucs resume conference play on Jan. 13 as they travel to Hononegah.  Varsity action tips off twenty minutes after the sophomore game that starts at 5:30 p.m.

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