PLANO — The Belvidere Bucs are the top seed and defending champion of the 50th Plano Boys Basketball Christmas Classic.
The unseeded Coal City Coalers found out why Wednesday afternoon.
Belvidere roared out to a 30-7 lead in the opening quarter en route to posting a 71-36 triumph.
"They are a very solid squad," noted Coal City coach Brad Boresi afterward. "But, on the other hand, we did a lot of things to help them. We had a lot of turnovers (23 total), we took bad shots and our defense was terrible. We gave up way to many easy layups."
Coalers senior center Nick Peters echoed the words of Boresi.
"We needed to be stronger with the ball," Peters said. "Me included. We gave them a ton of uncontested layups."
And the 7-2 Bucs took advantage, dropping in 29-of-63 field goal attempts. Coal City was 15-of-39, including 6-of-8 in the second stanza when the Coalers were outscored 20-15.
And Boresi pointed out that the disparity in the score might have been worse.
"They could have scored as many points as they wanted," said Boresi. "But their coach was very nice to us. We would do the same if the situation presented itself."
Peters was 7-of-11 from the field to top the Coalers with 15 points. Senior guard Brennen Shetina had seven. Senior center Jon West ended with five while reserves Lane Cowherd had two and Connar Rice one.
Junior guard Joe Byers led Belvidere with 22 points. Senior guard Josh Hauser had 13. Both were All-Tournament picks in 2011, when the Bucs upended Yorkville 61-51 in the championship contest.
Shetina and forware Joe Mecetich dished out three assists for Coal City. West snared a half dozen boards, three at each end. Belvidere held a 32-25 advantage on the boards.
The Coalers now square off against Indian Creek today.