The Buccaneers’ boys basketball team knew what to expect in Friday’s showdown with rival Rockford.
They just couldn’t stop it.
The Rams jumped out to a commanding early lead and held off every run the Buccaneers threw their way, scoring a 53-45 win.
“Them getting off to that start, and just the way they did it, it was all scouting report stuff,” said a dejected coach Steve Hewitt following the loss. “We just didn’t execute.”
The Rams’ dangerous outside shooters found plenty of room to launch their shots, and a pair of early 3-pointers by Nate Wozniak pushed Rockford out to an 8-3 first-quarter lead.
Triples by Wozniak and Casey Watters in the second quarter, then two more 3-pointers by Watters in the third, helped Rockford’s advantage grow to 12 points on several different occasions in the third quarter.
In the fourth, the Bucs went into desperation mode, trapping on defense and taking advantage of a few Rams’ turnovers to get back into the game.
A 3-pointer by Noah Lein and a pair of free throws by Ross Koella trimmed Rockford’s advantage down to three points at 40-37, and the Bucs had chances to get closer but missed the front end of three straight one-and-one free throw opportunities.
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