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Lemont's Martin Einikis (35) shoots over Reavis' Eduard Puha (35) during a varsity basketball game on Friday, Feb, 15, 2013. | John Smierciak~for Sun-Times Media ORG XMIT: BBKreavi-STS-021713-3
Lemont’s defense fueled its offense during the opening minutes of its South Suburban road game Friday at Reavis.
The result was a 61-47 victory that puts the Indians (22-2, 11-1) a win away from a share of the conference championship. The league season ends Friday at Hillcrest.
“It was very important for us to get this win because that puts us a win away from a share of the conference championship,” Lemont coach Rick Runaas said.
“They’re tough,” Reavis coach Jeff Smith said. “We didn’t handle their pressure well, so give credit to them. They were excellent tonight.”
Lemont made 9 of 13 shots in the first quarter, five of them layups, while racing to a 19-7 lead after eight minutes. Reavis (16-7, 7-5) was no closer than eight points the rest of the way.
“We put some pressure on them early, got some easy baskets off of it and that was really it,” Runaas said. “We went up 12 and won by 14.”
Five different players scored in the first quarter for the winners as Marty Einikis scored six of his team-high 16 points in the first. He also led the Indians with six rebounds. Lemont’s lead ballooned to 28-13 before Reavis rallied.
“They played hard and put a lot of pressure on us,” Runaas said. “We were up 28-13 and they didn’t go away.”
“Our kids don’t quit,” Smith said. “We just ran out of gas.”
Four other players reached double figures for Lemont in Juozas Balciunas (12 points, six assists), Joe Hehir (11), Mike Wisz (11) and Jack Shereck (10).
Ed Puka (20 points) and Nick Bal (17) reached double digits for the Rams, who trailed 28-19 at the half and 44-31 after three.