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“It definitely takes on a special meaning as a senior,” he said of the CCS tournament run. “I’m never going to be able to play with these guys again. I know this is our best chance to get to state. I just want to leave everything out on the court. I don’t want to disappoint anybody.”
The Cougars advanced to the regional final (losing to Lima Perry) in 2017 before taking a first-round exit in Division III last year.
Ringer was part of the 2017 postseason surge, making an appearance in three tournament games. He saw no action against Perry.
“Although I didn’t play, I know what it’s like to get to that point and what it takes to get there,” Ringer said. “I have memories in the locker room. I had a feel for everything that was going on around me. It was a good atmosphere. It was just a lot of soundness.”
Freshman point guard Logan Woods (12.6) is leading Cincinnati Christian in scoring. Ringer is averaging 9.9 points, 4 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 2.1 steals per game. He’s shooting 57.7 percent from the floor.
Cougars coach Carl Woods said the first word that enters his mind when it comes to Ringer is “toughness.”
“He brings a lot to the table,” Woods said. “He can score in spurts. He’s extremely explosive and dangerous in the open floor and a great defender. He’s a high-energy guy for us, so we feed off his energy.
“He’s a joy to coach. He can go get rebounds. He’ll take a charge. He’ll dive after loose balls. Sometimes he makes me nervous with some of the things he does. He reminds me of a Dwyane Wade. I’m like, ‘Dude, don’t get hurt sacrificing your body like that.’ You have to know when to lay up and lay off.”
Loramie was the regional runner-up last season and participated in the 2017 regional with CCS, losing to Perry in the semifinals.
“It’s definitely going to be a game of tempo,” Ringer said. “I know they’re going to try to slow us down, but we’re going to try to speed it up as best we can with our defense and with our offense.”
He said the Cougars are setting their bar at the state tournament.
“We don’t think this should be our last game,” Ringer said. “We know we can get past this and get all the way to state. I think we have the confidence. We have the swagger. We have all the tools to do it. The only team that can beat us right now is ourselves.”
This is a matchup of deep teams that will use a lot of players on a regular basis. Coach Woods like what he’s seeing from Cincinnati Christian right now.
“We’re playing extremely well and finally shooting the ball like I thought we should be able to shoot it,” Woods said. “We had a couple guys going through a shooting slump at the wrong time, but they’ve gotten it back at the right time. We’ve got a few little nagging injuries, but nothing that’s going to keep any player out.
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“We feel good. If we go out and just handle our business, control what we can control and respond to whatever they bring to us, we’ll be fine. We know they’re going to be tough and physical.”
The Cougars shared the Miami Valley Conference Gray Division crown with Seven Hills this year. The Redskins tied Russia for third place in the Shelby County Athletic League, trailing champion Anna and runner-up Jackson Center.
Loramie is scoring 50 points and giving up 41 per game. Its last game was a 33-23 triumph over Ansonia.
“We pride ourselves on the defensive end of the floor,” Redskins coach Corey Britton said. “We depend on our man-to-man defense and trying to make it difficult on teams. Anytime you can hold a really good basketball team like Ansonia or the Jackson Centers of the world to 20, 30 points, you’ve done something right at that end of the floor.
“But we’ve got to continue to get better. Cincinnati Christian is going to pose all new problems for us on that end of the floor Friday night, so we’ve got to make sure we’re really sound.”
Loramie is balanced in most facets of the game. Britton said he’s got seven players with 20-plus steals and eight players with 20-plus assists.
Senior guard Eli Rosengarten is the Redskins’ top scorer with a 12.5 average. Senior forward Nathan Raterman is getting 8.3 points and five rebounds per game, and junior point guard Nick Brandewie is averaging eight points. They were all role players on the 2017 squad.
Britton said Loramie got a late start this year because its football team advanced to the Division VII state semifinals. The Redskins started the season 3-4.
“Cincinnati Christian is going to be a challenge for us,” Britton said. “Their size is concerning. They’re by far the best rebounding team that we’ve seen all year. And they probably have one of the best guards we’re going to face all year in Logan Woods.”
He said CCS reminds him of multi-talented Anna, which is 23-2 and playing in the Division III district finals Sunday.
“We’ve got to get this game to a tempo we’re comfortable with,” Britton said. “They like to get up and go. They like to score a bunch of points and push the ball up the sideline. I don’t know if that’ll be to our advantage Friday night. We’ve got to dictate things with our defense and rebounding and hopefully get some shots to fall.”
Carl Woods said Loramie’s physicality reminds him of Badin and Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy.
“I don’t think they have the athletes we have, but they definitely have some fundamentally sound ballplayers and some pretty strong dudes,” Woods said. “They’ll get after it and do some pressing, but I don’t think they necessarily want to get up and down like we do. So that’s what we’ll try to do.”
What: Division IV district boys basketball final, Cincinnati Christian (20-5) vs. Fort Loramie (18-7)
When: 5:30 p.m.
Where: University of Dayton Arena, 1801 S. Edwin C. Moses Blvd., Dayton
Next: The CCS-Fort Loramie winner will advance to the regional semifinals Tuesday at Fairmont's Trent Arena, facing either Franklin Monroe or Jackson Center at 5:30 p.m.