No. 1 Moeller Perfect After Rally At No. 2 Oak Hills


Posted on 12/24/2016 at 7:32 p.m.

Elder, St. Xavier Drop Road Non-Conference Games Heading Into Holiday

Moeller trailed after each of the first three quarters before rallying in the final period to emerge with a 52-43 victory Friday night at Oak Hills in a game matching the top two ranked teams in Greater Cincinnati in The Cincinnati Enquirer’s Division I weekly area coaches’ poll.   No. 1 Moeller stays unbeaten at 6-0 with the road victory, while No. 2 Oak Hills suffers its first loss of the young season and is now 4-1 overall.

Greater Catholic League South Division teams Elder and St. Xavier also hit the road for non-conference games Friday. Elder struggled offensively in a 52-34 loss at Fairfield, while St. Xavier lost its second straight close game – falling to Roger Bacon, 69-60, in overtime.  The Bombers lost to another GCL Co-Ed member Hamilton Badin at home Tuesday, 60-59.  La Salle was the lone GCL South school not in action Friday, as the No. 3 Lancers prepare to travel to the Kingdom of the Sun next week in Ocala, Fla.

Moeller found itself trailing Oak Hills by six after the first quarter, by three at halftime and by one, 32-31, heading into the final quarter.  Back-to-back three-point plays by senior guards Isaiah Payton and Keegan McDowell put Moeller ahead for good at 37-32, and the Crusaders’ defense was solid the rest of the way.  McDowell finished with a team-high 19 points for Moeller, while Payton and sophomore guard Miles McBride each added 10 for coach Carl Kremer’s team.  

Oak Hills senior Ryan Batte led all scorers with 20, 16 coming in the second half.

Against Fairfield (4-1), Elder was unable to get untracked – connecting on just 13-of-38 field goals in the game – including 4-of-13 from three-point range.  Senior guard Shaun Sullivan was the lone Panther in double figures, finishing with 11 as Elder (3-2) saw its modest two-game winning streak snapped. Senior guard Andre Givens led Fairfield with 14 points, as the Indians extended a five-point halftime lead by outscoring Elder, 12-5, in the third quarter.   Elder played without leading scorer Dashawn Mosley, who is sidelined with an injury.

St. Xavier outscored Roger Bacon (5-1), 25-20, in the fourth quarter to tie the score at 58-58 in regulation.  The Bombers (2-3), however, could not get anything going on offense in the extra period and were outscored 11-2 by Roger Bacon to win its second straight in the series.  St. Xavier was led by Matthew Budde and Chase Wolf, who scored 13 and 11 points, respectively.  St. Xavier hit just 21-of-51 field goals and was 8-of-22 from three-point range.  Alec Pfriem had 21 points and nine rebounds for Roger Bacon.

All four GCL South teams are scheduled to travel to holiday tournaments, with three heading south to Florida.  Elder is the lone league school staying closer to home, as the Panthers are slated to voyage to Newark, Ohio for a holiday tournament next week.  La Salle makes its annual trek to the historic Kingdom of the Sun, which runs from Wednesday through Saturday at Vanguard High School in Ocala.  The Lancers (3-0) open against Royal Palm Beach, Fla. at 3 p.m. next Tuesday.

Moeller will test its perfect record against a talent-laden field in the Battle at The Villages, with games to be played at The Villages Center High School in The Villages, Fla.  The Crusaders play Archbishop Stepinac from White Plains, N.Y. at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in their first game.  St. Xavier is participating in the Windmere Prep Rock Holiday Classic in Orlando, Fla., with the Bombers scheduled to oppose the host school in the opener at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.