Moeller Nips Oak Hills In Sectional Final

02/27/2016

Posted 2/27/2016 at 9:53 a.m.

Crusaders Advance To District; Elder-La Salle Meet Tonight

Senior guard Trey McBride scored a game-high 17 points, and senior guard Kenny Wead came off the bench to score 16 and help Moeller emerge with a 61-58 overtime victory over Oak Hills in the Ohio High School Athletic Association Cincinnati Sectional 3 final Friday night at Fairfield High School.  The victory earns the Crusaders a trip to next week’s district final against the winner of tonight’s Dayton 2 Sectional final between Springboro and Springfield.

Moeller (22-3) was able to overcome outstanding performances by the Oak Hills tandem of Ryan Batte, who finished with a game-high 22 points on 8-of-11 shooting and grabbed six rebounds, and Luke Rudy, who scored 14 points, hitting 4-of-5 three-pointers, and pulled down eight rebounds.  Oak Hills (16-8) hit 19-of-33 field goals (57.6 percent), including 10-of-17 from three point-range, and sank 10-of-11 free throws.

The win gave Moeller its 10th straight sectional title.

Elder and La Salle will attempt to join Moeller in the district tournament, when the Greater Catholic League South Division rivals meet in the Cincinnati Sectional 2 championship at 7:30 tonight at Lakota West High School.  Elder (19-4) has won six straight games, the last loss coming at La Salle, 39-37, while La Salle (21-3) won its two sectional games by a combined 62 points.  Elder beat La Salle, 56-50, in the first regular-season meeting at Elder.

Moeller got off to a slow start against Oak Hills, scoring a basket in the final minute of the first quarter to avert being shut out in the opening period.  The Crusaders came alive in the second quarter to grab a 22-19 halftime lead.  Oak Hills, which narrowly lost at Moeller, 42-39, on December 22, pulled ahead in the third quarter, 31-27.  But Moeller put together an 11-4 spurt to close the quarter and take a 38-35 advantage.

Coach Carl Kremer’s team would extend its margin down the stretch and appeared to be headed to a victory in regulation.  But Oak Hills simply would not go away, and the Highlanders – down 50-44 – got consecutive three-pointers from Rudy and Batte in the final 30 seconds to pull even, 50-50, and send the game into overtime.

In OT, Moeller did not miss a field-goal attempt.  However, Oak Hills managed to rally back from a late four-point deficit when Rudy stole an inbounds pass with 13 seconds left and Moeller leading 50-58.  The Highlanders worked to get an open three-point look, but the shot from sophomore guard Nick Deifel  just missed. 

Wead, averaging just under three points a game, finished with a season-high 16 – including four three-pointers, many of which helped Moeller rebound from an 8-2 deficit at the end of the first quarter to outscore Oak Hills, 20-11, in the second eight minutes to take a halftime lead.  Wead also was solid with the basketball, helping the Crusaders extend their winning streak and keep their postseason hopes alive.

Oak Hills – a member of the Greater Miami Conference – finished its season 2-3 against the GCL South, posting victories against Elder and St. Xavier, losing twice to Moeller by a combined five points, an falling in OT to La Salle.  The Highlanders committed 18 turnovers against Moeller, while the Crusaders were guilty of just five in the game.