Moeller One Win Away From Perfect Regular Season

02/11/2019

Posted on 2/11/2019 at 9:43 a.m.

St. Xavier Hits 13 Three-Pointers In Win; La Salle Hurt By Slow Start

Seniors Alex Pfriem and Miles McBride, who have consistently turned in solid performances all season long for the Moeller basketball team, did so again on Saturday – combining to score 30 points, grab 14 rebounds and dish out 10 assists to lead the Crusaders to a 54-36 victory against Purcell Marian at the Brisben Family Education Center on the school’s Kenwood campus.  The victory extended Moeller’s overall winning streaks to 40 games overall and 34 straight at home, while also moving the Crusaders to within one win of earning their second unbeaten regular season in the last three seasons.

Greater Catholic League members St. Xavier and La Salle also played non-conference games last night, with the Bombers connecting on 14-of-31 three-point goals and scoring 24 or more points in each of the last three quarters to post a 92-66 win against Ponitz Career Technology Center from Dayton at the school’s Dick Berning Gymnasium.  Meanwhile, La Salle managed to score just one point in the first quarter and 11 by halftime to face an early deficit it could not overcome in an eventual 54-30 loss at Walnut Hills, a member of the Eastern Cincinnati Conference.

Moeller (20-0), the No. 1 ranked team in the Associated Press Division I state poll all season, outscored Purcell Marian, 21-9, in the second quarter to take an insurmountable 35-17 lead at halftime.  The Crusaders, who have won all but two games this season by double figures, were led by 15 points, nine rebounds and six assists from McBride, and 15 points, five rebounds and four assists from Pfriem.  The Crusaders, who hit 24-of-44 field goals for 54.5 percent, also got eight points and seven rebounds from junior Max Land and eight points from sophomore Alex Williams off the bench.

Alex Dotson of Purcell Marian (16-4) led all scorers with 20.

St. Xavier was tied with Ponitz, 13-13, after one quarter before exploding for 28 points in the second eight minutes to take an 18-point halftime lead.  The Bombers then scored 24 and 27 points, respectively, in the final two quarters, with five players scoring in double figures.  Junior Hank Thomas led the way with his fourth double-double of the season, scoring 18 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.  Junior Luke Pellot scored 16 points, nailing three three-pointers, while junior Eli Majick added 12, including three three’s, and Nathan Stockman and Nick Frank each added 10 for St. Xavier (10-11).

It was anything but a fun night offensively for La Salle (12-8), which had its modest two-game winning streak snapped because of trouble shooting in every area.  The Lancers were just 9-of-43 from the field, which is 20.9 percent, and made only 1-of-15 from three-point range.  It was even tough at the free-throw line, where La Salle was good on just 11-of-21 attempts for 52.4 percent.  Senior Nathan Vogelpohl and junior Jeff Queen led the Lancers with six points apiece.  Junior forward Michael Grant led Walnut Hills with a game-high 20 points.

This is the final week of the regular season in Ohio, with only La Salle in action Tuesday when it travels to McNicholas – a member of the GCL Co-Ed Division – for a 7:30 p.m. start.  The Lancers then wrap up the regular season on Friday, traveling to Elder in a game that will decide sole possession of second place in the GCL South as both teams enter with identical 2-3 records.  Tipoff is 7:30 p.m. at The Pit in Price Hill.  Moeller, which wrapped up its third straight outright league title with a win against Elder Friday night, will attempt to wrap up its third straight perfect league season when it hosts St. Xavier at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

If victorious, the Crusaders will lock up a second perfect regular season in the last three – finishing 22-0 and actually extending it to 28-0 in the 2016-17 season, the lone loss that year coming in the DI state final to Massillon Jackson, 39-38.  Moeller had another non-conference game scheduled this season, which would have been game No. 22, but inclement weather forced the game at Massillon Washington on Saturday, January 20 to be canceled and the two schools have not been able to find a make-up date for rescheduling purposes.