Moeller, La Salle Advance To DI Regional Final

03/16/2017

Posted on 3/16/2017 at 5:06 p.m.

Berth In State Final Four On Line In Third Meeting This Friday

Moeller and La Salle, which have already played twice as part of the Greater Catholic League South Division regular-season schedule, will meet a third and final time this season with the highest stakes yet as the winner will advance to the Division I Final Four in Columbus next week.  Victories by the two GCL South schools in Wednesday’s regional semifinals in the Ohio High School Athletic Association Boys’ Basketball Tournament have set up an all-GCL South final at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Wright State University’s Nutter Center.

Both emerged victorious, with Moeller (26-0) remaining undefeated with a 60-57 win over Mason in the first game.  La Salle (24-3) followed that game by building a double-digit lead and then getting a late basket to beat Springfield, 47-46, for its ninth consecutive win.  Moeller defeated La Salle twice during the regular season to win the league championship outright for the third time in five seasons (earning a share the other two seasons).

The Crusaders won 49-39 in the first meeting at Moeller, and then clinched the GCL South crown with a 47-41win at La Salle.  Defense again figures to be the key when the top two seeds meet for a third time.  La Salle leads the GCL in defensive scoring average, allowing opponents to score 40.7 points a game.  The Lancers held Princeton and Northmont to 28 and 33 points, respectively, in the previous two games.  Moeller gives up an average of just 41.7 points a game. 

Coach Carl Kremer knows it’s never easy to beat a team three times, especially a team that is playing as well as La Salle – extending its winning streak to nine games by limiting a talented Springfield team to 46 points.  The Lancers led by as many as 11 points the third quarter before Springfield (23-4) rallied back to take the lead.  La Salle senior Joe Hartmann scored with 13 second left to give La Salle a 47-46 lead, and a three-point shot by Springfield’s Michael McKay at the buzzer was no good.

Senior guards C.J. Fleming and Tre Crigler led La Salle with 15 and 10 points, respectively.  Hartmann finished with four points, but none more important than his game-winner.  You can bet Fleming is anxious for another shot at Moeller. The two-time GCL South Co-Player of the year missed the first meeting, sidelined with a shoulder injury, and then was held to 14points on 5-of-14 shooting in the second game.  Fleming leads the GCL South in scoring, averaging 16.8 points, while shooting 55.7 percent from the field to rank fourth.

In Moeller’s regional semifinal win, sophomore guard Miles McBride scored 22 points – going 7-of-8 from the field and hitting all three of his three-point attempts – to lead Moeller to the win over Mason.  Senior Caleb Canter added 12 points and junior Isaiah Payton chipped in 11 for Moeller, which allowed a season-high 57 points to Mason (21-3).  Both teams shot extremely well, with Moeller connecting on 22-of-33 shots (66.7 percent) and Mason knocking down 23-of-41 field goals (56.1).

Ticket for the regional final are available at both schools Friday for $7, with a portion of each ticket sold going back to the school.  Tickets also will be available at the Nutter Center Box Office for $8.  The winner advances to the OHSAA Division I Final Four, with the game set for Thursday, March 24 at 5:15 p.m. at the Jerome Schottenstein Center on The Ohio State University campus in Columbus.