After a long rest through the Christmas season, the Belvidere Bucs regrouped to begin 2005 on a positive note, winning two games in a row for the first time this season and getting back to the .500 mark for the first time in conference play.
The game against East was never in doubt. Nick Wirth scored first for the Bucs, giving them a lead they would never relinquish. Jason Fiske scored two three pointers in a row. The E-rabs, on the other side, were unable to generate much of anything. By the end of the first period, the Bucs were leading 25 – 9. The E-rabs managed to limit the Bucs to a single set of free throws by Adam Heaton for the first two minutes of the second period. However, East was unable to get anything going offensively themselves. Jason Fiske scored on another two three point shots. The Bucs passed the ball around, and pulled away 39 – 21 at the half.
The third quarter didn’t go as well for the Bucs as they missed opportunities, got into foul trouble and turn the ball over. The E-rabs were able to make it a 10 point game. However, the Bucs regrouped for the fourth quarter and mixed it up offensively. Jason Fiske led the Bucs with 24 points. Adam Heaton and Matt Barr both had 14. Tyler Pearse scored four. And the Bucs walked away with their first victory of 2005, 72 – 58.
Saturday’s home game against Guilford started out on a good note. Nick Wirth scored seven points in the first half to give the Bucs a one point advantage going into halftime, 19 – 18. However, the third quarter was all Vikings. Going on a 20 – 8 run, Guilford dominated both offensively and defensively. The Bucs turned the ball over repeatedly, to devastating effect. The Vikings Jake Salstrand scored six points to give Guilford a 14 point lead. However, the tide turned in the fourth quarter as the Bucs defense clamped down. Jason Fiske scored 10 of his 20 points in the final period. With less than 20 seconds to go, the Bucs took the lead on a Fiske lay up, 46 – 45. While the Bucs had been playing almost mistake free, a foul brought Byron Emerson to the free throw line. He made one of two, tying the game. Matt Barr wasn’t able to get it in at the buzzer and the game went into overtime.
The Bucs capitalized on fouls by Guilford in the extra period. Matt Barr scored two free throws and Anthony Goransen scored one. That was enough to give the Bucs a win, 51 – 47.
The 8 – 8 (3 – 3, NIC-9) Bucs travel to Rockford Friday night to take on Auburn. The 6 – 10 (2 – 4, NIC-9) Knights are coming off a drubbing by Jefferson. The Bucs will have to battle against a balanced offense led by Damarceo Paschel who has been averaging over 11 points a game. The game begins at 7:30.