Bucs Drop Weekend Pair

The Bucs started the weekend, traveling to Freeport last Friday night to take on the Pretzels.  The Bucs scored first, but that was the only lead they would have all night.  Freeport went on an 11 – 0 run and all but shut down the Belvidere offense.  The Bucs were down 17 – 4 at the end of the first period.  While the Bucs were able to get on the scoreboard, they never threatened and Freeport continued to pull ahead throughout the game and ultimately won 62 – 38.  Dustin Boardman led the Bucs with just 10 points.
If the truth be told, no one would have been surprised to hear the Bucs lost to the league leading Titans last Saturday night.  After all, Boylan is undefeated in the NIC-9 and has rolled over all of their conference opponents whereas the Bucs have been struggling since the New Year. 
A good crowd was on hand at Wood Gym Saturday night. 
The Bucs got on the board first when Dustin Boardman sunk a three.  Tori Boyd came back with a pair of threes to give Boylan the lead.  By the 3:30 mark, the Titans had a 12 – 5 lead after a pair of free throws.  But then the Bucs defense stepped up.  Boylan wouldn’t score again in the period.  The Bucs managed the ball well and didn’t give it away.  Boylan had chances to score, but no easy shots.  With a minute left, Brandon Codina closed the gap with a three point shot well past the perimeter.
That was the last score for the next five minutes.  Boylan and Belvidere traded shots, but neither could get it in.  The Bucs worked hard for rebounds; Boylan had few second chance shots inside the perimeter.  Stephon Valentine finally snapped the scoring drought with a drive inside with 4:18 left in the half.  The Bucs took a 30 second timeout to regroup and start coming back.  Josh Easley took the ball cross court, dumping it to Jack Adams for a two point jump shot.  Michael Bedin tried to drive in, was fouled by Belvidere, but missed his two free throws.  Josh Easley came up with the ball and passed it off to Dustin Boardman for another two points.  Boylan responded with a score, but the Bucs fought back.  George Waddell missed a shot, but Jack Adams came up with the rebound and made the follow up.  The Titans were fouled on the other side of the court, missed a pair of free throws again.  Wade Mootrey grabbed the board, passed it around, finally coming into the hands of Waddell for a two point score to tie the game at 16 apiece.  Boylan held the ball for the last 45 seconds, hoping to sink a three at the buzzer.  The shot missed and the Bucs got the rebound.  Dustin Boardman tried a shot from mid court.  While it didn’t go in, it was enough to get the crowd back into the game.  The wild cheers followed the Bucs into halftime.
The Bucs kicked off the third period with a lay up by Jack Adams, giving Belvidere their first lead since the opening 20 seconds of the game.  The crowd went wild and the euphoria lasted almost a minute.  Up to that point, Boylan didn’t look like a league leader, but they were forced by Belvidere to kick their game up a notch.  Michael Edwards tied things up and after that, the Titans went on a 10 – 0 run, giving the Bucs a bunch of different looks on offense.  Belvidere took a full timeout with 3:24 left in the period to make some adjustments.  They worked to a point; the Bucs were able to make some shots inside the perimeter, but were unable to make any headway.  At the end of three, they were down 33 – 24. 
The fourth quarter was a struggle for both teams as Belvidere pulled out all the stops and went for broke.  They got within five on a drive by Dustin Boardman inside for two points, but that was as close as they could get.  Boylan pulled away again as the Bucs were forced to foul the Titans to regain possession.  They made only four of nine at the free throw line, but combined with just enough offense, Boylan was able to keep the Bucs at bay and come away with a 46 – 37 win. 
Jefferson comes to Belvidere Friday night, coming off a close loss to East and a loss to Auburn.  Auburn visits on Saturday night.  They are coming off a big win against Harlem this past weekend.  The Bucs hope to avenge their loss to the Knights earlier in the season.  Both games are at Wood Gym and begin at 7:30.


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