By Chris Johnson


The warm-ups are over, and the pre-season is history. It is time to get to work in Belvidere, and the Lady Bucs are prepared for battle this Monday, Nov. 14, as they take on the Genoa-Kingston Lady Cogs. The 2016 winter sports season tips off with basketball at home for Belvidere.

With non-conference games scheduled into week two, the conference season takes its turn on center stage beginning with a clash against Auburn on Nov. 29.

Must-win games already are filling in on the Bucs’ winter schedule. Contests against teams such as Auburn, Guilford, Jefferson, and East will allow fans and supporters to see how good this squad can be this year. Belvidere must play physical to compete in the NIC-10. The inside game will have to make its presence felt. The outside shots will follow.

The physical play experienced in the regular season is something Belvidere is accustomed to. They know it will take that to be competitive. They know what it will take to win, as they battle through the NIC-10 schedule.

How the Lady Bucs compete against teams such as Hononegah, Harlem, and Boylan will indicate their readiness for a chase at the conference crown. Their readiness already will be tested before the match with Auburn to close November. Belvidere will see Hononegah on Dec. 6, just three weeks into the season. Three days later they will host Harlem.

There will be surprises in the conference this season. Hononegah losing a game won’t come as that much of a shock to many followers this season. It’s happened. Boylan facing a mid-season losing streak shouldn’t surprise. How well teams such as Belvidere, Auburn, and Freeport play will help shape who comes out in front this year.

Belvidere’s performance in early-season tournament play against non-conference opponents will help build a picture as to where they are and where they need to be to be competitive in the NIC-10. The conference is physical. There is a lot of solid contact inside and that trend will continue this year.

The Belvidere Daily Republican will continue to follow the Belvidere Lady Bucs throughout the winter sports season.

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