GCL South Friday Night Basketball Preview

01/08/2016

Posted on 1/8/2016 at 3:22 p.m.

Elder Looks To Extend Home Streak, Moeller Vies for Another Title

It is Opening Night in the Greater Catholic League South Division, with Elder hosting La Salle and St. Xavier traveling to Moeller in league openers at 7:30 tonight.  And there are plenty of storylines in each game, too, as Elder looks to extend its home winning streak to 17 games against a talented La Salle team, while Moeller is vying to earn at least a share of the coveted GCL South championship for the fourth straight year.

Elder (10-1) is coming off its first loss of the season, a 47-45 setback at Cooper (Northern Kentucky’s top-ranked team).  The game came in a tough spot for the Panthers – ranked No. 1 in The Enquirer’s Division I area coaches’ poll this week – being sandwiched in between a second straight tournament title at the Fort Lauderdale Beach Holiday Classic and the GCL opener against a rival.

The Panthers are led by senior guard Frankie Hofmeyer, who is averaging 17.5 points per game and has been a solid performer all season.  The Panthers are a perfect 6-0 at home this season and have not lost since January 31, 2014 when Moeller won at The Pit in overtime, 55-52.

La Salle (8-1) is ranked No. 2 behind Elder, and the Lancers are looking to continue their early-season momentum – that includes a strong runner-up finish in the Kingdom of the Sun at Ocala, Fla. over the holidays.  La Salle is led by junior guard C.J. Fleming, who returned to the lineup kin a 64-47 win at Hughes Tuesday, to score a team-high 19 points.  Fleming missed the previous game because of  an injury.

Moeller (10-1) is looking to continue its solid play in its home GCL South opener.  The No. 3-ranked Crusaders won three of four games in the prestigious Beach Ball Classic in Myrtle Beach, S.C. over the break, including a win over nationally ranked Mater Dei, Calif.  Moeller returned home to post a 64-51 win at Covington Catholic on Tuesday.  Moeller relies on balanced offense, with five players averaging seven or more points.

St. Xavier (4-6) has been the victim of close losses this season, with the six combined defeats by a total of 23 points. The Bombers, in face, have not lost a game by more than six points – that coming Tuesday night, when Roger Bacon defeated St. Xavier, 52-46.  The Bombers have won two of their last three games, the back-to-back wins coming over the holidays in the St. Pius X Christmas Classic outside Atlanta.