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Posted on 1/20/2020 at 3:34 p.m.

GCL South Teams Run Records To 13-1 After Sunday Victories

They opened the Greater Catholic League South Division basketball schedule with an epic game 10 days ago, with Moeller coming alive late to post a 45-43 win on the road – handing La Salle its first loss of the season.  Sunday, the two GCL South teams ran their records to 13-1 with victories on the second and final day of the Midwest King Classic at Middletown High School – likely cementing their ranking in the Associated Press Division I state poll for another week.

La Salle (13-1), playing the second of six games in the showcase designed to honor Dr. Marin Luther King Jr., posted a 76-31 win against neighborhood rival Colerain.  The Lancers, ranked No. 6 in the AP DI state poll for the second straight week, came out strong and built a 40-8 halftime lead.  Senior forward Caleb Schneider was named the game’s Most Valuable Player after coming off the bench to score all 14 of his points, including two three-point goals, in the final quarter. Also in double figures for La Salle were junior Jeff Queen Jr. and junior Ayden Schneider with 12 and 11, respectively, all coming in the first half. 

No. 1 Moeller (13-1), the two-time defending DI state champion and the only team to beat La Salle this season, extended its winning streak to 13 games with a 57-37 win against Hughes in the final game of the night and weekend.  The Crusaders trailed, 14-9 after one quarter for just the third time this season, was down by as many as eight in the second quarter, and the game was tied, 23-23, at halftime.  But the Crusaders outscored Hughes, 16-7, in the third quarter and increased the margin in the final eight minutes.    Junior Will McCracken led Moeller with 16 points, 12 coming in the second half, on 6-of-10 shooting.

He was joined in double figures by junior Logan Duncomb, who recorded his sixth double-double of the season with 12 points and 10 rebounds and was selected MVP, and senior Michael Currin, who had a season-high 11 points – all coming in the second quarter.  Senior guard Max Land and junior forward Alex Williams each added eight as Moeller remained perfect against Greater Cincinnati-area teams since December 12, 2017 – when the Crusaders lost to Covington Catholic, 58-53.

St. Xavier and Elder split games in the King Classic on Saturday, with the Bombers defeating Sycamore, 54-39, behind a game-high 22 points from junior guard Kobe Rodgers.  Elder fell to Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary, the state’s top-ranked DII team, despite knocking down a season-high 13 three-point goals and holding a seven-point halftime lead.  SV-SM rallied to outscore Elder, 2109, in the third quarter and win 79-68.

Elder and La Salle start the GCL South week with non-conference games against members of the Greater Miami Conference Tuesday night.  Elder travels to rival Oak Hills, while La Salle hosts Hamilton.  Friday’s league schedule marks the halfway point of the GCL South race, with La Salle traveling to Elder and Moeller hosting St. Xavier.  Moeller, which has won 21 consecutive league games, has a one-game lead over La Salle and St. Xavier heading into Friday’s games.

Posted on 1/19/2020 at 12:09 p.m.

La Salle, Moeller To Play Later Today In Annual Holiday Event
 
Greater Catholic League South Division basketball teams St. Xavier and Elder split their games on the opening day of play in the second Midwest King Classic held Saturday at Middletown High School, with St. Xavier defeating Sycamore, 54-39, in the third of six games, and Elder knocked down 13 three-point goals and held a seven-point halftime advantage before eventually falling to Akron St. Vincent-St .Mary, the state’s No. 1-ranked team in Division II, 79-68.
 
La Salle and Moeller are scheduled to play today in the two-day, 12-game showcase to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  La Salle (12-1) faces neighborhood rival Colerain in the second game at 1:15 p.m., while Moeller (12-1) opposes Hughes in the finale at 8:15.   Tickets are $10 at the gate.   Moeller is ranked No. 1 in the latest Associated Press DI state rankings, while La Salle is No 6.
 
Elder appeared prime to take down SV-SM behind its highest number of three-pointers in any game this season, leading to its halftime advantage.  But the Fighting Irish came alive in the third quarter to outscore Elder, 21-9, and take the lead for good.  The Panthers were 13-of-21 from three-point range – including 8-of-12 in the first half.  Senior Willard Cluxton led Elder with 17 points, going 5-of-6 on three-pointers), while sophomore Andre Harp had 16 (4-5), and junior Tony Walker added 13 (3-3).  Junior David Larkins was the fourth player in double figures with 11, but he did not attempt a three-pointer.
 
Elder (7-6) has lost two straight and three of its last four, but the Panthers have played a rigorous schedule.  The combined record of the six teams to defeat the Panthers is 71-19 – Huntington Prep Academy 15-7, Moeller 12-1, Turpin 12-2, Badin 12-3, SV-SM 10-3 and St. Xavier 10-3.  SV-SM is the only team to defeat Moeller in the last two seasons, posting a 64-59 victory in Northeast Ohio back on December 7.  It doesn’t get any easier for Elder, which travels the short distance to face rival Oak Hills (9-4) at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.
 
St. Xavier got back on the winning streak after having its nine-game winning streak snapped one night earlier in a 50-47 loss at La Salle.  The Bombers jumped out to a 13-7 lead after one quarter but Sycamore narrowed the margin to two, 27-25, at halftime.  The Bombers took command in the third quarter by outscoring Sycamore, 16-6, to post the win.  Junior guard Kobe Rodgers led St. Xavier with 20 points, while senior forward Hank Thomas added 13 points and a team-high nine rebounds.  Freshman Jack Konauge made his varsity debut and scored 1- points off the bench.
 
The Bombers are off until Friday when they travel to Moeller for the third of six GCL South games. Moeller has won 21 consecutive league games and has won outright or shared the GCL South championship the last seven seasons.  Tipoff is 7:30 p.m. at Moeller.

Posted on 1/18/2020 at 11:22 a.m.

La Salle Rallies In Second Half For Win Against St. Xavier
 
Junior  forward Alex Williams scored a game-high 21 points, converting four three-point goals and knocking down 9-of-11 free throws, to help Moeller take an early lead and post a 49-36 victory against Elder in a Greater Catholic League South Division game Friday night at the Brisben Family Education Center on Moeller’s Montgomery Road campus.  The win extends Moeller’s home winning streak to 41 games, its GCL South streak to 21 straight, and gave the state’s top-ranked Division I team 11 consecutive wins this season.
 
In Friday’s other GCL South game, La Salle rallied from a 10-point, second-half deficit to emerge with a 50-47 win against St. Xavier last night at La Salle.  The loss snapped a nine-game winning streak for the Bombers, who had not lost since a 49-43 setback at Lakota East back on December 3.  Senior guard Jaylen Lemons led La Salle with 16 points, with both the Lancers and St. Xavier remaining one game behind Moeller in the league standings after one-third of league play.
 
Moeller (12-1, 2-0 GCL South), the two-time defending DI state champion that retained its No. 1 spot in the second Associated Press state poll released Wednesday, relied on its defense to held Elder (7-5, 0-2), which managed five and four points, respectively, in the first and fourth quarters.  Moeller attempted only 23 field goals in the game, hitting 13, and no player besides Williams scored more than seven points.  Elder trailed only 26-21 at halftime by outscoring Moeller, 16-14, in the second quarter, and the Panthers twice had the ball down three late in the third quarter but were unable to get any closer.  Despite not sinking a field goal in the final eight minutes, Moeller knocked down nine free throws to extend its winning streaks.  Senior Willard Cluxton led Elder with 12 points.
 
Elder is the last GCL South team to defeat Moeller, winning 48-43 at The Pit in Price Hill on February 5, 2016.
 
La Salle, looking to even its league mark after a 45-43 loss to Moeller at home in its GCL South opener last Friday, worked its way back in the second half and finally took the lead for good at 41-40 midway through the fourth quarter on a basket by junior Justin Lovette.  Lemons then converted a traditional three-point play to make it 44-40, and La Salle (12-1, 1-1) converted six free throws down the stretch, four by junior Jeff Queen Jr. – to prevail.  Lovette and Queen also were in double figures for La Salle, with 12 and 11 points, respectively.
 
Lemons was extremely efficient for La Salle, which has won two straight, going 5-of-6 from the field including 3-of-4 from three-point range.  He also sank all three of his free throws.   Senior guard Avery Wilson led St. Xavier (9-3, 1-1) with 16 points, while junior guard Kobe Rodgers added 12 and senior Hank Thomas chipped in 10. 
 
All four GCL South teams are participating this weekend in the second Midwest King Classic at Middletown High School.  St. Xavier meets Sycamore at 4:45 p.m. today, with Elder to oppose Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary at 6:30.  SV-SM is the only team to defeat Moeller this season, winning 64-59 in Northeast Ohio in early December.  The alma mater of Lebron James, SV-SM is ranked No. 1 in the AP DII state poll again this week.
 
On Sunday, La Salle will face neighborhood rival Colerain in the second of six games in the King Classic at 1:15.  Moeller plays the final of the 12-game, two-day event to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., facing Hughes at 8:15 that evening.  Advance tickets are $8; tickets purchased at the gate are $10.  For event information, visit KingClassicMidwest.com.

Posted on 1/15/2020 at 6:51 p.m.

St. Xavier At Woodward Game Suspended Early In Overtime

Juniors Logan Duncomb and Alex Williams each scored 21 points, combining to connect on 18-of-24 field goals, and help Moeller build a 29-4 lead after one quarter and roll to an 80-38 victory against Huber Heights Wayne in a non-conference basketball game Tuesday night at the Brisben Family Education Center on Moeller’s Montgomery Road campus.  The win extended Moeller’s winning streak to 10 games and was the Crusaders’ 40th straight win at home.

If St. Xavier is to extend its winning streak to 11 games, it will have to wait a little longer.  The Bombers were trailing Woodward, 62-60, with 3:54 remaining in overtime last night at Woodward when the game was suspended after a dunk by Bulldogs’ Davian Mace following a missed shot opened the scoring in OT, giving his team a two-point lead while breaking the backboard in the process.  The game had to be suspended with no resumption date announced at this time.  St. Xavier forced OT on a deep three-point goal by junior guard Joe Kirby with one second left in regulation.

Junior Kobe Rodgers is the lone Bomber in double figures, with a game-high 26 points on 10-of-21 shooting.  Junior Hank Thomas has eight for St. Xavier (10-2), which has not lost since December 3 and – like Moeller – also is riding a 10-game winning streak.  St. Xavier travels to face La Salle in a GCL South game at 7:3 p.m. Friday.  The Bombers defeated Elder, 58-45, in their league opener last Friday at home; La Salle suffered its first defeat, falling 45-43 at home to Moeller after its best start since the 2003-04 season.

Moeller (11-1), which retained the No. 1 spot when the second Associated Press Division I state poll was released today, converted 32 of 52 field goals, good for 61.5 percent, and outrebounded the Warriors, 35-13.  Duncomb led Moeller with 10 boards, giving him his third double-double of the season.  Duncomb leads the GCL South in rebounding, averaging 8.6 per game.  Up next for Moeller is a home game against Elder at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Posted on 1/14/2020 at 5:26 p.m.

Eddings Scores Game-High 21 To Lead Lancers At Winton Woods

Senior guard Derek Eddings scored a season-high 21 points, connecting on 8-of-14 field goals including 4-of-6 from three-point range, to lead three double-figure scorers and help La Salle rebound from its only loss this season to post a 63-48 win at Winton Woods in anon-conference basketball game Monday night.  

Juniors Jeff Queen Jr. and Justin Lovette added 15 and 12 points, respectively, for La Salle (11-1) – which had its 10-game winning streak to open the season snapped with a tough 45-43 home loss to two-time defending state champion Moeller in the Greater Catholic League South Division opener for both teams last Friday at La Salle.  The Lancers are off to their best since beginning the 2003-04 season with 19 consecutive victories.  Up next for La Salle is a home game against St. Xavier (10-2), which has won 10 straight and has not lost since December 3.  Tipoff is 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Moeller and St. Xavier have non-conference games tonight.  The Crusaders look to extend their 39-game home winning streak when they host Huber Heights Wayne at 7:30 p.m.  Moeller, ranked No. 1 in the second Associated Press Division I state poll released today, is riding a 10-game winning streak.  St. Xavier also will look to make it 11 in a row when the Bombers visit Woodward at 7:30 tonight.   Elder (7-4) is off until Friday, when the Panthers visit Moeller at 7:30 p.m.

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