In the first week of conference matchups, the Belvidere Bucs showed why they were on the list of teams to beat in the NIC-10. The Bucs defeated a strong Hononegah team in their conference opener, lead by double-digit shooting performances from Maurice Jackson (G), Josh Hauser (C), Kane Steger (G), Joe Byers (F) and Darious Brown (C).
Belvidere would go on to beat the Harlem Huskies 76-50 the following night, despite a 26-point performance by Harlem’s Justin VanWambeke.
Meanwhile, the Guilford Vikings had gone winless in week one, falling to Boylan 79-53, and Belvidere North 70-47.
But this week, the Guilford Vikings handed the Belvidere Bucs their first loss since falling to Elgin Larkin on November 19th, and the first upset of the season. Guilford scored 18 points in the fourth quarter, 10 of them from junior Sedrick Jones (G), to beat the Bucs 58-56.
So how does this loss affect the NIC-10 standings at the end of week two? It moves Belvidere to just below the Auburn Knights and even with East, both with conference records of 2-1 and overall records of 5-2. The Bucs face Freeport this week, but will have the opportunity to move up in the rankings when they take on Boylan and Auburn to kickoff January.
Hononegah, who is now tied with Boylan at 3-1 in the conference, has been playing like one of the more balanced teams in the NIC-10 in their last three games. The Indians executed solid defense against teams like Auburn and Jefferson, and forced the J-Hawks to shoot from the perimeter for most of Friday’s game.
But it was Saturday’s win over the dominant Boylan offense that showed why the Hononegah Indians sit on top of the power rankings this week.
Power Rankings – Week Two
1. Hononegah Indians
2. Boylan Titans
3. Auburn Knights
4. East E-Rabs
5. Belvidere Bucs
6. Jefferson J-Hawks
7. Belvidere North Blue Thunder
8. Guilford Vikings
9. Harlem Huskies
10. Freeport Pretzels
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