Benzinger, 3rd Qtr Run Lead Moeller In Regional Hoops


Posted on 03/13/2014 at 11:41am

Senior guard Grant Benzinger scored a game-high 24 points and Moeller used an 11-0 run to close the third quarter en route to a 53-50 victory over Middletown in the Division I Cincinnati Regional Semifinals on Wednesday night at Xavier University’s Cintas Center.  The victory moves the top-ranked Crusaders into the regional final against Trotwood-Madison at 7 p.m. Friday at Cintas Center.  The winner of that games advances to the Division I Final Four in Columbus and a state semifinal game at 8:30 Friday, March 21, at The Ohio State University.

Middletown, riding an eight-game winning streak, held a 21-19 lead at halftime and led by one point before Moeller went on its run late in the third quarter.  The Crusaders (24-1), unbeaten in 2014 and ranked No. 1 in the final Associated Press Ohio Division I media regular-season poll, also got 11 points and 14 rebounds from senior forward Jack Anton.  Benzinger, a Wright State University signee who didn’t score in Moeller’s district final win over Fairborn Saturday, also connected on all four of the Crusaders’ three-point goals.

Moeller, which has now won 18 straight games, was able to overcome a team-high 19 points from Middletown senior forward Vince Edwards, a Purdue University signee.  Next up for the Crusaders is talent-laden Trotwood-Madison (24-2), ranked No. 5 in the AP state rankings, which got past Huber Heights Wayne, 60-58, in Wednesday’s first semifinal game featuring two members of the Greater Western Ohio Conference.   The Rams have won 11 games in a row, including a 51-50 victory over GCL South member La Salle in the district final last Saturday.