For the Belvidere Bucs, the month of January holds the opportunity to separate themselves from the pack at the top of the NIC-10. Their first test of 2013 was the Boylan Titans, a team they had not beaten since 1988. Despite getting off to a strong start in 2012 and leading the conference for the beginning of the season, the Boylan Titans have struggled with injuries in their starting lineup. In their battles against other top teams so far, the Titans pulled out a narrow 73-70 win over East, but fell to Hononegah 52-47 the following evening. The Bucs were the next challenge.
Why is Belvidere such a challenging team? Five of their starters are averaging around ten points or higher per game, with junior Joe Byers putting up 13.5. Their diversity makes them one of the deepest and hardest to defend teams in the NIC-10. The other team with as wide of a range of offensive weapons is Boylan, but that’s when they’re operating at full strength (with Stull, Vines, Grygiel and Cimino), something they were not doing this week.
This week, it was Kane Steger who led the Bucs with 19 points and eight assists against the Titans. Belvidere also held Boylan’s top scorer, Brock Stull, to just nine points on the night.
The Bucs’ 64-55 win puts them on top of the NIC-10 with just one conference loss, while Boylan falls into fourth place behind Auburn and East.
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