Elder Rally Falls Just Short In Regional Semifinals

Posted on 3/12/2023 at 2:41 p.m.

Panthers’ Season Ends With Loss To State Power Centerville At Cintas Center

After trailing by double figures much of the first half and at halftime, Elder put together a fourth-quarter rally that cut the lead to three points before Centerville emerged with a 54-47 victory in the regional semifinals of the Ohio High School Athletic Association Basketball State Tournament in the first of two games Wednesday night at Xavier University’s Cintas Center.

Centerville (24-3) won its fifth consecutive game to earn the opportunity to successfully defend its regional championship Saturday, when the Greater Western Ohio Conference champions meet Fairfield – the winner of the Greater Miami Conference that defeated GMC rival Princeton, 51-45, in the second semifinal in a game that Princeton led until the Indians scored eight of the game’s final 10 points to advance.

The regional final is 5 p.m. at Cintas Center.

Elder (21-5), which entered last night having won six games in a row and eight of its last nine, was vying to be the lone Greater Catholic League South Division team to advance to the regional semifinals.  But Centerville – which is 79-7 the last two-plus seasons with one Division I state title two seasons ago and the state runner-up last season – built a 33-19 halftime advantage behind 17 first-half points by senior guard Gabe Kupps.

The Panthers, though, worked their way back in the second half and cut the lead to 46-43 on a three-point goal from senior guard Sam Whitmer.  The Elks responded by outscoring Elder, 8-4, in the final minutes to prevail.  Senior forward Carson Browne led Elder with 14 points, while Whitmer added 11.  Kupps, an Indiana University recruit, finished with a game-high 21 points, going 7-of-7 from the field and 4-of-5 in free throws, while junior guard Jonathan Powell added 11 for Centerville.

Elder Captures District Title, Moves To Regional

Posted on 3/7/2023 at 9:59 a.m.

Moeller Season Ends In Final With Second Loss To Princeton This Season

Senior forward Carson Browne scored a team-high 18 points and grabbed five rebounds to lead Elder to a big second half that resulted in a 53-44 victory against Kettering Fairmont in a Division I district final of the Ohio High School Athletic Association Basketball State Tournament early Saturday evening at the University of Dayton Arena.

The district title allows Elder (21-4), winner of six consecutive games and eight of its last nine, to advance to the reginal semifinals and a matchup with power Centerville (23-3), which knocked off Anderson, 63-39, in its district final Saturday at UD Arena.  Tipoff is 6 p.m. Wednesday at Xavier University’s Cintas Center.

The Elks, who have won four straight and finished a perfect 14-0 in the talented Greater Western Ohio Conference, won the DI state championship two seasons ago and advanced to the final last March.  Centerville is 78-7 the last two-plus seasons. 

Moeller, vying to join Greater Catholic League South Division colleague Elder and win a district title, was unable to get past Princeton for the second time this season.  The Crusaders, who lost to Princeton, 51-31, the second game of the regular season, were defeated by the Greater Miami Conference Vikings, 57-36, at UD Arena.  Princeton advances to the regional semifinals against GMC champion Fairfield (22-4), winner of seven straight, at 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Cintas Center.

Princeton (19-7), looking for its first win in three tries against Fairfield, led Moeller by seven after one quarter and extended the advantage to 15 at halftime.  Jaiden Arnold and Dorian Williams led the Vikings with 20 and 18 points, respectively, knocking down 17-of-21 field goals.  Junior guard AJ McBride was the lone Moeller player in double figures, with 15.  The Crusaders shot just 41 percent from the field, including 2-of-11 from three-point range.

Moeller ends its season at 18-8.

The win was the second this season over Fairmont for Elder, which won, 64-50, on January 28 at The Pit in Price Hill.  Browne had 21 points, hitting 8-of-11 field goals and 5-of-5 free throws, to go along with six rebounds in the first meeting.  This time, Browne made 7-of-8 field goals.  He was joined in double figures by senior guard Sam Whitmer, who had 11 points.

Sophomore Cam Williams added eight, while junior Drew Murphy led the Panthers eight eight rebounds.  Elder nailed 19-of-34 field goals for 55.5 percent shooting, while also connecting on 25-of-29 free throws.  The Panthers trailed by one at the half, but outscored Fairmont (12-13) by 10 points in the final two quarters.

Elder, Moeller Set To Tip Off District Final Games

Posted on 3/4/2023 at 10:54 a.m.

GCL South Well Represented In OHSAA Tourney Today At University of Dayton Arena

Elder and Moeller will represent the Greater Catholic League South Division when they take to the court today in the Southwest District finals as part of the Ohio High School Athletic Association Basketball State Tournament at the University of Dayton Arena – site of this year’s OHSAA Final Four in two weeks.

Elder (22-4), which tied La Salle for a share of the GCL South championship, plays Kettering Fairmont (12-12) in the third of four finals at 5:30 p.m.  The two teams met during the regular season, with Elder posting a 64-50 victory against Fairmont, one of three district finalists from the Greater Western Ohio Conference, on January 28 at The Pit on Elder’s campus in Price Hill.  Elder has won five straight games and seven of its last eight.

Moeller (18-7), a perennial postseason contender which finished one game back in the GCL South standings, gets a rematch with Princeton (18-7) in the day’s first final at 1:30.  The Crusaders, who have won three in a row, started the season 0-3 with the second of those three games a 51-31 loss to the Vikings – a member of the Greater Miami Conference.

Sate power and GWOC champion Centerville (22-3), the 2020-21 state champion and runner-up last season, faces Anderson (22-3) in the second game at 3:30.  Anderson, which knocked La Salle out of the district tournament, is riding a six-game winning streak and has won 13 of 14.

Fairfield (21-4), which defeated St. Xavier in its district, opposes Huber Heights Wayne (21-4) in the final game at 7:30.  The Indians are unbeaten in their last six games and ended up an impressive 15-1 in the GMC.

For complete tournament information, including how to purchase tickets, visit the OHSAA website.

Moeller Gets Past Lakota East, Heads To Final

Posted on 2/26/2023 at 8:53 a.m.

Crusaders Join Elder As Second GCL South Team To Advance To Saturday’s District

Trailing by seven points with five minutes remaining, Moeller outscored Lakota East, 11-3 down the stretch – with junior guard Eric Mahaffey scoring the Crusaders’ final five points to enable Moeller to escape with a 51-50 victory in a district semifinal of the Ohio High School Athletic Association Basketball State Tournament on Saturday afternoon at Lakota West High School.

Moeller trailed the entire game and was down 47-40 before scoring six straight to cut the deficit to one point.  Then, with 2:16 remaining, the Crusaders took their first lead after Mahaffey scored and was fouled, converting the free throw, to make it 49-47.  

A Moeller steal led to Mahaffey being fouled again, making 1-of-2 with just under two minutes left to give Moeller a 50-47 advantage.  

East’s Derek Jackson tied the game with 1:36 left on a three-pointer, making it 50-50.

Moeller held the ball until 19 seconds remained, when Mahaffey was fouled again.  He made 1-of-2 free throws to give Moeller a 51-50 lead, but East had a final possession and a chance to win the game.  East had a final shot, a three-pointer at the buzzer from the left wing that was no good – giving Moeller the come-from-behind win and keeping the Crusaders’ postseason run alive.

Moeller (18-7), which has won three straight and eight of its last 11, advances to the district final and a rematch with Princeton (17-7) at the University of Dayton Arena.  Times will be announced today by the OHSAA. The Vikings advanced to the final with a 75-65 win against Western Hills on Friday night at Fairfield High School.

Princeton handed Moeller a 51-31 setback at home back on November 29, one of three consecutive losses by Moeller to open the season.  The Crusaders are 18-4 since the first three games.

Against Lakota East (11-13), Moeller had balanced scoring – with Mahaffey scoring a team-high 13 and classmate and guard AJ McBride adding 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting and a team-best seven rebounds.  Seniors Donovan Mukes and Grant Smethwich each chipped in eight for Moeller, which made 18-of-34 field goals and outrebounds the Thunderhawks, 23-10.

Moeller, which finished one game behind GCL South co-champs Elder and La Salle, joins Elder in next Saturday’s district finals at UD  Arena.  The Panthers advanced with a 47-45 win in overtime against Sycamore Friday night at West Clermont High School.  Elder, which has won five games in a row and seven of eight, faces Kettering Fairmont (13-12) for the second time this season – having won the first meeting, 64-50, in the regular season at home.

Elder Defeats Sycamore In OT For Win No. 20

Posted on 2/25/2023 at 9:51 a.m.

Panthers Advance To District Final; St. Xavier Falls To GMC Champion Fairfield

Seniors Sam Whitmer and Carson Browne, both first team All-Greater Catholic League South performers,  combined to score 34 of their team’s points to help lead Elder to a 47-45 overtime victory Friday against Sycamore in a district semifinal game of the Ohio High School Athletic Association Basketball State Tournament at West Clermont High School.

The win was the fifth straight for Elder (20-4) and earned the Panthers a berth in the district final against Kettering Fairmont (13-12) at x p.m. next Saturday, March 4 at University of Dayton Arena. Fairmont, which ended the regular season on a four-game losing streak, has won three tournament games – including a 59-53 victory against Clayton Northmont last night in its district final at Centerville High School.

Game time will be announced tomorrow by the OHSAA.

St. Xavier was unable to join GCL South colleague Elder in the district finals, as the Bombers lost to Greater Miami Conference champion Fairfield, 58-40, in a district semifinal at West Clermont.  The Bombers, who defeated Fairfield, 51-48, at home during the regular season, close the season at 13-12 after winning two consecutive games to earn a district semifinal berth.

Fairfield (21-4), winner of six straight, advances to play Huber Heights Wayne (21-4) in a district final March 4 at University of Dayton Arena.  Wayne moved on with a 65-61 win in the district semifinals last night at Centerville.  Wayne has also won four consecutive games.

Moeller (17-7) will attempt to join Elder in the district finals when the Crusaders oppose Lakota East at 3 this afternoon at Lakota West High School in West Chester.  Moeller, which finished a game back of GCL South co-champs Elder and La Salle in the league standings, has won two games in a row and seven of the last 10.

Against Sycamore, Elder had to battle back for much of the game – trailing by seven points at the end of the first quarter, double digits in the second quarter, and then seven again at halftime.

The Panthers were able to narrow the deficit to one, 33-32, at the end of the third quarter and then surged ahead, twice holding five-point leads (40-35 and 42-37) before the Aviators came back to force OT – with Elder outscoring Sycamore, 4-2, in the extra period.  Whitmer led the Panthers, knocking down four three-pointers, while Browne added 10 rebounds to his 15 points to record his fifth double-double this season.

Elder – which missed five consecutive tree-throw attempts in the fourth quarter and was just 8-of-16 for the game – defeated its next opponent Fairmont, 64-50, on January 28 at The Pit on Elder’s campus.  Browne scored a game-high 21 points in the first meeting, while senior guard Todd Tiernan added 16 for the Panthers, who shot 56 percent from the field (19-of-34) and sank 23-of-27 free throws, Browne going 5-for-5 and Tiernan converting 9-of-11.