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Reavis (35) Eduard Puha guards Richards (50) Josh Meier in first half action. Richards plays Reavis in a boys varsity BBK played at Reavis at 6034 W. 77th St, Burbank, IL on Friday night 2-8-13|Judy Fidkowski~For Sun-Times Media

Richards’ Josh Meier was pretty tough on the rim during the second half of the Bulldogs’ 76-68 victory Friday over host Reavis.

The 6-6 center grabbed it hard while slamming down three dunks and made contact with it on a couple of more attempts.

With about four minutes remaining, the game had to be stopped so the officials could straighten the rim. It remained wobbly.

One of the officials also had a talk with Meier.

“He told me not to dunk again,” Meier said, smiling. “He said to just drop it in, because it was bent and old. I don’t know, that was the first broken rim of my career.”

What didn’t break was the Bulldogs’ resolve in slamming the door on what was an impressive fourth-quarter comeback by Reavis, which trailed by as many as 18 points before cutting it to four with 30 seconds remaining.

Dedrick Shannon came up clutch for Richards, going 4-for-4 from the free-throw line, while Cortez Harper made a steal and driving layup to lock it up.

Meier finished with 20 points and 12 rebounds, Harper 18 points and Shannon 10 points as Richards (14-9, 6-4) fought back into a first-place tie in conference. Reavis (15-5, 6-4) was paced by Nick Bal (28 points), Edward Puha (16 points, 9 rebounds) and Joe O’Hara (14 points).

The win was Bulldogs coach John Chappetto’s 200th.

“It’s pretty special for it to be here,” Chappetto said. “I kind of cut my teeth as a young coach having to get ready for Reavis all the time. But more important, it puts us in a tie for first place. We’re trying to win eight conference championships in a row.”

Drama didn’t seem forthcoming in a game that Richards seized control of early. It was 17-10 after one quarter, and Richards enjoyed a double-digit lead for most of the second half. But Puha and Bal, each of whom hit buzzer-beaters to win in two recent games, combined for four treys in the final four minutes. Bal was then fouled while trying another and hit all three to make it 70-66.

Shannon finally ended the drama for Richards.

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