Posted on 1/19/2021 at 1:42 p.m.

Rodgers, Semona Help Bombers Defeat Princeton In Holiday Hoops

Senior guard Kobe Rodgers scored a game-high 20 points while junior backcourt mate Louie Semona III added 17 and St. Xavier outscored Princeton, 19-6, in the final eight minutes to break open a two-point game and post a 67-52 victory against the Vikings in a non-conference basketball game at St. Xavier played late Monday afternoon on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

St. Xavier (9-1) scored 20 points in each of the first two quarters to take a 40-32 halftime lead before Princeton rallied back to cut the deficit to two, 48-46, entering the final quarter.  Rodgers scored half of his points in the final eight minutes.  Semona was also strong on the boards, pulling down a game-high nine rebounds to help the Bombers go to 8-0 against opponents outside the Greater Catholic League South Division.

Up next for St. Xavier, which also got eight points from Joe Kirby and seven apiece from Kristopher McClure and Michael Ragio, is a matchup with four-time defending GCL South champion Moeller at St. Xavier.  Tipoff is 7:30 p.m. Friday night.  Moeller and St. Xavier, both 1-1 in the league, currently trail Elder by one game in the standings.  Elder has home wins against both Moeller, 42-40 last Friday, and St. Xavier, 67-60, one week earlier.

Posted on 1/17/2021 at 4:41 p.m.

Three Double-Figures Scorers Help Lancers Snap Roger Bacon Streak

Senior forward Ayden Schneider matched his season high with 27 points, including five three-point goals, to lead three double-figure scorers and help La Salle take an early lead and go on to post a 61-44 victory against Greater Catholic League Co-Ed member Roger Bacon early Saturday night on La Salle’s campus in Monfort Heights.

La Salle (8-6), which had dropped three of its previous four games, led 15-7 after one quarter and increased the advance to 28-15 at halftime.  Schneider, who also scored 27 in a road win at Colerain earlier this month, led the Lancers with seven rebounds.  He was joined in double figures by senior Justin Lovette (15 points, six rebounds) and senior Kevin Crigler (10).  Junior guard Rajere Blanks scored 14 to pace Roger Bacon (7-2).

La Salle is off until Friday, when the Lancers host current GCL South Division leader Elder (12-1, 2-0 GCL South) in search of their first league victory.  Tipoff of the varsity game is set for 6:30 p.m.  La Salle lost at St. Xavier, 47-37, on Friday night.  St. Xavier will host Princeton at 4 p.m. Monday afternoon.

Posted on 1/16/2021 at 1:34 p.m.

Semona’s Big Night Helps Lead St. Xavier To Home Win Over La Salle

It had been nearly five years since Elder handed Moeller is last Greater Catholic League South Division defeat, a 48-43 Panthers’ victory on February 5, 2016 at The Pit in Price Hill.  That is until Friday night, when Elder returned to that same court and handed the four-time outright defending league champion Crusaders their first loss in 27 GCL South games since with a hard-fought 42-40 win to take an early one-game lead in the standings.

In Friday’s other GCL South game, junior guard Louie Semona III scored a game-high 23 points and grabbed seven rebounds to  pace St. Xavier to a 47-37 win against La Salle at St. Xavier.    La Salle is the lone league team scheduled to play today, as the Lancers host GCL Co-Ed member Roger Bacon (7-1), which has won four consecutive games, at 6:30 p.m. in Monfort Heights.  

Elder (12-1, 2-0 GCL South), which got a game-high 22 points and five three-point goals from junior guard Andrew Harp, held a slim margin over Moeller at the end of each quarter – jumping out to a 9-8 lead after the first eight minutes, then a 14-13 edge at halftime before going on a 10-0 run late in the third quarter to erase a 22-17 deficit and extend the margin to 27-22 heading into the final quarter.  

But Moeller (10-3, 1-1), which also entered the game riding an 88-game unbeaten streak against teams from Southwest Ohio, would rally back to take the lead 40-39 on a short shot by senior Aidan Turner.  That set the stage for Elder junior Sean Keller to knock down a three-pointer with 16 seconds remaining to put the Panthers ahead, 42-40.  Moeller had a final chance, but Aidan Turner’s shot in the final seconds was blocked by Elder senior David Larkins to preserve the win.

Moeller had a rare off night shooting thanks to a stingy Elder defense –connecting on just 14-of-43 shots, 32.8 percent, and making only 4-of-19 attempts from three-point range.  Senior Alex Williams was the lone Crusader to score more than seven points, finishing with a team-high 19 on 6-of-18 shooting.  Senior Logan Duncomb was held to a season-low three points on 1-of-5 shooting, while still leading everyone with 10 rebounds. Before fouling out of the game  Duncomb – an Indiana University commit – was held in single digits for the second straight game, but only the third time all season.

Elder, has benefited from balanced scoring all season, got eight points from Keller – who hit the game-winner and also grabbed three rebounds and dished out three assists.  Seniors Michael Keehan and JT Miller combined to score eight points and record seven assists for coach Joe Schoenfeld’s team.  The Panthers – whose lone defeat this season was to Turpin, 52-50, at the buzzer, won’t get too much time to celebrate, with neighborhood rival Oak Hills scheduled to visit The Pit at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Moeller – ranked No. 1 in the latest Associated Press Division I state poll released Wednesday – is off until next Friday, when the Crusaders face another difficult road test at St. Xavier.   The Bombers return to action Monday afternoon, when they host Princeton at 4 p.m. on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.  St. Xavier’s lone loss this season came eight days ago, 67-60, in its GCL South opener against Elder at The Pit.

Against La Salle, St. Xavier (8-1, 1-1) came alive to outscore the Lancers, 17-5, in the second quarter to snap an early 11-11 tie.  Semona knocked down 11-of-17 field goals, while senior guard Kobe Rodgers chipped in 11 points and senior forward Kristopher McClure grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds.

La Salle (7-6, 0-2), which had dropped three of its last four games and four of six, managed to convert 12-of-38 field goals for 31.6 percent shooting.  Senior Justin Lovette was the lone Lancer in double figures, finishing with 10 points, while senior Ayden Schneider added nine points, and Chase Willis and JJ Ruffin each grabbed six rebounds to pace La Salle.

Posted on 1/13/2021 at 8:09 p.m.

Lovette, Schneider Combine To Score 45 Points In La Salle Win

Balanced scoring and three-point shooting have been staples of the fast start for Elder basketball this winter, and Tuesday night was no exception as four Panthers scored at least nine, every player who dressed scored, and the team knocked down 14 three-pointers to post an 81-39 victory in a non-conference game at Mariemont.

Juniors Andrew Harp and Drew Busam each scored 11 points to lead Elder (11-1), which won its fourth straight game and went over 80 points for the third time this season.  Senior Jt Miller and sophomore Carson Browne each added nine for the Panthers, who have an early-season showdown with four-time defending outright Greater Catholic League champion Moeller this Friday.

Tipoff is 7:30 p.m. at The Pit in Price Hill.  Moeller (10-2), which like Elder won its league opener last Friday, has won 26 consecutive league games dating back to February 4, 2016 when Elder handed the Crusaders their last GCL South loss, 48-43, at The Pit.

In Tuesday’s other game involving a GCL South school, La Salle built an 18-12 lead after one quarter, extended the advantage to 30-16 at halftime and went on to record a 65-41 win at Purcell Marian.  Moeller and St. Xavier did not play last night, with St. Xavier set to host La Salle in the other league matchup Friday night.

Senior Justin Lovette led the Lancers with 23 points, while classmate Ayden Schneider added 22 in the road win against the GCL Co-Ed Cavaliers.  Lovette, who leads the GCL South in scoring, has scored in double figures in all but one game.  Schneider, who is fourth in scoring, also has been consistent – reaching double figures in all but two games.

Posted on 1/10/2021 at 12:18 p.m.

Lovette’s 19, Schneider’s Double-Double Not Enough For La Salle
Elder and Moeller both continued their early-season success on the basketball court, posting non-conference road victories Saturday night to increase modest winning streaks, each earn victory No. 10 of the season and set up an early-season showdown in the Greater Catholic League South Division on Friday night when Moeller faces Elder at The Pit in Price Hill.
La Salle also was in action Saturday, attempting to increase its record to 4-0 against Greater Miami Conference teams this season.  But the Lancers were outscored by a combined 19 points in the second and fourth quarters of a 76-56 road loss at Hamilton, which won its fifth straight game.  St. Xavier, the fourth GCL South team, did  not play last night.
Elder (10-1), which has won three straight games since suffering a 52-50 loss in the final seconds to Turpin eight days ago, jumped out to a 36-14 halftime lead and went on to record a 70-43 win at Colerain.  Junior Andrew Harp was scored 15 points to lead the Panthers, while junior Drew Busam added nine, sophomore Carson Browne scored eight, and junior Matthew Menninger chipped in seven.
Moeller (10-2) extended its winning streak to four games with a low-scoring, 45-35 victory against Turpin, rallying back after falling behind the Spartans, 16-8, after the first quarter.  Moeller came alive to outscore Turpin (6-4), 25-10, in the second and third quarters.  Senior Aidan Noyes was the lone Crusader in double figures, finishing with 14 points and four assists.  Senior Logan Duncomb was held in single digits for the first time, scoring nine points and grabbing five rebounds.  Junior Evan Mahaffey had eight points, six rebounds and six assists.
Elder, which handed St. Xavier its first loss of the season Friday night, 67-60, on the opening night of play in the GCL South, looks to end the lengthy league winning streak of Moeller later this week. The Crusaders opened with a 59-41 home win against La Salle, extending their winning streak to 26 games in the GCL South dating back to February 2016.   Elder is the last league team to beat Moeller, posting a 48-43 victory at The Pit February 5 of that year.  Moeller has won the league championship outright the last four seasons.
La Salle (6-5) fell for the third time in four games last night, as Hamilton’s Jackson Lewis scored a game-high 21 points, hitting 7-of-10 field goals, for the Big Blue – which erased a 16-15 deficit after eight minutes to outscore the Lancers, 20-10, and take control before halftime.  Senior Justin Lovette scored a team-high 19 points for La Salle, while senior Ayden Schneider had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds, and senior Kevin Crigler chipped in 10.  Hamilton is now 6-3.
Moeller and St. Xavier are off until Friday, week two in the six-week GCL South schedule.  Elder travels to face Mariemont at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, while La Salle’s varsity will hit the road to face Purcell Marian at 7:30.  The Lancers are at St. Xavier at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

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