Boys Basketball

Ready one game away from fifth state appearance

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ATHENS -- The Ready High School boys basketball team is one step closer to its fifth state tournament appearance after beating Wheelersburg 47-35 in a Division III regional semifinal March 12 in Ohio University’s Convocation Center.

A 7-0 run to begin the third quarter that featured strong defense from Jimmy Hanley and Josh Gantz and a beautiful move by Shane Lee helped the Silver Knights gain control. With Ready leading 27-19, Lee took a pass from near halfcourt and made a spin-around layup with 4 minutes, 44 seconds left in the third quarter to give his team its first double-digit advantage.

“I really thought that in the third quarter we turned it around,” Lee said. “Offensively we executed the way we wanted to.”

Ready improves to 20-5 and will play Lucasville Valley for a regional championship at 7 p.m. March 15 at OU.

The Knights made 11 of 19 shots in the second half and stretched the lead to as much as 47-30 with 3:25 remaining.

Gantz and Lee each finished with 12 points, Hanley had nine and Myles Fowler added five for Ready, which made just nine of 27 from the floor in the first half but still led 22-19 by halftime.

The Knights’ only previous state appearances came in 1972, ’73, 2002 and 2010.

Valley beat Martins Ferry 69-49 in the other semifinal to set up the regional championship matchup.

Wheelersburg finishes 16-8.

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