GCL South Teams Tip Off 2019-20 Basketball Season


Posted on 11/29/2019 at 4:11 p.m.

Moeller Looks For Three-Peat In DI; Elder Start Delayed By FB

Three members of the Greater Catholic League South Division, including two-time defending Division I state champion Moeller, will tip off the 2019-20 high school basketball season with games the next two days.  Elder, which was not scheduled to open its season until next Tuesday, will delay the start of its season until Saturday, December 7 because of the Panthers’ lengthy run in the Ohio state football playoffs.  Elder plays Springfield in the Division I state semifinals tonight at Piqua.

La Salle, which finished 12-11 overall last season, is the first GCL South team to hit the hardwood as the Lancers meet Dayton Belmont tonight as part of the two-day Tigers Basketball Classic at Withrow High School.  La Sale is then scheduled to play Dayton Meadowdale at 6:15 Saturday.  The Lancers are in the Division II state semifinals in football tonight, facing Toledo Central Catholic at 7 p.m. at Marysville.  La Salle will be led by senior guard Jaylen Lemons, who was a first-team All-GCL South performer last season after leading the Lancers in scoring, at 11.9 points, and assists, 1.8.

Moeller, which capped the first perfect season in school history this past March with a 52-44 victory against Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary in the DI state final, puts its 29-game winning streak on the line against Lutheran East from Cleveland Heights, Ohio as part of the Ohio Valley Hoops Classic at Mason High School.  The Crusaders must find a way to replace key players in Miles McBride, who became the first player in league history to win both the Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year honors in a vote by league coaches, and Alec Pfriem, the team’s leading scorer last season.  McBride is a freshman playing at West Virginia University, while Pfriem is a member of the Bellarmine University team in Louisville, regarded as one of the top DII programs in the nation.  Pfriem and McBride, respectively, were the top two scorers in the GCL South last season.

But don’t feel bad for the Crusaders, who return three members of the All-GCL South second team from last season in senior guard Max Land, and juniors Alex Williams and Logan Duncomb, as well as talented junior Will McCracken.  After opening the season Friday, Moeller is off until Saturday, December 7, when the team travels to Northeast Ohio for a rematch of last year’s DI state final by facing St. Vincent-St. Mary at 5 p.m. that day.

St. Xavier and first-year coach Mike Naszka, who took over the Bombers’ program after a successful run at Wilmington High School, open the varsity season at Princeton at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.  The Bombers finished 10-13 overall last season; they will be led by second team All-GCL South performer in senior Hank Thomas – who averaged 11.2 points and 6.5 rebounds, which rank him second among league leaders in that category.  Thomas recorded four double-doubles last season.

Elder, which was originally scheduled to tip off the season next Tuesday and then travel to Northern Kentucky and face Cooper on Friday, December 6, will now open the following day as part of the Griffin Elite Prep Classic powered by St. Elizabeth Healthcare at BB&T Arena on the campus of Northern Kentucky University.  The reward for the wait is a matchup with nationally ranked and regarded Huntington Prep from West Virginia, which boasts no fewer than six players who have committed to big-time college programs – including Duke University recruit in Jaemyn Brakefield.  Tipoff is set for 6:30 p.m. on December 7, the third of four games in the event.

The Panthers finished strong last season after being beset by injuries and being relatively inexperienced during the regular season.  Elder put together a four-game winning streak to advance to the district final before losing to Springfield.   The Panthers welcome back senior guard Willard Cluxton, a first-team All-GCL South selection who averaged a team-best 11.4 points and 3.1 assists to rank among league leaders in both categories.  Elder finished 14-11 last season and 3-3 in the GCL South, second behind Moeller.

Elder has moved its game with Badin, originally set for next Tuesday, to February 15.  The Panthers’ game at Cooper, which was scheduled for Friday, December 6 has been changed to Friday, February 8 in Union, KY.