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Bucs limp out of NIC-10 play

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The Bucs boys basketball team struggled in their final two games before regionals, losing by a combined 59 points to conference rivals Boylan and Belvidere North.

On Feb. 16, the team took a resounding 65-25 loss to Boylan. The loss was ugly in all facets for the Bucs. The team turned the ball over 18 times, with Boylan scoring countless times in transition. The team never scored more than eight points in a quarter, and only scored once in the third quarter. Senior Phil Kolk, who averages 17.5 PPG, was held to just three points, going 1-10 from the field.

The lone bright spot in the game was the return of Senior Brady Hauser, who scored seven points, including two three-pointers, in his return from knee surgery.

On Feb. 21, the Bucs took on crosstown rival Belvidere North, hoping to avenge their one point Jan. 6 loss to the Blue Thunder.

After a close first quarter, North pulled away, and the Bucs never were able to grab the lead, falling 69-50. The win snapped the Blue Thunder’s nine-game losing streak.

“We just lost focus. We stopped playing as a team,” said Hauser.

Kolk bounced back from his performance against Boylan with 21 points, and Hauser added 10.

North had three players in double figures, including gaurd Sebastian Gutierrez’s 20-point effort.

This Monday, Feb. 26, the Bucs will begin their 3A Regional Title defense on their home court. Belvidere will take on the #11 seed in the sectional, the Harvard Hornets, at 7 pm. Should they win, they will take on top-seeded Boylan Tuesday.

“It’s going to be tough to win these games with a small crowd. I just look at it like any other game,” said Hauser.

The last time Belvidere hosted a boys basketball regional, the Bucs lost to Rockford Lutheran in the title game, in 2015.

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Bucs limp out of NIC-10 play