By Bob Kopp

BDR Sports Correspondent

In the exclusive BDR preview of Bucs Basketball 2016, the common refrain for the defending regional champions is team chemistry punctuated by mutual respect, encouragement, and genuine affection.

When you add increasingly renowned coaching, notorious mental and physical Buc-toughness, and seven well-seasoned seniors complemented by five highly skilled and hungry juniors pressing for playing time, you can understand the anticipation of players, coaches, faculty, students, and fans as the season tips off.

All of the preceding was on display in the opener of the highly competitive School District 205 Tip-Off Classic hosted by Auburn, East, Guilford, and Jefferson featuring teams from the NIC-10, Chicago, Indiana, Florida, and Wisconsin.

Freeport and Belvidere, traditional rivals in basketball and football who bring out the best in each other, opened 25-game play including 15 teams with the balanced Bucs salting the Pretzels 60-44 in a game not remotely as close as the final score.

Jumping out to a quick 23-4 lead at the end of the first period, Belvidere was never challenged with an exclamation point of balanced scoring and defense that will confound opponents as soon as conference play commences on Nov. 30 at powerhouse Auburn.

All-everything senior captain Austin Revolinski led the Bucs with 14 points.

Seniors Will Morris (12), Nate Horton (10), Xavier Dent (10), Joey Hernandez (9), Austin Brockmann (2), and junior Shawn Dean (1) completed the scoring for BHS.

Head Coach Aaron Pearson and top assistant Nate Lister chose to empty the bench early in the first period and throughout the game rather than run up the score; which should bode well as the Bucs prepare for another championship season.

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