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John Puk Watch 2008

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009 6:25 AM CST

East tops West in first-round, 63-52

By NICK PETAROS, Courier Sports Writer


WATERLOO — There was no need to remind Waterloo East junior Joel Riley that the stakes were elevated Monday night as his team opened the postseason on the road against its biggest rival.


“This means everything,” Riley said. “It’s a West versus East game. It means everything, it’s a big game.”


Riley was up to the challenge. He torched the Wahawks for a game-high 25 points — just more than three times his season average — leading East to a 63-52 win at Siddens Gymnasium. With the victory, East improved to 12-10 overall and 2-1 against Waterloo West in a series that saw neither team defend its home court.


Riley started the game strong by drawing contact off a spin move for a traditional three-point play. He finished it even stronger. After West cut its deficit to seven on a three-point play by Max Shower with 5:46 remaining, Riley answered with 10 of East’s final 16 points. He added two assists during that stretch and finished the game 13 of 15 from the line.


“Riley is a good player and he’s been a good player,” East coach Steve McGraw said. “He just needed to be confident in his game, and he’s come to be a really good player for us.”


For West, it took too long to find any offensive rhythm. The Wahawks converted on just one of their first 10 possessions as East opened the game on a 9-2 run and never trailed.


“I thought (East) came out and was a little bit more physical than we were, and I thought we came out a little passive,” West coach Courtney Henderson said.


Trailing 15-6 after the first quarter, the Wahawks converted seven of eight free throws during a 10-4 second-quarter run that cut their deficit to 19-16. East’s Quinton VanArsdale answered with eight consecutive points, and the Wahawks never pulled closer than seven from then on.


VanArsdale finished with 10 points and Tevin Browne had 11 points, highlighting a strong day for East’s supporting cast. The Trojans’ top scorer, Jaron Nash, got into early foul trouble and played limited minutes in the first half. He finished with just two points — 15 below his season average.


Even with a strong win over its rival, East is aware there is room for improvement.


“I thought for the most part we played hard,” McGraw said. “Riley was really good. I thought (Jerron) Mabry and VanArsdale played pretty well, too.


“We missed too many free throws and gave them too many free-throw opportunities in the first half, especially. I think we can play better, but if you don’t make free throws and if you don’t rebound the basketball then you’re not going to play as well as you need to. I think those are two areas we didn’t play very well at.”


Aside from Riley, East shot just 7-for-15 from the free-throw line.


West’s TrayVonn Wright finished with 10 points and 13 rebounds, boosting his team to a 33-24 rebounding advantage.


Senior Ryan Edwards finished his career at West with a team-high 18 points. The loss ended a turnaround season for the Wahawks. For the first time in 16 years, West finished its regular season above .500 at 11-10.


“I hate that we had to fall short first round in the playoffs, but still that’s not going to take anything away from our kids and the season they put together,” Henderson said. “To turn around a program from winning two to three games a season to make making a double-digit winning season, I’m still proud of my kids.”


Up next for East is a battle with one-loss Cedar Rapids Kennedy at 7 p.m. Friday in Cedar Rapids.


Contact Nick Petaros at (319) 291-1428 or nick.petaros@wcfcourier.com


EAST (61) – Devin Hoskins 1-1 0-2 2, Quinton VanArsdale 4-9 2-3 10, Jaron Nash 1-7 0-0 2, Corey Turner 2-6 0-0 6, Joel Riley 4-9 13-15 25, Tevin Browne 3-7 4-8 11, Jerron Mabry 2-4 1-2 5. Totals 17-43 20-30 61.


WEST (52) – Trent Washington 2-7 1-2 6, Ryan Edwards 6-14 4-4 18, Trashon Montgomery 0-1 0-0 0, Max Shower 3-9 1-1 8, Max Nank 3-3 0-0 6, TrayVonn Wright 4-16 2-3 10, John Puk 1-1 2-2 4. Totals 19-51 10-12 52.


East 15 12 16 18 – 61


West 6 14 13 19 – 52


3-point field goals – East 5 (Turner 2, Riley 2, Browne); West 4 (Edwards 2, Washington, Shower). Total fouls – East 13, West 23. Fouled out – East (none); West (Washington, Montgomery).



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From here.


Sunday, March 15, 2009 6:02 AM CDT

Honor squads a balanced bunch


The 2009 all-metro boys' basketball team is a premium blend.


There are veterans and newcomers, upperclassmen and underclassmen.


Overall, four players return from the 2008 squad, while seven appear on the first or second teams for the first time.


Five seniors, five juniors and a sophomore make up the roster.


The two teams who competed at the just-completed state tournament are also well-represented.


For Cedar Falls, senior Darion Howard leads the way, as he moves up from the second team to the first. Howard averaged a team-high 11.9 points and just less than six rebounds per game.


Andrew Wirth, a Tiger junior, makes his all-metro debut on the first team. The Tiger guard was right behind Howard with an 11.3 per-game points average.


Kyle Bernard, who hit the game-winning shot in the substate final against Cedar Rapids Kennedy, represents Cedar Falls on the second team.


NU High's Eddie Diemer made the first team in his junior year, while fellow Panther Kyle Denning is on the second team. Diemer and Denning each scored 9.6 points per game to lead NU back to state in 2009.


Waterloo East's Jaron Nash claimed a first-team spot for the second consecutive season. The 6-foot-7 senior led the Trojans by averaging 17 points per game. Teammate Joel Riley was a second-teamer after scoring 8.9 each night.


Senior John Puk, a 2008 all-metro selection, is one of three West players on the 2009 squad. A first-teamer, the 6-9 Puk averaged 9.8 points per game for the Wahawks as they posted their first winning regular-season record in 15 years.


TrayVonn Wright, a junior, returns to the second team after notching 9.3 points each night.


Senior Ryan Edwards earned a second-team spot by leading West with 10 points per game.


James Humpal, a junior forward, represents Columbus. He topped the Sailors by averaging 14 points per game in 2008-2009.





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I was trying to find video of Puk and I just came across one after searching for quite a while. There doesn't seem to be any video of the basketball team, except for what I just found.



At 1:57 it goes to the Waterloo West game. Puk doesn't shoot in the video, but you can see how he moves. He is #45.



(I believe that is him, from what the article says and the photo in this thread showing him as #45. If anyone finds out it isn't let me know :blink: )

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