By Chris Johnson


A great opportunity presented itself to the Belvidere boys’ basketball sophomore-representatives as they were invited to participate in the season-opening Pecatonica Thanksgiving Turkey Tourney, a usually exclusive varsity tournament.

The going hasn’t been the best, so far in the week long tournament, as Belvidere carried a 0-3 mark into the Monday, Nov. 29 games. North Boone and South Beloit played first at 6 p.m. Belvidere took to the floor against the 1-1 Pecatonica Indians in the 7:30 p.m. contest.

Looking at individual performances for the tournament, Zach Tobler scored 13 in the opener and led the team again with eight points during game two.

In his third match of the tournament, Tobler scored 10 points as teammates Steven King and Andy Valladares led the team with 12 each. Night three was a much better team effort, even in loss.

The opening night match against Warren may have shown Belvidere faithful what they have to look forward to in the upcoming seasons. They held the 3-0 Warren Warriors at bay throughout the night. The effort ended as Warren drew ahead though. Belvidere could not recover from the opening night loss as they fell in night two to the South Beloit Sobos.

In the South Beloit game, Sobos guard Dillon Hagstrom couldn’t seem to miss. Belvidere scored 30 points in the loss. Hagstrom scored 22 for South Beloit and took the game 40-30.

On night three, the going was again tough for the Belvidere sophomores as they ran into a North Boone team that was looking for its own answers, as it fell in its opening night match to Warren. The Vikings shot selection seemed methodical. They worked the ball around the floor and found the eight to 10 foot looks open throughout the night. North Boone took the game 52-43.

On Monday, Nov. 28, the season-opening tournament came to a close for Belvidere as they faced the host Pecatonica Indians in the 7:30 p.m. game.

If there will be something to look forward to, even with a record that shows non-success in the early going, the sophomore players will have to get a handle on the stress caused during the mental portion of varsity basketball.

They will learn that a three-score lead can shift quickly at the varsity level. A team could find itself allowing wins to walk away with the inability to close games. It is inexperience at the sophomore level. The opportunity to compete with players two-years more advanced will have long-term benefits which will affect Belvidere’s success in future seasons.


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