GCL South Friday Night Basketball Roundup

02/13/2016

Posted on 2/13/2016 at 10:14 a.m.

League Hoops Championship Ends In Three-Way Tie Again

The Greater Catholic League South Division championship didn’t just come down to the final two league games of the season.  It literally came down to the final few seconds of league play, as Moeller senior guard Trey McBride tipped in a missed shot with 3.4 seconds remaining to give the Crusaders a come-from-behind 43-41 win over L:a Salle before a packed house at Moeller Friday night.

Moeller’s victory, coupled with Elder’s 54-41 win over St. Xavier before a sellout crowd at The Pit, means that Elder, La Salle and Moeller wind up in a three-way tie atop the prestigious GCL South with identical 4-2 records for the second straight year.  Each of the three schools defeated the other two at home and lost those same games on the road.  This is the fourth consecutive year that Moeller captured at least a share of the GCL South crown.

La Salle (18-3, 4-2 GCL South), ranked No. 2 behind Mason in The Enquirer’s Division I area coaches’ poll and riding a 10-game winning streak entering Friday’s game, had a chance to win the title outright with a victory.  And, leading 30-21 with 6:09 remaining in the third quarter, it appeared as though coach Dan Fleming’s team might just prevail with a rare GCL South road win.  Elder, La Salle and Moeller are all unbeaten at home this season.

No. 3 Moeller (18-3, 4-2), which has lost only one home game the last four seasons (42-41 to Centerville last February), came back with a  12-2 run behind six points from junior guard Keegan McDowell and take a 33-32 lead after three quarters.  The game was tight down the stretch, with La Salle grabbing a 37-33 lead before Moeller senior forward Sam McCracken tied the game and then gave his team the lead at 30-37 with two baskets.

Moeller extended its lead to 41-37 lead in the final minutes, but La Salle senior guard Jeremy Larkin, who scored a team-high 19 points, hit four straight free throws to tie the score and set up Moeller’s final possession.  McBride, who finished with 12 points on Senior Night, tipped in a missed shot by sophomore guard Isaiah Payton to give Moeller a two-point lead.  The ball seemed to hang on the ring, but eventually dropped through.

La Salle still had one final chance to win the game, but a deep three-point attempt by junior guard C.J. Fleming bounced off the rim.  Fleming, the GCL South leading scorer at 19.3 points per game, had another strong game, finishing with 17 points for the Lancers – now 11-2 this calendar year.

The victory was a big one for Moeller – which saw a one-game lead in the GCL South standings become a one-game deficit after consecutive league road losses to La Salle and Elder in the last 10 days.  The Crusaders – No. 8 in this week’s Associated Press Division I state poll – played their second straight league game without senior point guard Nate Georgeton, sidelined with a season-ending knee injury.

Coach Carl Kremer’s team doesn’t get much chance to enjoy Friday’s win and share of the league title.  The Crusaders travel to Greater Columbus tonight to face Whitehall-Yearling (19-2), winner of 12 straight games, at 7:30.  Moeller is the only GCL South team with a game today, the final day of the regular season, as Elder, La Salle and St. Xavier will now prepare for the postseason.

Like Moeller, No. 4 Elder (17-4, 4-2) needed a victory Friday night to earn a share of the GCL crown.  And, on his Senior Night, it should come as no surprise that guard Frankie Hofmeyer scored a career-high 21 points as his team recorded consecutive win No. 20 at Paul “Hans” Frey Court and extended its winning streak to four games entering postseason play.  Elder is No. 7 in this week’s AP state rankings.

Hofmeyer averages 17.6 points to rank second in the GCL South.

Senior forward Ryan Custer, a Wright State University signee, also had a big night for Elder – scoring 18 points and grabbing 14 rebounds as the Panthers wound up outscoring St. Xavier, 18-11, in the final quarter to take control. Junior forward Daniel Keyes had 16 points, including a team-high four three-pointers for St. Xavier (5-16, 0-6).  The Bombers have lost six straight heading into the sectional tournament.