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Boys Basketball: Reavis turns back Urban Prep

Updated: December 26, 2013 10:55PM

Take away Eddie Puha from the Reavis lineup and the Rams might have trouble sticking together.

“He’s our glue,’’ Reavis coach Jeff Smith said. “He’s a very good leader. He’s one of our best defenders. Obviously, he’s a very good scorer, our leading rebounder.’’

Puha proved all that again Thursday with 26 points and 14 rebounds to lead Reavis in a 69-43 win over Urban Prep in the first round of the Romeoville Christmas Classic.

“They tried to make us play faster than we usually do,’’ Puha said. “All we had to do was slow down, play our game and the rest took care of itself.’’

“It’s good to see a team that’s a different style than what our conference is like,’’ Smith said. “They put a lot of pressure on us, so it was good that we handled that.’’

Puha, a three-year starter, came at Urban Prep from all angles right from the tipoff, scoring 17 points in the first quarter.

Dawid Kasprzak and Abdalrhman Ishtaiah each had 14 points for Reavis (8-2). The Rams led 31-19 at halftime and 56-33 going into the final period.

“Anybody can score any time on our team,’’ said Puha, who finished his scoring with seven points in the third quarter. “We have good bench players. Anybody can step up at any given time.

“This tournament can make us better, get our confidence up. I think we’re playing as a team real well. We’ve known each other since freshman year.’’

Urban Prep coach Jamen Williams played an inexperienced lineup against Reavis.

“We started four sophomores and a junior,’’ Williams said. “We’re in the process of the seniors coming back. They had to sit out for a game due to disciplinary reasons.’’

Sophomore Juwaun Cooper-Muhammad had 12 points for Urban Prep (2-6).

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