Rare Tuesday Night GCL South Game For League Lead

02/02/2016

Posted on 2/2/2016 at 9:30 a.m.

Moeller, La Salle Put Winning Streaks On Line In Rescheduled Game

While the outcome of tonight’s Greater Catholic League South Division first-place showdown might be in doubt, one thing is for certain – a lengthy winning streak will definitely come to an end when Moeller travels to La Salle for a rare Tuesday night GCL South game that could go a long way in determining the eventual league champion.  Tipoff is 7:30 p.m. at a sold-out La Salle’s Bill Cady Court.

The game, which had to be rescheduled after a winter storm advisory and projected snowstorm forced the game to be postponed on January 22, matches Moeller (16-1, 3-0 GCL South), ranked No. 1 in The Enquirer’s Division I area coaches’ poll and winner of nine straight games, against No. 3 La Salle (16-2, 2-1), which has won eight in a row. Moeller also is ranked No. 3 in this week’s Associated Press Division I state rankings.

GCL South member Elder also is in action tonight.  The No. 5-ranked Panthers (13-4) travel to St. Bernard to meet GCL Co-Ed member Roger Bacon (12-6), which is ranked No. 2 in Division III.  Tipoff is 7:30 p.m.  Elder is coming off a tough two-point loss at La Salle last Friday, while the Spartans have won three of their last four – the lone loss at home last Friday to division leader and the top-ranked Division III team Purcell Marian, 73-55.

A victory over La Salle by Moeller, which has not lost since suffering its only defeat of the season to Seton Hall Prep, N.J., 39-33, in the Beach Ball Classic in Myrtle Beach, S.C. over the Christmas holiday, can earn a share of the GCL South championship for a fourth straight year with a win tonight.  A Moeller victory would give the Crusaders a two-game lead with two league games remaining, having already defeated Elder and St. Xavier twice.

It won’t be easy at La Salle, which is 8-0 at home and has not lost in its friendly confines since the final regular-season game of the 2013-14 season, when the Lancers were knocked off 56-53 by rival Elder.  Since then, La Salle has won 17 straight games at home.   The Lancers posted a 9-1 record in January, the lone loss at Elder, 56-50, the last time La Salle suffered a defeat.

Don’t expect a high-scoring game, as both teams play aggressive and sound defense.  La Salle has held seven of its last eight opponents to 46 or fewer points, the lone exception being when Oak Hills scored 53 in an eight-point loss to the Lancers in a game that went into overtime.  Last Friday, La Salle defeated Elder, 39-37, in what has become a typical GCL South game.  The Lancers then held high-scoring Walnut Hills to just 44 points Saturday.

Moeller plays some pretty stingy defense as well.  During their current nine-game winning streak, only one opponent – Covington Catholic – has scored more than 48 points.  Moeller won that game, 64-51, and coach Carl Kramer’s team has allowed just 29, 31 and 32 points, respectively, in its last three wins over Westerville Central, previously unbeaten Wilmington and St. Xavier.

La Salle features the GCL South’s leading scorer in junior guard C.J. Fleming, son of Lancers’ coach Dan Fleming, who averages 20.1 points and almost two made three-point goals a game.  He is joined in double figures by senior guard Jeremy Larkin (11.0).  Moeller has five players that average better than 7.6 points per game in Trey McBride (11.5), Keegan McDowell (8.9), Nate Georgeton (7.9), Sam McCracken and Riley Voss (7.6).   

The two teams split games last season by a total of five points, with Moeller winning 42-38 in overtime at Moeller behind 10 points and 11 rebounds from McBride.  La Salle earned a 33-32 victory in the second meeting at La Salle.  In that game, Joey Wenning came off the bench to score a game-high 15 points for the Lancers.  Moeller shot 66.7 percent from the field in the defeat, sinking 10-of-15 field goals.

Tonight’s game is a sellout, and fans holding tickets from the previously scheduled game should use those for admission.