Posted on 12/16/2018 at 4:37 p.m.

GCL South Teams Record Comeback Road Wins Saturday Night

Senior guard Nathan Stockman scored a team-high 17 points, while senior guard Nick Frank added 14 points, and junior forward Hank Thomas recorded a double-double to lead St. Xavier to a come-from-behind, 57-50 victory over Greater Catholic League Co-Ed member Roger Bacon Saturday night in St. Bernard.  The win was the third straight for the Bombers, ranked No. 6 in The Enquirer’s Division I area coaches’ poll last week.

Elder also used a big final quarter to post a road victory last night, turning up the defensive pressure and holding Withrow to a single point in the final eight minutes to earn a 48-37 victory over the Tigers in Hyde Park.  Junior Bryson Merz scored 18 points to go along with four rebounds and three assists, while senior guard Aidan Byrne added 15 points, six rebounds and four assists as Elder won for the second straight day.

St. Xavier’s Stockman, who entered the game averaging a GCL South-best 18.3 points per game, scored in double figures for the fourth straight game.  Frank added four rebounds to his double-figure effort, while Thomas scored 13 points and grabbed a team-high 11 rebounds to go with three assists for St. Xavier (3-1).  The Bombers trailed by three points after three quarters before outscoring Roger Bacon (2-3), 21-11, in the final eight minutes.

Like St. Xavier, Elder came up big in the fourth quarter – outscoring Withrow (2-4), 14-1.  The Panthers scored the first seven points of the period to take a 43-36 lead with 4:26 remaining, using their defense to hold an opponent down for the second straight night.  Elder (4-3) allowed only 41 points in a road victory at Winton Woods on Friday night to earn the team’s third victory in its last four games over an eight-day period.

St. Xavier doesn’t play again until Friday, when it hosts Wes Clermont at 7:30 p.m.  The Bombers also play Saturday, traveling to Mount Vernon Nazarene University in Mount Vernon, Ohio  to face Westerville North at 6 p.m.  No. 9 La Salle (2-3) is back in action Tuesday, hosting Lakota West at 7:30 p.m. in Montfort Heights.

Defending state champion and top-ranked Moeller (4-0) puts its 24-game winning streak on the line Friday when it hosts defending Kentucky state champion Covington Catholic at 7:30 p.m. before traveling to Wilmington for a 4:30 p.m. game Saturday.  CovCath handed Moeller one of its three loses last season, 58-53, in Park Hills, Ky.  The Colonels are 6-2 this season, having defeated La Salle, 50-33, on Friday night before falling to undefeated Taft, 40-38, last night in the John Turner Classic at Newport High School.

Elder is off until Saturday, when the Panthers host Roger Bacon at 7:30 p.m. at The Pit.

Posted on 12/16/2018 at 9:15 a.m.

Two-Time Defending Classic Winner Elder Sits In Fifth Place

Wrestling programs from the Greater Catholic League South Division took center stage Saturday in multiple locations, with La Salle earning a 35-27 victory over four-time defending Division I state champion Lakewood St. Edward in a dual match between two nationally ranked teams before an energized crowd yesterday afternoon in Montfort Heights.  The Lancers were ranked No. 4 in USA Today’s Super 25 preseason rankings, with St. Edward at No. 5.

Meanwhile, GCL South colleague and three-time defending league champion Elder turned in a solid first-day performance and sits in fifth place entering today’s final day of competition in the annual Southwest Ohio Wrestling Coaches Association (SWOWCA) Coaches Classic being held this weekend at Harrison High School’s Activity Center.

For La Salle, the win against St. Edward cements the Lancers as a solid contender for the Ohio High School Athletic Association State Wrestling Championships in the first quarter of 2019.  The dual team tournament is set for February 10 at St. John Arena on the campus of The Ohio State University, while the individual state tournament will be held March 7-9 at OSU’s Jerome Schottenstein Center in Columbus.  La Salle came in fourth place, with Elder sixth and Moeller at No. 12 in the 2018 OHSAA Individual State Wrestling Championships.

La Salle returns six wrestlers who placed at the state tournament last season – Lucas Byrd, champion  at 113 pounds; Dustin Norris, runner-up at 106; Cassy Wiles, third place at 126; Antoine Allen, fifth at 120; Michael Baker, sixth at 195; and Trey Sizemore, seventh at 160.  Against St. Edward, the Lancers posted wins in the final three weight classes to seal the victory – Baker (195), Garrett Bledsoe (220) and Rob Brown (285).

Elder, which has won the Coaches Classic the last two years, is fifth in the team standings after the first day.  The Panthers enter today’s semifinals and finals with 97.6 points, trailing Fairfield, 125.5; Ross, 108.5; Harrison, 103; and Vandalia Butler, 100.   GCL South wrestler advancing to today’s semifinals include William Doepker, Elder (113 pounds); Kurt Thompson, Moeller (145); Kelley Smith, St. Xavier and Seth Lammers, Elder (both at 152).  Smith and Lammers will wrestle each other in the semifinals, guaranteeing a GCL South finalist in this weight class.

Posted on 12/15/2018 at 9:25 p.m.

Elder Posts Road Win; La Salle Falls At Home To CovCath

The Greater Catholic League South Division basketball teams won two of three games against non-conference opponents Friday.  Defending Division I state champion Moeller extended its winning streak to 24 games and remained undefeated this calendar year with another lopsided victory, this time at perennial Southwest Ohio power Wayne in Huber Heights.  Elder also was on the road, and the Panthers recorded their second victory in the last three games away from The Pit with a win at Winton Woods, while La Salle got off to another slow start and was unable to recover in a home loss to defending Kentucky state champion Covington Catholic.

St. Xavier, the remaining GCL South team, did not play Friday.  The Bombers, who recorded consecutive victories last week against Princeton and Lakota East (two Greater Miami Conference members then ranked in the top five of The Enquirer’s Division I area coaches’ poll) will attempt to win their third straight game when they travel to face GCL Co-Ed member Roger Bacon at 7:30 tonight.  St. Xavier(2-1) is No. 6 in this week’s rankings.

Here is a look at the GCL South games Friday night:

Moeller 70, Wayne 48 – Balanced scoring, accurate shooting, strong rebounding, and a third straight fast start helped Moeller to its fourth straight victory by 22 or more points to begin this season.  The No. 1 Crusaders had four players in double figures against Wayne – Miles McBride (15), Logan Duncomb (13), Max Land (11) and Alec Pfriem (10) – while shooting 57.4 percent from the field (27-of-47) and 84.6 percent from the free-throw line (11-of-13).  Moeller outrebounded Wayne, 34-19, led by McBride (seven), Duncomb and Pfriem (five each).  Moeller held Wayne to just 13 field goals.

Fast starts have been the norm for Moeller this season.  Against Wayne (2-3), the Crusaders jumped out to a 27-8 lead after the first quarter before coming out of the locker room to outscore the Warriors, 19-3, in the third quarter.  In its last game against Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary, a 99-62 victory, Moeller led 28-9 after the first eight minutes.  The previous game against Hughes, an 89-45  win, Moeller scored the game’s first 16 points and led 25-5 after one quarter. Moeller opened the season with an 85-42 win against Lexington Bryan Station, opening with a 19-11 edge after one quarter.

Moeller also defeated Wayne during its incredible postseason run last season, when the Crusaders outscored eight opponents in the state tournament by an average of more than 20 points a game.  Moeller beat Wayne, 65-53, in the regional final to advance to Columbus.  The loss was only the second last season for Wayne, which entered that game with a 25-1 record.

Coach Carl Kremer’s team should get a solid test Friday, when the Crusaders host Covington Catholic at 7:30 p.m. at the Brisben Family Education Center on its Montgomery Road campus.  CovCath handed Moeller a 58-53 loss last December in Park Hills, Ky., one of only three defeats in 2017-18 for the Crusaders.

Elder 46, Winton Woods 41 – Junior guard Willard Cluxton scored a career-high 21 points, including four three-point goals, to lead Elder to the road victory.  Cluxton, whose previous career high was 13 in the Panthers’ season-opening 62-55 victory at Fairfield, helped Elder post a big second quarter.  The Panthers led by two points, 11-9, after the first eight minutes before scoring 24 in the second quarter to take a 35-22 halftime lead.  Junior forward Bryson Merz added seven for Elder – which lost to Winton Woods (2-2), 49-39, at The Pit last December.

Elder, however, came back  posted a 56-51 victory against Winton Woods in the state tournament last season, earning the Panthers a trek to Dayton and an appearance in the district final.  In that game, Brett Marsh scored a team-high 19 points while Trevor Estep added 12 for Elder – which lost to Springfield, 51-45, in the next game – ending a three-game, postseason winning streak that included a 60-58 victory against Mason in the second round.

CovCath 50, La Salle 33 – The Lancers again struggled to a slow start, with just two points in the first quarter and 11 in the second to trail CovCath, 20-13, at halftime.  La Salle (2-3) was never able to get untracked offensively, as the Colonels won every quarter to record their fourth straight win.  Junior guard Jaylen Lemons was the lone Lancer in double figures, finishing with a game-high 13 points, while all five of CovCath’s starters scored eight or more points – led by 10 points and seven rebounds from Grant Disken.  Tyler Fleek added nine points and seven boards, while Jack Davin added nine points, four rebounds and two steals.

La Salle scored just six first-quarter points in a 56-49 loss to Kettering Alter on Tuesday.

CovCath (6-1) had a significant rebounding edge, 30-11, that included 10 offensive rebounds.  The Colonels shot well, too, hitting 19-of-35 field goals while sinking all nine free-throw attempts.  La Salle connected on only 12-of-38 field goals, including 6-of-20 three-pointers.  Up next for the Lancers, who have lost two straight and three of four, is Lakota West (2-2) at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at home.  West opened its season by rallying from a 14-point halftime deficit to defeat St. Xavier, 56-52.

Posted on 12/14/2018 at 9:00 a.m.                                                                   

Elder, La Salle Fall To GCL Co-Ed Teams In Close Games

The Greater Catholic South Division was 0-2 in basketball games against two schools from the GCL Co-Ed Division on Tuesday night, as Kettering Alter traveled down from Greater Dayton to take a double-digit halftime lead and go on to defeat La Salle to win its first game after advancing to the state football championship earlier this month, while Purcell Marian used balanced scoring and a home-court advantage to knock off Elder – which was aiming to give coach Joe Schoenfeld career win No. 401 at the school.

Defending state champion Moeller and St. Xavier did not play Tuesday.

Here is a look at the GCL South games:

Kettering Alter 55, La Salle  49 – Junior guard Brady Uhl posted game highs of 23 points, sinking 9-of-13 field goals, and seven rebounds to lead Alter to the road win.  Junior Conor Stolly came off the bench to score 11 for the Knights, who made 20-of-30 field goals and were 7-of-14 from three-point range.  Stolly knocked down 3-of-4 three-pointers for Alter (1-2), which overcame 24 turnovers in the game.

La Salle (2-2) – which entered the week ranked No. 9 in The Enquirer’s Division I latest area coaches’ poll – got off to a slow start, scoring just six points in the first quarter and trailing by 11, , at halftime.  The Lancers were led by 16 points from junior guard Jaylen Lemons, while senior guard Nathan Vogelpohl added 13.  La Salle connected on just 6-of-22 shots from three-point range, and the Lancers were outrebounded, 31-14.

La Salle hosts Covington Catholic at 7:30 p.m. Friday.  CovCath is the defending Kentucky state champion and off to a 5-1 start.

Purcell Marian 63, Elder 57 – Junior guard Aidan Byrne scored a season-high 22 points, but it wasn’t enough against a balanced Purcell Marian team.  Byrne, who came into the game averaging single digits, led the Panthers and made all three of his team’s three-point goals.  But Purcell Marian (1-2) built a five-point lead and won its first game of the season behind three double-figure scorers – Javonta Lyons (15), AJ Garrett (14) and Alex Dotson (12).  Byrne was the lone double-figure scorer for Elder (2-3), which also got nine points from junior guard Willard Cluxton and seven from junior center Joe Royer.

The Panthers, who have lost three of their last four by a combined 13 points, travel to Winton Woods at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

GCL South members Moeller and St. Xavier return to the hardwood later this week, with the No. 1-ranked Crusaders putting their 23-game winning streak on the line against Wayne (2-2) at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Huber Heights.  Moeller defeated Wayne, 65-53, in last year’s postseason en route to winning the Division I state championship.  Wayne entered that game with a 25-1 record.  St. Xavier (2-1), fresh off two wins last week over ranked teams in then No. 3 Princeton and No. 2 Lakota East, looks to make it three straight victories Saturday when the No. 6 Bombers travel to meet GCL Co-Ed member Roger Bacon.  Tipoff is 7:30 p.m. in St. Bernard.

Posted on 12/13/2018 at 9:22 a.m.

Bombers Tested Headed Into Today’s First South Quad

St. Xavier is hoping that its early-season schedule will be beneficial as it prepares for a week of bowling with serious implications for all four teams competing in the Greater Catholic League South Division.  It gets underway later today with the first GCL South Quad of the season at 4 p.m. at Crossgate Lanes in Blue Ash, followed by St. Xavier then traveling to face Elder at Western Bowl at 7 Thursday evening.  The Panthers are 3-0 this season, with a pair of victories last week against Moeller, and a strong second-place finish in the season-opening Centerville Elks Invitational on November 24.  Elder finished No. 11 in the prestigious Holiday Classic last weekend at Western Bowl.

The Bombers also competed in the 39-team Holiday Classic, hosted by Elder and Seton high schools, and was in 14th place after two individual games and four Baker Format games – earning a spot among the top 16 finishers competing for the tournament championship, with the remaining 23 schools squaring off in the consolation bracket.  Elder and La Salle also advanced to the championship round, and ironically faced each other in the first match – with Elder winning before falling to Centerville.  Moeller bowled Harrison in the consolation bracket and lost, 2-1.

St. Xavier opened the Holiday Classic with a team score of 992, led by a pair of seniors – Zach Saupe with a 226 (394 series) and a 208 from Jake Hoffman (396 series).  In game two, the Bombers rolled a 991 to move into ninth place in the team standings – led by seniors Carson Kiley (234), Jeremy Roenker (201) and Ben Behimer (200).    St. Xavier dropped back to 14th place after the Baker Format, making the cut and earning a match with Centerville in match play (best two out of three).  Centerville won the first two games and, after defeating Elder, finished runner-up to St. Mary’s.

The Bombers dropped their first two matches of the season, falling to Vandalia Butler in the opener on November 27 and then La Salle in the GCL South debut for both teams December 3.  After today’s quad hosted by Moeller, the three remaining GCL South Quads are scheduled for Friday, January 11 at 6 p.m. at Brentwood Bowl (hosted by St. Xavier); Friday, January 18 at 6 p.m. at Colerain Bowl (La Salle); and Friday, February 1 at 7 p.m. at Western Bowl (Elder).

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