Bucs Win at Home, Lose on the Road


Senior Night at Belvidere High School Friday night started with tributes to the players graduating this year, the cheerleaders and all of the people who supported them throughout the season.  However, the best tribute for the seniors was inspired play to give the Bucs a victory over the visiting Harlem Huskies.The Bucs missed their first shot.  Harlem recovered and passed it around the perimeter.  They couldn’t get it inside, but Jake Ortberg hit a three point shot to give the Huskies their only lead for the night.  The Bucs got it back, Aaron Leonard hit a shot with 6:45 and after a whistle on Harlem, the Bucs got the ball back again.  Tim Ryan took it cross court and dumped it off to David Howe for a three point play and give Belvidere the lead.  Harlem didn’t make another shot for the next two minutes.  Howe buried another three and Aaron Leonard found another two pointer and the Bucs were up 10 – 3.  Jake Ortberg finally ended Harlem’s scoring drought with a jump shot about ten feet out.  Belvidere’s defense kept the Huskies from getting much more penetration than that.  The Bucs missed another three and Nick Helm grabbed the rebound.  They passed the ball around the perimeter, looking for a chink in Belvidere’s armor.  They didn’t find one.  Tim Ryan challenged and stole the ball away, taking it all the way back the other way for a lay up and went to the line for a free throw.  Harlem took a thirty second time out to try to cool the Bucs, but Ryan made the foul shot and the Bucs were up 13 – 5 with three minutes left in the first period.  The two teams played for control as time wound down; the Bucs passed it around eighteen times during one possession.  Harlem was able to narrow the Bucs lead with a quick pass into the paint and a shot, but at the end of one, the Bucs still had a 13 – 7 lead.Harlem must have been inspired at the start of the second period.  Some sloppy play cost the Bucs possession and Harlem was able to go to the line.  Jon Correa made two for two.  They continued to work hard for rebounds, getting second shots and denying Belvidere extra chances.  Correa grabbed a rebound and scored right at the perimeter line to bring the Huskies within three with less than five minutes left in the half.  That served as a wake up call for Belvidere.  Dustin Boardman dropped in a jump shot at the top of the key.  Brandon Smaha stole the ball away from Harlem as they tried to pass it around.  David Howe hit another three pointer and was fouled on top of it.  Howe made his free throw to make it a four point play.  Harlem took another time out to curb the momentum shifting away from them… to no avail.  Another foul brought Chad Schwebke to the line for two more free throws, giving the Bucs a 26 – 13 lead with two minutes left.  Belvidere was all over the court.  The defense started going after Harlem while they were trying to get the ball inbounds.  In the last minute, the ball barely made it past half court.  Dustin Boardman made another Huskies killing three pointer.  Matt Barr stole the ball away and Chad Schwebke picked up the rebound and made the second try shot.  The Bucs led at halftime 31 – 15.Belvidere’s shooting went cold in the third period.  Unfortunately for the Huskies, they couldn’t shoot much better.  Dustin Boardman finally got inside for a jump shot at the 4:25 mark to get the Bucs on the board in the second half.  Harlem took a quick time out to try to take the wind out of Belvidere’s sails.  It didn’t work.  The Bucs went on a 7 – 0 run over the next two minutes, dominating the boards and giving the Bucs one, two, even three extra shots.  Brandon Codina hit another three pointer for the Bucs.  The Huskies came back with a three pointer of their own from Brandon McDonnell, but it wasn’t enough and the Bucs pulled ahead 42 – 25 as time expired in the third.The Bucs seemed to do no wrong in the fourth period.  Even mistakes were somehow converted into points.  A bad pass by Belvidere bounced in and out of the hands of two Harlem players before coming to rest with David Howe who stepped up and shot at the perimeter line to give the Bucs a 20 point lead with a minute left in the game.  The seniors were rotated out in the last moments, but the younger players kept Harlem in check.  Senior Night wrapped up with a Belvidere 55 – 38 victory over Harlem.Saturday night the Bucs traveled to Sycamore to take on the Spartans in a non-conference match up.  At the beginning of the game, it looked to be a match up of the Bucs versus Reid Barringer.  The Bucs started slowly and the Spartans jumped out to a 12 – 4 lead led by three point shooting by Barringer.  Belvidere took a time out with five minutes left to regroup.  It worked.  Brandon Smaha took a pass in the paint to score two.  Barringer came back with another three, but the Bucs were starting to fight for control of the game.  David Howe grabbed the Bucs first rebound of the night and converted it into a two points on a second try shot.  Brandon Smaha grabbed a rebound on the Spartans’ side of the court; the Bucs passed it around until Dustin Boardman drove in for a two point score.  Matt Barr grabbed another rebound and took it the other way, scoring two with a turn around jump shot.  With 1:35 left in the first period, the Bucs had cut the Spartans lead to 15 – 12.  Unfortunately, Barringer added another four to his point total with a pair of shots in the waning seconds to up Sycamore’s lead to 21 – 12.The Spartans widened the lead in the second period.  Reid Barringer led everyone in scoring with more points than the entire Belvidere team.  Still, the Bucs fought back as time was running out.  Down 30 – 15 with three minutes to go, Dustin Boardman drove in for two points.  On their next possession, Chad Schwebke was fouled and went to the line.  He made two for two.  Boardman got into the three point contest and the Bucs pulled within 10 points with less than a minute left.  Belvidere took a time out and mapped out their strategy.  They dominated the boards to give the Bucs a second shot and then a third.  Matt Barr finally scored two.  Reid Barringer worked his way down the court again, looking to add more to his 20 point total.  Matt Barr stole the ball away and made a lay up at the buzzer to bring the Bucs within six, 32 – 26.Aggressive play on both sides prevented either team from really scoring much.  The Bucs got within three after Dustin Boardman drained another three point shot with less than five minutes to play in the third period, but that was as close as they could get.  Reid Barringer took a rebound cross court for a lay up.  The Bucs switched strategy, taking a lot of time off the clock, but not making any shots.  Sycamore took advantage and re-opened their lead 41 – 33.In the end, the Bucs worked hard to hold Reid Barringer in check.  While they were relatively successful at that, other Sycamore players stepped up to fill in.  The Bucs kept it close, but could never get out of the hole they had been in all game long.  They ended the night 58 – 49 losers to Sycamore.  Reid Barringer led everyone with 32 points.  No other Spartan player cracked double digits.  Dustin Boardman led the Bucs with 15 followed by Matt Barr with 14.The Bucs have this weekend off before finishing up their home season Wednesday, February 22.  Guilford comes to town and Belvidere hopes to better their 64 – 38 loss to the Vikings back on December 17th.  The Bucs finish their season on the road February 24th at Freeport.  Both games start at 7:30 pm. 

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