GCL South Teams Go 3-For 3 In Sectional Finals Friday

03/07/2015

Posted on 3/7/2015 at 1:35 p.m.

La Salle, Elder Sweep DH At Xavier University’s Cintas Center

It was quite a Friday night for the GCL South in basketball, as the three teams that tied for the league championship this season – Elder, La Salle and Moeller - each won their respective sectional tournament titles to advance to the Ohio High School Athletic Association Southwest District Finals next Saturday at University of Dayton Arena.

La Salle opened an outstanding doubleheader at Xavier University’s Cintas Center – pitting top teams from the GCL South and the Greater Miami Conference – with a 43-41 victory over Mason, the No. 1 overall seed in the Cincinnati Sectional Tournaments.  Mason, No. 2 in The Enquirer’s Division I final coaches’ poll, did not suffer a loss in the regular season until the final night of play, falling to Lakota East, 63-62, in overtime on February 20.

The Lancers (20-5), winners of three straight and five of six, advance to meet the Dayton 3 Sectional champion, either Lebanon or Springfield, in the district final.  Those two schools meet in the sectional final at 8 tonight at Centerville High School.

La Salle rallied after trailing Mason, 26-18, at halftime and survived a rare off shooting night by GCL South Player of the Year C.J. Fleming – who converted just one field goal in the game and finished with five points.  The L:anhers held Mason to just 15 points in the second half and their lowest point total of the season, earning La Salle coach Dan Fleming career win No. 400 at the school in the process.

However, senior forward Donte Buycks and junior guard Jeremy Larkin picked up the slack for La Salle by combining to score 33 of the Lancers’ 43 points.  Buycks finished with a team-high 17 points, including a rebound and basket late in the fourth quarter to give La Salle a 39-38 lead.  Then, with 29.2 seconds remaining, Buycks sank a pair of free throws to make it 41-38.  Larkin wound up with 16 points, including nine in the second quarter.

Elder, which opened the season with 16 straight wins, capped off the DH with a 57-46 victory over East – which entered the night at 22-2 and riding a 13-game winning streak.  Coach Joe Schoenfeld’s team, like La Salle, also trailed their GMC opponent in the first half and went into the locker room facing a 29-23 deficit.  But a pair of early three-point goals by Peyton Ramsey and Brad Miller sparkled an 18-6 run in the third quarter.

Junior guard Frankie Hofmeyer led Elder with 18 points, 10 coming in the second half.  Ramsey and Miller each added 10, with Ramsey hauling down six rebounds.  Elder made eight three-pointers in the game, including one late from senior forward Mitch Moorhead that helped preserve the victory.

The Panthers (22-2), who have now won five games in a row, advance to meet the Dayton 1 Sectional winner, either Centerville of Xenia in the district final.  Those two schools meet in the sectional final scheduled for 4 p.m. today at University of Dayton Arena.

And Moeller, which got off to a slow start this season because of injuries, capped a comeback night for the GCL South by winning the Cincinnati 5 Sectional with a 48-40 victory over Walnut Hills at Fairfield High School.  Moeller trailed by seven at halftime and two at the end of third quarter before outscoring the Eagles, 27-17, in the fourth quarter – keyed by a 12-0 run - to emerge victorious.

The Crusaders (17-8) advance to meet Wilmington – the No. 1-ranked team in The Enquirer’s Division I final poll, in the district final.  Wilmington defeated Turpin, 94-58, Friday night in the Cincinnati 2 Sectional at Lakota West High School. Junior guard Nate Georgeton led Moeller with 16 points, 13 in the second half, while sophomore forward Riley Voss had nine points and five rebounds.

Junior guard Trey McBride added eight points, three rebounds and three steals for coach Carl Kremer’s team.  Moeller turned things around offensively in the second half, hitting 10 of 16 field goals.  The Crusaders, who held Walnut Hills to its season low in scoring, also were solid late at the free-throw line – going 10-for-14 in the last 1:04 to preserve the win.