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Posted on 1/16/2019 at 10:18 a.m.

Elks Late Run Overcomes 10 Three-Pointers From Bombers

After trailing by one point at halftime and then taking a two-point advantage after three quarters, Centerville left no question as to which team would win its non-conference matchup against visiting St. Xavier Tuesday night.  The Elks scored the first 15 points of the final quarter to open up a 47-30 lead that enabled them to overcome 10 made three-point shots from St. Xavier in an eventual 57-41 victory.  The loss was the third in the last four games for St. Xavier, which was outscored, 25-11, in the fourth quarter.

St. Xavier (6-7), coming off a 48-33 road win at Elder last Friday, was led by senior center Luke Pellot’s 13 points, hitting 5-of-6 field goals that included 3-of-3 from three-point range.  Senior guard Nathan Stockman, the Bombers’ leading scorer, added nine points  – including two three-pointers, while senior guard Nick Frank had six and two three-pointers.  Junior forward Hank Thomas, who came into the game averaging 11.7 points to rank fifth in the Greater Catholic League South Division in that category, was held scoreless for the first time this season.

Centerville (6-5), winner of two straight games, was led by 14 points from senior guard Matt Pearce, one of three scorers in double figures.  The Elks outscored St. Xavier, 19-1, from the free-throw line and had a 34-19 rebounding edge.  St. Xavier looks to get back on track when it travels to face defending Kentucky state champion Covington Catholic at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Park Hills.  CovCath is 14-4 and is riding a four-game winning streak.

St. Xavier was the lone GCL South team in action last night.  Moeller (11-0, 1-0 GCL South) travels to Elder (6-7, 0-1) in the lone league game scheduled for Friday.  Tipoff is 7:30 that night at The Pit.  Moeller has won 31 straight games overall dating back to December 2017, including 14 in a row in the GCL South.  Elder is the last league team to defeat the Crusaders, winning 48-43 on February 5, 2016 in Price Hill.  The game is part of the Mercy Health Hoops Classic.  La Salle (7-5) is off Friday, but travels to Walnut Hills at 7:30 Saturday night for its next game.

Posted on 1/12/2019 at 10:56 a.m.

Thomas Lead Balanced St. Xavier; Elder, Moeller Games Canceled Today

At first glance, Moeller’s 21-point victory over La Salle in its Greater Catholic League South Division opener Friday appears like just any other double-digit victory for the defending Division I state champion Crusaders.  But this was anything but routine for top ranked and undefeated Moeller, which trailed for the first time all season at the end of the first quarter and held just a one-point advantage at halftime before pulling away in the final two quarters to extend its overall winning streak to 31 games, including 14 straight in the GCL South, with a 72-51 win over La Salle at Moeller’s Brisben Family Education Center.

In last night’s other GCL South game, junior Hank Thomas led a balanced offense with 10 points and St. Xavier opened up a 13-point halftime lead on its way to a 48-33 victory over Elder at The Pit in Price Hill.  Senior guard Nathan Stockman and junior guard Avery Wilson each scored seven points for the Bombers, who entered the game having lost three straight and five of their last six.  The road victory also avenged a 67-46 loss at Elder last February.

Elder and Moeller were scheduled to play games today, but both have been canceled because of inclement weather.  Elder was slated to play Dublin Jerome at 4 p.m. at The Pit; Moeller was to host Purcell Marian at 5 p.m. in Kenwood.  No make-up date has been announced for Elder-Jerome, but the Moeller-Purcell Marian game has been rescheduled for Saturday, February 9 at Moeller.  Tipoff of the varsity game is 7:30 that night.

The region is under a Winter Storm Warning that is expected to produce between four to six inches of snow between now and early Sunday morning.

Moeller (11-0, 1-0 GCL South) entered its game against La Salle having not been challenged this season – winning its first 10 games against local, regional and national competition by an average of nearly 35 points.   In fact, no regional team had come closer than 21 points against the Crusaders – that being Centerville in a 54-33 loss at Moeller last Saturday.  The only team to come within 20 points of coach Carl Kremer’s team was Lakewood from St. Petersburg, Fla. in the championship game of the Suncoast Holiday Classic over the Christmas break, that a 62-46 Moeller victory.

But La Salle (7-5, 1-1), which entered the game riding a four-game winning streak, was up to the challenge in the first half – taking a 17-15 lead after the first quarter behind three three-pointers and then trailing, 33-32, at halftime.  But Moeller came alive in the third quarter to outscore the Lancers, 22-10, and wound up with a 20-point advantage in the final two quarters to pull away and extend its overall winning and league streaks.  Moeller has won or shared the last five GCL South championships, and has not lost in the league since February 2016 – a 48-43 setback at Elder.

Senior guard Miles McBride had a big night for Moeller, posting a double-double with 20 points on 10-of-14 shooting and 10 rebounds, to go along with four assists and four steals.  Senior Alec Pfriem added 13 points on 6-of-9 shooting with seven rebounds and three assists, while sophomore Alex Williams came off the bench to score 11 for Moeller – which shot 52.5 percent (32-of-61) from the field.  Moeller has shot better than 50 percent as a team in every game but one this season, that being 48.1 percent in the win against Lakewood.

Senior guard Nathan Vogelpohl led La Salle with 20 points and five rebounds, while junior guard Jaylen Lemons added 10 points and five rebounds.  Junior center Michael Wergers scored  six points on 3-of-3 shooting to go along with three rebounds.  Wergers had pulled down 45 rebounds in the Lancers’ last three games, including a school-record 22 in a 50-46 win against GCL Co-Ed member Roger Bacon Tuesday night at La Salle.  Moeller held the rebounding edge, 34-28, in the game.

Moeller – ranked No. 1 in the first Associated Press Ohio Division I state poll released last Monday – also extended its home winning streak to 31, having not lost on its Montgomery Road campus since a 42-41 loss to Centerville on February 14, 2016.  The Crusaders have recorded back-to-back unbeaten home records the last two seasons and are a perfect 4-0 at home this season.  La Salle is the last GCL South team to defeat Moeller at home, winning 42-34 on February 17, 2012.

Elder (6-7, 0-1) could never get untracked offensively against St. Xavier (6-6, 1-1), which held a 37-36 lead a week ago in the final 35 seconds over La Salle before the Lancers’ Derek Eddings nailed a three-pointer to give La Salle a 39-37 lead.  St. Xavier had three shots in the final 10 seconds to either tie or win the game, but was unable to connect.

The Panthers have lost two straight and three of its last four as the Panthers managed to score single digits in three quarters, including six in the first eight minutes as St. Xavier took an early 15-6 lead.  Senior guard Aidan Byrne led Elder with 10 points, including three three-pointers.  Junior guard Willard Cluxton added nine points for Elder, which was struggled against the St. Xavier defense, which limited Elder’s looks and was solid in rebounding.

St. Xavier returns to the hardwood Tuesday, traveling up Interstate 75 to face Centerville at 7:30 p.m.  La Salle is off until next Saturday, when the Lancers travel to meet Walnut Hills at 7:30.  Elder and Moeller will meet next Friday as part of the Mercy Health Hoops Classic.  Tipoff for the lone GCL South game that night is 7:30 at The Pit in Price Hill.

Posted on 1/11/2018

St. Xavier, Ursuline Academy Ready To Defend Their Titles

St. Xavier and Ursuline Academy will attempt to successfully defend their recent reign in the respective leagues when competition in the 2019 GCL & GGCL Division I Swimming & Diving Championships begins in late January.   St. Xavier’s AquaBombers have won every Greater Catholic League South Division meet since 1961.   St. Xavier has won all but one big-school Ohio High School Athletic Association DI state championship since 2000 – only missing the title in 2008, giving the nationally regarded St. Xavier program 10 consecutive state crowns.

Ursuline Academy is the three-time defending winner in the Girls’ Greater Catholic League meet.  The Lions also won the league championship in 2013-14, giving them tiles in four of the last five years.  Ursuline went on to win the DI girls’ state crown in 2013-14.  From 1984-55 through 2012-13, Ursuline also won the league championship every year, either competing against all other member schools or finishing first among divisional opponents when it was competing as a member of the GGCL Scarlet Division.

Competition in diving will start the meet on Saturday, January 26 at Sycamore High School.  Warm-ups are set to begin at 2 p.m. that day, with diving sheets due at 2:30, followed by the recognition of seniors and the competition at 2:45.  The swimming portion of the meet is set for Wednesday, January 30 at Keating Natatorium on the St. Xavier High School campus.  Warm-ups are scheduled for 4 p.m., followed by competition at 5:10.

Entries are due by 5 p.m. on Friday, January 25.  A roster must accompany entries.  An entry file can be downloaded from either www.gclsports.com or www.swimmeet.com.

Posted on 1/10/2018 at 11:50 a.m.

Wergers Sets Lancers’ Single-Game Record For Rebounds

Senior guard Nathan Vogelpohl scored a team-high 15 points and junior center Michael Wergers posted a double-double with 10 points and 22 rebounds, setting the school single-game record in the process to help La Salle defeat Greater Catholic League Co-Ed member Roger Bacon, 50-46, on Tuesday night at  La Salle High School.  The win was the fourth straight for the Lancers, who were the only GCL South team in action last night as all four teams prepare for Friday’s first full night of league games.

Wergers, a 6-foot-3 junior center, has had 10 or more rebounds in five of the seven games he has played this season.  He has pulled down 12, 11 and 22 rebounds, respectively, in the last three games against St. Xavier, Colerain and Roger Bacon.  He leads the GCL South in rebounding, averaging 11 per game.  Against Roger Bacon, Wegers had only three less rebounds than the Spartans’ team and also went 5-of-8 from the field.  Voeglpohl had two of the four three-point goals for La Salle (7-4), while junior guard Jaylen Lemons added nine points.

La Salle – which won its league opener at St. Xavier, 39-37, last Friday, travels to face defending GCL South champ and undefeated Moeller (10-0) at 7:30 p.m. Friday.  Elder (6-6) opens its league schedule by hosting St. Xavier   (5-6, 0-1) at 7:30 p.m. at The Pit in Price Hill.  Moeller owns a 30-game winning streak overall, including 13 straight victories in the GCL South.  The Crusaders have won or shared each of the last five league titles.

Posted on 1/6/2019 at 7:52 p.m.

La Salle Beats Rival; Elder, St. Xavier Fall In Road Games 

New calendar year, same result for the Moeller basketball team.  After posting a perfect 29-0 record in 2018, the defending Division I state champion Crusaders tipped off the New Year with another double-digit victory Saturday night at the school’s Brisben Family Education Center in Kenwood as three players scored in double figures in a non-conference victory over Centerville.  La Salle extended a modest streak of its own, defeating neighborhood rival Colerain on the road thanks to another big night from junior forward Derek Eddings, while Elder and St. Xavier both suffered road losses to wrap up their weekends.

Here is a look at Saturday’s Greater Catholic League South Division games:

Moeller 54, Centerville 33 – Sophomore forward Alex Williams came off the bench to score a team-high 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting as Moeller outscored Centerville (4-5) in every quarter.  Williams was joined in double figures by senior Alec Pfriem, who finished with 12 points, five assists and four rebounds.  Senior Miles McBride, who entered the game leading the GCL South in scoring at 15.7 points a game, finished with nine points, nine rebounds, five steals and four assists as Moeller shot better than 50 percent for the ninth time this season, at 54.8  (23-of-42).

The Crusaders, who are winning by an average of 31.2 points, also won the rebounding edge, 29-16.  No team has come closer than 16 points against Moeller, that coming in the final game of 2018 – a 64-46 win over Lakewood from St. Petersburg, Fla. in the championship game of the Suncoast Holiday Classic in Sarasota.  Moeller (10-0) will look to extend two winning streaks in its next game  against La Salle in the GCL South opener for the Crusaders at home Friday.  Besides the 30-game overall streak, Moeller also has won 13 consecutive league games dating back to February 5, 2016 and a 48-43 loss at Elder.

Moeller has won or shared five straight GCL South crowns.

La Salle 63, Colerain 55 – One night after sinking a game-winning, three-point shot in the final minute to help the Lancers win their GCL South opener, 39-37, at St. Xavier, Eddings matched his season high in scoring to help La Salle win its third straight game.  Eddings finished with 17 points for the second straight night, this time on 5-of-8 shooting while making all six free throws, and grabbed six rebounds for La Salle (6-4) – which jumped out to a 34-18 halftime lead.  Eddings’ previous high was 14 earlier this season against Withrow.

Senior Nathan Vogelpohl and junior Jaylen Lemons also scored in double figures for La Salle with 15 and 13 points, respectively, to offset a big scoring night by senior guard Rodney Wiley of Colerain (2-5) – who scored a game-high 31 points on 10-of-19 shooting, including 4-of-8 from three-point range, and 7-of-8 in free throws to compliment five rebounds.  La Salle junior center Michael Wergers, who did not score but grabbed 12 rebounds against St. Xavier, added five points and pulled down 11 rebounds in the game.

La Salle hosts GCL Co-Ed member Roger Bacon at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Northwest 53, Elder 47 – Junior guard Steven Grau scored a game-high 17 points to lead a balanced attack for Northwest, with four or more players posting eight or more points to help the Knights record the home victory.  Grau connected on 7-of-9 shots, including 3-of 5 three-pointers, to help Northwest outscore the Panthers, 12-8 and 16-11, respectively, in the second and third quarters.  Evan Mahaffey and Desani Hill each added nine points, while Keyshawn Bourrage chipped in eight for Northwest (3-8) – the four-time defending Southwest Ohio Conference champion.

Juniors Aidan Byrne and Matthew Luebbe each scored 10 points to lead Elder (6-6), which connected on just 4-of-15 three-pointers and was outrebounded, 31-12.  Junior Joe Royer added nine for Elder, while junior Bryson Mer came off the bench to score seven.  Lueebe led the team with five rebounds.  Elder, which hosts St. Xavier in its GCL South opener at 7:30 p.m. Friday, has lost its last three games by a combined 10 points – falling to Roger Bacon, 58-57, in overtime on December 22, then Lakota West, 51-48, on a three at the buzzer on December 28 before last night’s four-point setback.

Purcell Marian 71, St. Xavier 58 – Junior Hank Thomas scored 21 of his team-high 24 points in the first three quarters and helped St. Xavier trail by four points, 48-44, before Purcell Marian extended its lead in the final eight minutes on the way to its seventh consecutive victory after the talented GCL Co-Ed member opened the season with back-to-back losses. The loss was the third straight for St. Xavier (5-6), which has now lost five of its last six games after going 4-1 to begin the season.  Purcell Marian (7-2) is now 2-1 against the GCL South, losing to La Salle in the season opener, 53-50, and then winning against Elder, 63-57.

The 24 points were a season high for Thomas, who ranks third in the GCL South in rebounding at 6.8 per game entering Saturday.  Senior guard Nathan Stockman, the GCL South leading scorer at 15.6 points a game, scored 22 against Purcell Marian for the Bombers.  St. Xavier will attempt to get back on the winning track and earn its first league win when it meets Elder at The Pit at 7:30 p.m. Friday.  The teams split two meetings last season, with St. Xavier winning, 55-53, in overtime at home and then losing at Elder, 67-46, in early February.

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