Moeller’s Postseason Run Ends In Regional Semis

03/11/2016

Posted on 3/11/2016 at 10:22 a.m.

Crusaders Come Up Just Short, End Season An Impressive 23-4

Moeller’s bid to earn a regional final berth came up just short Wednesday night, as senior forward and University of Cincinnati recruit Jarron Cumberland scored 22 points and grabbed seven rebounds to lead Wilmington to a 40-37 victory over the Greater Catholic League South Division Crusaders in the Ohio High School Athletic Association Division I Regional Basketball Tournament at Xavier University’s Cintas Center. 

Wilmington (26-1), which lost to Moeller, 40-31, in a game that looked very similar back on January 23, advances to meet Centerville (17-10) in the regional final at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Cintas Center.  Centerville, which ended the regular season on a three-game losing streak, knocked off Lakota East in Wednesday’s first semifinal, 37-36, to earn its fifth straight win in the postseason.

Facing Wilmington for the second straight year in the postseason (Moeller won 46-43 in last year’s district final), coach Carl Kremer’s team put forth its usual sound defensive effort and, in fact, led by two points until Wilmington’s Dylan Beaugard hit a three-pointer with 4:33 remaining to give the Hurricane a 36-35 lead.  Cumberland knocked down two free throws and grabbed a key rebound down the stretch to preserve the win.

Moeller (23-4) was led by 12 points from sophomore guard Isaiah Payton, who stepped into the starting lineup and performed well down the stretch after senior point guard Nate Georgeton suffered a season-ending knee injury in a regular-season loss at Elder back on February 5.  Despite not having their floor leader for the rest of the season, the Crusaders managed to win seven of its final eight games.

Payton was the lone Moeller player to score in double figures this time against Wilmington, with juniors Keegan McDowell and Riley Voss adding eight and seven points, respectively.  Crusaders’ senior guard Trey McBride led his team with five rebounds, while also dishing out four assists.  Senior Sam McCracken added six points and two steals for the Crusaders – who also earned a share of the GCL South championship for the fourth straight year.

Moeller’s four losses this season were to Seton Hall Prep, when the Crusaders scored a season low in points in a 37-33 loss in the Beach Ball Classic in Myrtle Beach, S.C. over the holidays; at GCL South tri-champion, district finalist and 21-4 La Salle, 45-39; at GCL South tri-champ, sectional finalist and 19-5 Elder; and Wilmington, which suffered its only defeat so far to the Crusaders.