Moeller Advances To Hoops Sectional Final


Posted on 2/24/2016 at 9:53 a.m.

Elder, La Salle Look To Take Same Step Tonight In Tourney Semifinals

Senior forward Sam McCracken scored a team-high 14 points to pace a balanced scoring attack, helping Moeller to a 66-38 victory over Winton Woods Tuesday night in the Ohio High School Athletic Association Sectional 3 Tournament at Fairfield High School – earning the Crusaders a fifth consecutive win and a trip to the sectional final against Oak Hills at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Fairfield, the winner advancing to next week’s district championship.

Like Moeller, Greater Catholic League South Division members Elder and La Salle also are looking to earn a berth in the sectional final when they resume postseason play tonight.  Elder (18-4) faces Glen Este (3-19) in the Cincinnati Sectional 2 semifinals at 6 p.m. at Hamilton, while La Salle (19-3) will oppose Colerain (1-21) at 7:30 p.m. at Lakota West.  If victorious, Elder and La Salle will meet in Saturday’s sectional final at West.

McCracken was one of 12 payers to score against Winton Woods for Moeller (21-3), which jumped out to a 28-14 halftime advantage.  The Crusaders also got six points each from Keegan McDowell, Trey McBride and Riley Voss. Winton Woods (6-17) made 10 three-point goals in the game, but managed just three conventional field goals against a tough Crusaders’ defense.

Moeller will need that same type of effort against Oak Hills – which advanced with a convincing 57-36 win over Loveland Tuesday night in the first semifinal at Fairfield.  Junior guard Ryan Batte led the Highlanders with a game-high 16 points, while junior Cameron Naber added 13 and sophomore Nick Deifel chipped in 10 for Oak Hills (16-7) – which posted a 2-2 record against GCL South teams this season.

One of those losses was at Moeller back on December 22, when the Crusaders emerged with a 42-39 victory.  McDowell was the lone Moeller player in double figures that night, finishing with 10, while Batte led the Highlanders - who had a chance to win the final seconds - with a game-high 16.  Oak Hills defeated Elder, 44-41, at home and won at St. Xavier, 53-47.  Coach Mike Price’s team lost at home to La Salle, 61-53, in overtime.