By Chris Johnson, Sports Correspondent

 The coaching staff at South Beloit High School took away more than just their video tape copies of how well their Sobos played during the team’s season-opening invitational in Pecatonica. When moments were collected and the information was compiled the findings revealed positive news.

Led by Seniors Dillon Hagstrom and Eddie Quince, South Beloit exchanged blows with undefeated Tournament Champion, Warren through double overtime. Before succumbing 43-40 during the final night of the Pecatonica Thanksgiving Turkey Tourney. The Sobos dropped to .500 on the season, but played better than the average team at this year’s Thanksgiving Invitational.  Those losses came to two teams with a combined tournament mark of 7-1.

 South Beloit almost beat Warren Tuesday, Nov. 29. The upset would have opened the door for a three-way tie for the Turkey Tourney Title. South Beloit, Pecatonica and Warren would have all shared the honors in the end. Had the Sobos gotten just one more shot and the foul to boot in the final minutes of the second period, the title might not have been so “statistically-easily” won by 4-0 Warren. A third bonus period might have done it for South Beloit.  After the first eight minutes of play in the Tournament finale the Warriors fought their way to a three-point lead, 11-8. At the half, South Beloit fought back to remain three points down, 22-19. The plan worked well for South Beloit after the break and the defense tightened up. Hagstrom and Quince started getting better looks. Senior teammate Antonio Hickman got more active in the offense. The Sobos outscored the Warriors 10-4 in the period and entered the fourth quarter up 29-26. Warren would have been 3-1 had they lost to South Beloit on Tuesday night. With that record they still would have been Tournament Champion. They would’ve just had to share it with two other teams.

The Warriors already showed poise during their Tournament opener. They have already forged a double-digit comeback this season. In the Thanksgiving Turkey Tourney opener, the Warriors turned a ten-point deficit into a two-point win over Belvidere’s Sophomore-representatives, with 1.2 seconds to go in the game. In the Pecatonica Thanksgiving closer, they found another way to fight. Over the final eight minutes of the match, the Warriors did it again and tied the match at 36. Overtime began and the five minutes elapsed. The Sobos didn’t score. Warren wouldn’t let them. South Beloit’s defense, paired with Warren’s inability to connect on one chance from four penalty shots from the line meant the game was going into a second overtime, still tied at 36. Warren came back in the last three minutes of the game. They outscored South Beloit 7-4 and won the Pecatonica Thanksgiving Turkey Tourney Title.

On Tuesday, Dec. 6, South Beloit played at Rockford Christian Life. Details of that contest are unavailable at this time. Thursday, Dec. 8 the Sobos visit Crystal Lake for a game against Faith Lutheran. The road trip turns to Keith Country Day on Tuesday, Dec. 13 before moving to Rockford Christian next Friday, Dec. 16. The journey ends at Clinton on Saturday, Dec. 17.

The annual Martin Luther King Boys’ Basketball Invitational waits for South Beloit in the New Year. Many more possibilities are also expected to be waiting for the Sobos when they get back in the Conference swing and games within the Northeastern Athletic in 2017.

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