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Ready for States: Bishop Ready defeats Fairfield Union for Regional Title

By Greg Glasser, 03/11/23, 7:45PM EST


The Silver Knights delivered a strong second half and stay undefeated

ATHENS, Ohio -- The Silver Knights undefeated streak remained intact, but more importantly, the goal of a state championship gets one step closer as Bishop Ready defeated Fairfield Union 48-33 on Saturday at Ohio University for a regional championship.

The Knights trailed the Falcons by a point halfway through the third quarter until senior Luke Ruth made a three, his first bucket of the game, to give Ready a one-point lead that would never let up and only grow for the remainder of the game.  The sustained lead was in major part due to Ready's defensive approach, as they held the Falcons to just nine points the entire second half. 

The added defensive focus and intensity helped cool the Falcons off from their hot long-range shooting, as they were 5-of-8 on threes in the first half, but only 1-of-4 in the second. The Knights also held Fairfield Union junior Caleb Schmelzer, the MSL Buckeye player of the year, to just five points on 2-of-11 field goals.

"We were just trying to get him off the lane, not give him any deep balls, because he can be effective from deep," Ready head coach Tony Bisutti said. "He's a really improved player that will be a handful the days to come."

Ready's sustained success has been driven by their core trio of seniors; Charlie Russell, Luke Ruth and Kaleb Schaffer and on Saturday, all three made significant contributions, but it was Russell that was the clear standout on the day. The 6'4 wing, who is committed to Air Force for baseball, was sensational and led all players with 23 points, which included three triples. He also took on lead defensive duties on Schmelzer.

Shaffer and Ruth added nine and eight points, respectively, with all but three of those in the second half. Junior Josh Paul finished with five points and two assists.

Fairfield Union had a balanced offense, with six players recording at least a point, but had no one in double digits. Seniors Ted Harrah and Brennen Rowles each had eight points, while senior Ronnie Rowley had six.

The Knights now make it back to the state tournament for the first time since 2014 and the first time ever in Division II. For an already accomplished group that's managed to stay unbeaten all season, this will be new territory, but have the necessary confidence regardless of their opponent.

"I firmly believe no matter what style we go against, our style of play can work," Bisutti said. "We know right know we're good, it's all good. Everybody's good." 

The Knights will have an opportunity to make good into great as they face Akron Buchtel in the state semifinal, Friday at 2 p.m. at University of Dayton.

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