FAIRFIELD -- They came out in droves, filling nearly every inch of Alumni Hall to watch two schools separated by a mile battle for a place in the Class LL boys basketball semifinals. But, what the standing-room-only crowd saw Friday evening was a game that was over soon after it started.

It was Fairfield Prep's night.

The top-ranked Jesuits owned the latest installment of their town rivalry, crushing eighth-seeded Ludlowe 70-48 before 2,500 fans in a LL quarterfinal that was a one-sided affair.

"We executed exactly what we wanted to do," Prep coach Leo Redgate said. "I was very happy with the energy and the unselfishness. Our passing was exceptional.

"Most importantly, I thought our defensive game plan was the difference."

Ludlowe had allowed 49 and 45 points, respectively, through the first two rounds of the tournament, but Prep nearly matched those totals in a first-half onslaught. The Jesuits (23-2) led 26-9 after one quarter, and they hit the Falcons with a 10-0 run to go up 44-18 at halftime.

"They were terrific," Falcons coach John Dailey said. "They were at a different level. It felt like they did not miss a shot. It also felt like they scored on every single possession in the first quarter.

"We tried to play them zone to start the game, just to try to slow them down a little bit."

The Jesuits foiled that plan by hitting five of their seven 3-pointers in the opening half.

"It was fun to hit all our shots in the first quarter," said Prep guard Tommy Nolan, who finished with 11 points. "That was really the game plan -- just play normal basketball and don't get too jacked up."

Guard Rich Kelly hit three 3-pointers and finished with a game-high 20 points, and forward Ryan Foley scored 18.

Prep, which has three trips to the LL finals in the last four years but no championships, will face SCC rival Hillhouse, the No. 5 seed, in the semifinals on Tuesday (site to be determined). The Jesuits have won the last six meetings with Hillhouse (21-4), including two this year.

Ludlowe, meanwhile, wrapped up a bounce-back season that included the program's first FCIAC playoff berth since 2005. The Falcons, with seven seniors, finished 17-7 after winning only five games a year ago.

"We have had an unbelievable season," Dailey said. "We have had so many accomplishments. To get to the state quarterfinals and to get ourselves in this game tonight, they should be proud. This game does not define our season."

The Jesuits, who own two wins over Ludlowe this year and five straight dating back to the 2010-11 season, were simply too much to handle. They raced out to a 7-1 lead in the opening minutes and never trailed.

"I'm never worried about where we're going to get offensive production," Redgate said. "I think the past couple of games we've really focused on becoming better defensively."

The plan on defense, Redgate said, was to take Ludlowe guard Matt Doyle "out of his comfort zone." For the most part, it worked. Doyle managed only 13 points, and Cole Prowitt-Smith contributed 11 points off the bench.

Ludlowe outscored Prep 17-16 in the third quarter, but the game was well in hand at that point. The Falcons never got closer than 22 points in the fourth quarter.

"We just got behind the eight ball really early," Dailey said. "We had a hard time recovering."

dbonjour@ctpost.com; twitter.com/DougBonjour

LUDLOWE (17-7)

Matt Doyle 5 3-4 13 Chad Peterson 1 5-6 8 Owen Mockler 0 0-0 0 Darren Lee 1 2-2 5 Hayes Kelchner 2 2-4 6 Greg Lawrence 1 0-0 2 Brendan Mockler 1 0-0 2 Mason Rush 0 0-0 0 Tim Beradino 0 0-0 0 Aidan Kudzy 0 0-0 0 Frank Lumaj 0 0-0 0 Cole Prowitt-Smith 4 1-1 11 Steve Zembruski 0 0-0 0 Chris Howell 0 1-2 1. Totals 15 14-19 48.


Tommy Nolan 5 0-0 11 Ryan Foley 8 0-0 18 Rich Kelly 7 3-4 20 Pat Harding 4 0-0 8 Joe DiGennaro 2 0-1 4 Matt Gerics 1 0-0 3 Will Lucas 1 0-0 2 Robert Haskins 1 0-0 2 John Kelly 0 0-0 0 Philip Vlandis 0 0-0 0 Allen Gibson 0 0-0 0 Tate Duran 0 0-0 0 John Murphy 1 0-0 2 Senay Bellete 0 0-0 0 Brendan Carey 0 0-0 0. Totals 30 3-5 70.

LUDLOWE 9 9 17 13 -- 48

FAIRFIELD PREP 26 18 16 10 -- 70

3-pointers: L -- Prowitt-Smith 2, Lee, Peterson; P -- R. Kelly 3, Foley 2, Nolan, Gerics.