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Posted 3/15/2015 at 6:58 p.m.

Second Straight Year Bombers Have Unbeaten State Champ

St. Xavier senior Cole Jones capped a perfect season with a state championship, going 4-for-4 over two days in the 220-pound category to win the weight class at the Ohio High School Athletic Association Individual Wrestling Division I State Tournament that concluded Saturday at The Ohio State University’s Schottenstein Center.

Jones, named the GCL South Wrestler of the Year after successfully defending his title at the GCL Wrestling Championships earlier this month, won the Division I 220-pound class with a 3-1 victory in overtime against Noel Caraballo of Olmsted Falls High School in the championship match.  Jones ends his senior season with a perfect 41-0 record.

Last year, St. Xavier’s Joe Heyob won the 170-pound state championship to complete a perfect 50-0 senior season and give St. Xavier its first state wrestling champion in 24 years.  Heyob, who holds the Bombers’ career record with 174 wins and was a three-time state qualifier, is wrestling at the University of Pennsylvania – competing between 174 and 184 pounds.

Moeller turned in a solid performance at state, sending six wrestlers to compete and winding up with four placers. Senior Conner Ziegler placed fourth at 120 pounds, senior Jack Meyer was fifth at 220, while sophomore Brett Bryant came in sixth at 160 pounds, and junior Jacoby Ward also wound up sixth at 138.   Moeller finished at No. 15 in the team standings, with 40 points, while St. Xavier was No. 20, with 26  points.

Lakewood St. Edward won the Division I state title, finishing with 111.5 points – marking state title No. 29 at the Division I level for the Northeast Ohio school.  Elyria came in second place, with 97 points.

Posted on 3/15/2015 at 10:26 a.m.

Season Ends for Elder, La Salle in SW District Championships

Junior guard Trey McBride had team highs of 14 points and 12 rebounds to help Moeller avenge a lopsided regular-season loss to top-ranked Wilmington with a 46-43 victory Saturday evening in an Ohio High School Athletic Association Southwest District championship game at University of Dayton Arena, earning the Crusaders a berth in this week’s Division I reg8onal semifinals.

Elder and La Salle, also competing in district finals, saw their tremendous seasons end Saturday at UD Arena.  La Salle fell to Springfield, 54-41, in the second of four district games scheduled, while Elder was unable to overcome a 15-0 Centerville run to open the second half, falling to the Elks, 67-62, in the fourth and final game of the day.  La Salle and Elder end their seasons with a combined 42-9 record.

Here is a look at each of the GCL South district games Saturday:

Moeller 46, Wilmington 43 – The Crusaders used a stingy defense, limiting Wilmington to just 27.1 percent shooting from the field (18 of 43) – including going 4-for-23 from three-point range.  Moeller (18-8), which outrebounded Wilmington, 38-26,  also got 11 points and five rebounds from junior guard Nate Georgeton – who converted a key late free throw to give the Crusaders their fifth consecutive victory.

Moeller advances to play Springfield (19-7), which has won eight straight games, in the regional semifinals at 6:15 p.m. Wednesday at Xavier University’s Cintas Center.  Against Springfield, Moeller will be attempting to avenge another regular-season loss – having fallen to the Wildcats, 74-72, in overtime on January 3 at Springfield.

Coach Carl Kremer’s team faced the same challenge Saturday against Wilmington (24-2), which had defeated Moeller, 61-46, at home on December 13 in the Crusaders’ second regular-season game.  Jaevin Cumberland of the Quakers had a huge game that night, scoring 27 points on 10 of 12 shooting, while Jarron Cumberland added 19 points and 10 rebounds.  Wilmington was ranked No. 1 in The Enquirer’s Division I final coaches’ poll.

Centerville 67, Elder 62 – The Panthers scored 30 points in the fourth quarter, but it wasn’t enough to erase a double-digit deficit in the fourth and final district title game played Saturday at UD Arena.  Centerville (23-3) scored the first 15 points of the second half, outscoring Elder, 24-11, in the period, to take a 49-32 advantage into the final eight minutes.

Elder (22-3) rallied but could get no closer than the final margin as Centerville extended its winning streak to 10 games.  The Panthers, who tied La Salle and Moeller for the GCL South championship and started the season 16-0, were led by 24 points from junior guard Frankie Hofmeyer and 14 points from junior forward Peyton Ramsey.  

Centerville advances to meet fellow Greater Western Ohio Conference member Huber Heights Wayne (22-4), which defeated Milford, 63-39, in the first district final,  in the regional semis at 8 p.m. Wednesday at XU’s Cintas Center. The two schools split games during the regular season, with Wayne winning at home, 66-45, on January 23, and Centerville winning, 73-69, in overtime at Centerville on February 23.  

Springfield 54, La Salle 41 – Six-foot-nine junior Darius Harper scored a game-high 19 points and pulled down eight rebounds to lead Springfield to its eighth consecutive win and keep the Wildcats’ postseason hopes alive.    Sophomore guard C.J. Fleming and junior forward Jeremy Larkin each scored 11 points for the Lancers, who were outrebounded, 39-31, and outscored, 32-18, in the paint.

La Salle (20-6) managed to cut the deficit to one on back-to-back three-pointers by sophomore guard Tre Crigler and Fleming in the fourth quarter, but Springfield sank four consecutive free throws to extend its lead and ended the game on a 12-2 run.  Harper scored 10 points and grabbed six rebounds in the first half to give Springfield a 22-15 lead at the break, but La Salle managed to take a pair of leads in the third quarter.

Posted on 3/10/2015 at 7:57 p.m.

Berth In Regional Semis On Line For GCL South Schools

First, they tied for the GCL South basketball championship.  Then, last Friday, they each won their respective sectional tournament title to advance to the district finals.  Now, Saturday at University of Dayton Arena, Elder, La Salle and Moeller will attempt to all win again and – in the process – advance to the Ohio High School Athletic Association Division I Regional Semifinals.

La Salle will have the first opportunity to advance.  The Lancers (20-5), which defeated Cincinnati Sectionals No. 1 overall seed Mason, 43-41, last Friday night in its sectional final at Xavier University’s Cintas Center, will play  Springfield (18-7) at 3 p.m. in the second game of Session One at UD Arena.  Milford (22-3) faces Huber Heights Wayne (21-4) in the first game, at 1 p.m. 

Session Two features a GCL South doubleheader, with Moeller (17-8) playing Wilmington (26-1) in the first game at 7 p.m.  Moeller advanced with a 48-40 victory over Walnut Hills in its sectional final last Saturday at Fairfield.  Elder (22-2) will oppose Centerville (22-3) in the second game at 9.  The Panthers advanced with a 57-46 win over Lakota East Saturday at Cintas Center.

Tickets to each session are $6 in advance and $7 at the UD Box Office on the day of the games.  Each ticket is good for both games of the session, with the arena being cleared after the completion of the La Salle-Springfield game prior to the night session.  Tickets are available at the participating schools.  Fans should check with each school for the ticket office hours this week.

Posted on 3/10/2015 at 7:56 p.m.

GCL South To Be Well Represented At State This week

Moeller and Elder turned in strong performances to finish second and third, respectively, at Saturday’s Southwest District Wrestling Championships at Kettering Fairmont High School, and the four GCL South member schools will send a solid contingent of competitors to the Ohio High School Athletic Association Individual Wrestling State Tournament Thursday through Saturday at The Ohio State University's Schottenstein Center.

Both Moeller and Elder will send six wrestlers to the state tournament, while La Salle will send three members of its team to Columbus – including returning state qualifiers in Corey Shie and Andrew Sams.  GCL South Wrestler of the Year Cole Jones will represent St. Xavier after winning a district championship.  Mason won the SW District Championship with 177.5 points, followed by Moeller at 145 and Elder at 134.5.

Conner Ziegler (120 pounds) and Jacoby Ward (132) won district titles for Moeller.  Other Crusaders to earn a trip to state are Jake Thompson (132), Brett Bryan (160), Jack Meyer (220) and Joseph Hensley (285).  Heading to Columbus from Elder are Austin Murphy (113), who won the district title, and fellow Panthers Jake Meridieth (126), Connor Craig (145), Ti’Ric Evans (152),  Andrew Taylor (160) and Gage Brock (195).

Sophomores Shie, Sams and Eric Beck (138) will wrestle for La Salle at the state meet.  Shie, who is now 43-2 this season after defeating Elder’s Thompson in the district final, 1-0, placed fifth at last year’s state tournament – wrestling at 120 pounds.  Sams, who is 45-4 this season, came in eighth at state last spring wrestling in the 126-pound category.

Jones posted a 3-2 decision of Sheldon Sims of Mason to remain undefeated this season, at 37-0.  Jones, who placed fourth at state last year, won the district title for the first time.  Wrestling is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. Thursday, followed by the second and third sessions at 10 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Friday, respectively.  The finals in each of the three divisions to be wrestled concurrently b beginning at 5:45 p.n. Saturday.

Posted on 3/7/2015 at 1:35 p.m.

La Salle, Elder Sweep DH At Xavier University’s Cintas Center

It was quite a Friday night for the GCL South in basketball, as the three teams that tied for the league championship this season – Elder, La Salle and Moeller - each won their respective sectional tournament titles to advance to the Ohio High School Athletic Association Southwest District Finals next Saturday at University of Dayton Arena.

La Salle opened an outstanding doubleheader at Xavier University’s Cintas Center – pitting top teams from the GCL South and the Greater Miami Conference – with a 43-41 victory over Mason, the No. 1 overall seed in the Cincinnati Sectional Tournaments.  Mason, No. 2 in The Enquirer’s Division I final coaches’ poll, did not suffer a loss in the regular season until the final night of play, falling to Lakota East, 63-62, in overtime on February 20.

The Lancers (20-5), winners of three straight and five of six, advance to meet the Dayton 3 Sectional champion, either Lebanon or Springfield, in the district final.  Those two schools meet in the sectional final at 8 tonight at Centerville High School.

La Salle rallied after trailing Mason, 26-18, at halftime and survived a rare off shooting night by GCL South Player of the Year C.J. Fleming – who converted just one field goal in the game and finished with five points.  The L:anhers held Mason to just 15 points in the second half and their lowest point total of the season, earning La Salle coach Dan Fleming career win No. 400 at the school in the process.

However, senior forward Donte Buycks and junior guard Jeremy Larkin picked up the slack for La Salle by combining to score 33 of the Lancers’ 43 points.  Buycks finished with a team-high 17 points, including a rebound and basket late in the fourth quarter to give La Salle a 39-38 lead.  Then, with 29.2 seconds remaining, Buycks sank a pair of free throws to make it 41-38.  Larkin wound up with 16 points, including nine in the second quarter.

Elder, which opened the season with 16 straight wins, capped off the DH with a 57-46 victory over East – which entered the night at 22-2 and riding a 13-game winning streak.  Coach Joe Schoenfeld’s team, like La Salle, also trailed their GMC opponent in the first half and went into the locker room facing a 29-23 deficit.  But a pair of early three-point goals by Peyton Ramsey and Brad Miller sparkled an 18-6 run in the third quarter.

Junior guard Frankie Hofmeyer led Elder with 18 points, 10 coming in the second half.  Ramsey and Miller each added 10, with Ramsey hauling down six rebounds.  Elder made eight three-pointers in the game, including one late from senior forward Mitch Moorhead that helped preserve the victory.

The Panthers (22-2), who have now won five games in a row, advance to meet the Dayton 1 Sectional winner, either Centerville of Xenia in the district final.  Those two schools meet in the sectional final scheduled for 4 p.m. today at University of Dayton Arena.

And Moeller, which got off to a slow start this season because of injuries, capped a comeback night for the GCL South by winning the Cincinnati 5 Sectional with a 48-40 victory over Walnut Hills at Fairfield High School.  Moeller trailed by seven at halftime and two at the end of third quarter before outscoring the Eagles, 27-17, in the fourth quarter – keyed by a 12-0 run - to emerge victorious.

The Crusaders (17-8) advance to meet Wilmington – the No. 1-ranked team in The Enquirer’s Division I final poll, in the district final.  Wilmington defeated Turpin, 94-58, Friday night in the Cincinnati 2 Sectional at Lakota West High School. Junior guard Nate Georgeton led Moeller with 16 points, 13 in the second half, while sophomore forward Riley Voss had nine points and five rebounds.

Junior guard Trey McBride added eight points, three rebounds and three steals for coach Carl Kremer’s team.  Moeller turned things around offensively in the second half, hitting 10 of 16 field goals.  The Crusaders, who held Walnut Hills to its season low in scoring, also were solid late at the free-throw line – going 10-for-14 in the last 1:04 to preserve the win.

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