By Matt Nestor
Two years ago, the Belvidere North Blue Thunder were competing in the sectionals, leading to high expectations for last season.
But the Blue Thunder had a hard time living up to those expectations.
This season, North is flying under the radar. But they may have enough athletes to surprise some people.
“Belvidere North, we keep waiting for them to break out,” Auburn Head Coach Bryan Ott said. “North seems to run their sets well, and they have good shooters. They haven’t quite put the whole thing together yet.”
Shooting will be the strength of the Blue Thunder this season. They have a lot of backcourt depth and will be led by several key seniors.
Alex Gomez had a very good summer, and was one of the few bright spots during a rough run at the Rock Valley Summer League. He looks ready to make a run at the conference scoring title.
He will be helped by fellow senior Brandon Schwebke. The guard was one of the top shooters in the conference last year, and the Blue Thunder will look to get him more looks this year.
The one area that could hurt North is post play. The Blue Thunder graduated much of their post presence, which will make protecting the ball key for their team.
But opposing coaches expect great effort and know they are in for a fight every time they face the Blue Thunder.
“Those kids play hard and they compete,” East Head Coach Roy Sackmaster said.
From the Nov. 24-30, 2010 issue