By Chris Johnson


The Belvidere North Blue Thunder team has yet to find a way to string together wins this season. Gathering small victories in near losses has been a viable reality.

On different nights, it seems the opposition is ready to do something a little different when they prepare for Belvidere North, so the wins have been elusive. There is hope that will change when the calendar flips and the NIC-10 season gets a little busier in 2017.

Following a Friday, Dec. 9 win over the Guilford Vikings, 85-55, Belvidere North has dropped back-to-back decisions to NIC-10 counterparts Freeport and Rockford East.

In the loss to Freeport, the Blue Thunder scored 46 points and lost by 25.

In the loss to an even better Rockford East, Belvidere North showed improvement and the final score of 88-65 supported it.

Through the first period against East, the two teams exchanged baskets with each staying within arm’s reach of each other. One point and two point leads were common and at the end of the first eight minutes of play; the game was being decided by just one point, 15-14 in favor of the E-Rabs.

Belvidere North entered the second period a little more focused.

Unfortunately for Blue Thunder fans, so did Rockford East. The E-Rabs put 24 points on the board in the period and outpaced Belvidere North by seven points in the frame. At the half, the E-Rabs led 39-31.

A few adjustments East made in the third proved to be too much for Belvidere North to handle. The speed of the game picked up and so did the scoring. Rockford East’s lead grew to 68-44 after three. The period didn’t stop Belvidere North from trying to stage a comeback in the final period though.

The Blue Thunder tallied 21 points in the final quarter and beat East at its own game in the frame. However, the E-Rabs had already built the sizable lead and had turned the night over to a few substitute players.

Belvidere North will play in the Chuck Dayton Holiday Tournament in the days before and after Christmas. The final tournament of 2016 closes the first half of the winter sports season on Friday, Dec. 30 for the Blue Thunder.

The 2017 portion of the season opens with a Friday, Jan. 6 NIC-10 date set with the Boylan Titans.

On Wednesday, Jan. 11 the Auburn Knights play host to Belvidere North, and on Saturday, Jan. 14, action in MLK Memorial Tournaments fills area teams’ schedules.

Belvidere North takes on Jefferson on Friday, Jan. 20 as the NIC-10 second season sets-in. Matches against Belvidere and Harlem help to close down January. February resumes with scheduled visits to Guilford and Rockford East as well as home visits by the Hononegah Indians, Boylan Titans, and Freeport Pretzels to close the regular-season.


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