UD Arena had a special guest on Saturday. Cincinnati Reading Coach Rich Bensman was on hand for some scouting. He gave OPS a few minutes of his time.

Cincinnati Reading coach Rich Bensman was on hand tonight at UD Arena taking in the action.  The Reading Blue Devils will face Middletown Fenwick in the sectional finals March 11th at Wright State University Nutter Center at 9pm.  Bensman's team advances to this game care of an upset victory over the top ranked Division III team in the state, North College Hill.

North College Hill made national headlines earlier this year when highly touted freshman OJ Mayo announced his transfer to the school.  Mayo, already the subject of an article in ESPN the Magazine and regularly referred to as the next Lebron James, made an immediate impact on his new team.  The NCH Trojans finished the year undefeated and ranked #1 in the state.  However, Reading is the defending state champs and they were not about to give up that title just because there was a new guy in town, no matter how talented he was.

That set up Friday's matchup and a 58 to 47 victory for the Blue Devils from Reading.  Many people were shocked when they heard the news, but some were not quite as surprised as the others.  Afterall, the Reading Blue Devils are the defending state champions.  I had a chance to ask Coach Bensman a few questions about the game and his game plan going in.

"We decided that we were going to really make them work on defense." Stated coach Bensman while he waited for the Waynesville/Fenwick game to get underway.  "We also looked for opportunities to get out quick and get easy baskets.  If they weren't there, we pulled out and ran them through about 20 screens before we attacked the basket."

"In the second half they came out in a softer man to man than we expected, so we drove to the basket a lot more and tried to get to the line."

"They are a great team and we're proud we played the game we played.  It's March Mania time for Ohio basketball and we're making the most of it."

Coach Bensman was a very popular man this evening.  Congratulations came from many and it seemed like 100 people went up and shook his hand, but the thing that stuck out most in my mind was that big ring that he wore on his right hand.  They don't give those out to just anyone and it was clear to me that the coach was aiming to add to his jewelry collection.


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