Moeller Puts No. 1 Hoops Ranking To Test Tonight


Posted on 12/23/2016 at 9:15 a.m.

Unbeaten Crusaders Visit No. 2 Oak Hills In GCL-GMC Clash

Moeller, which sits atop The Enquirer’s Division I area coaches’ poll after opening the season with five impressive victories, heads across town tonight for a matchup with also unbeaten and No. 2 Oak Hills in a game that tips off a holiday hoops fest for the four Greater Catholic League South Division schools.  Tipoff is 7:30 p.m. at Oak Hills High School.

Elder and St. Xavier are also in action tonight, with the No. 6 Panthers (3-1) traveling to play Fairfield (3-1) at 7:30.  St. Xavier hits the road to face GCL Co-Ed member Roger Bacon (4-1) at 7:30 tonight; the Bombers are coming off a 60-59 loss to Hamilton Badin at St. Xavier Tuesday night.  No. 3 La Salle (3-0), which defeated Lakota West, 71-36, at home Tuesday, does not play.  All four GCL South schools are scheduled to compete in holiday tournaments, with La Salle, Moeller and St. Xavier heading to Florida events after Christmas.

First, though, Moeller is looking to remain unbeaten against an Oak Hills team that is off to a fast start – including a 49-43 win at Mason last Friday night – a victory that snapped the Comets’ 18-game winning streak in the Greater Miami Conference.  Oak Hills enters tonight at 4-0 overall and 2-0 in the GMC.  The Highlanders are led by 6-foot-5 senior Ryan Batte, who ranks among GMC leaders in scoring (16.0, fifth in league) and rebounding (6.3, second).

Moeller and Oak Hills met last February in the postseason, with Moeller emerging with a 61-58 victory in overtime.  The Crusaders held a late lead in regulation before Oak Hills rallied to send the game into the extra period.  Batte had a big night for Oak Hills, leading all scorers with 22 points while also added six rebounds and four assists.  Senior guard Trey McBride led Moeller with 17 points, while junior guard Keegan McDowell added 10.

Moeller, coming of a 3-0 week, hasn’t played since last Saturday when the Crusaders knocked off neighborhood rival Sycamore, 68-32.  Moeller’s most impressive win to date came last week, a 60-51 victory over Covington Catholic, Northern Kentucky’s No. 1-ranked team that is 8-2 this season.  The Crusaders have a balanced offense, led McDowell – who averages 15.4 points to rank fifth in the league.  Moeller has five players who average 7.2 points or more per game.