GCL South Hoop Teams Enjoy Perfect Friday Night

12/28/2019

Posted on 12/28/2019 at 2:57 p.m.

League Has Combined 23-5 Record Against Non-Conference Foes

It has been a fast start to the 2019-20 basketball season for the Greater Catholic League South Division.  Bolstered by a 4-0 record in games played Friday night, the four league schools have combined to post a 23-5 record against non-conference opponents in December.

The teams are setting up for what figures to be quite a competition when league play begins in early January, as La Salle will take an undefeated record and its best start since opening 9-0 in the 2011-12 season (finishing 21-2 overall and earning its last outright league title) into 2020, two-time defending state champion Moeller has won six of its first seven games against an arduous schedule entering play today, St. Xavier is riding a six-game winning streak, and Elder has won three in a row and five of its first six games.

Here is a look at the games played Friday:

La Salle Perfect In December – The Lancers are off to their best start in nine seasons, after five players scored in double figures and coach Pat Goedde’s team scored 22 or more points in each of the first three quarters of an 80-40 victory against Kings last night at La Salle.  Jeff Queen Jr. scored 15 to pace La Salle (7-0), while Ayden Schneider added 13, Devin Taylor came off the bench to score 13, Justin Lovette and Jaylen Lemons added 11 and 10, respectively, as La Salle connected on 34-of-57 field goals, good for 60 percent shooting.

The Lancers have won their first seven games by an average margin of 26.1, and only Covington Catholic has come within single digits of the Lancers – a 55-46 La Salle win in Park Hills, Ky.  La Salle does not play until next Friday, when the Lancers host Walnut Hills at 7:30 p.m. before traveling to meet Roger Bacon at that same time on Saturday, January 4.  La Salle opens GCL South play by hosting Moeller, which has won outright or shared the last seven GCL South championships, at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, January 10. 

Moeller Wins Tourney Opener – The Crusaders took an eight-point lead into the fourth quarter before outscoring Westlake High School from Atlanta, 19-3, in the final eight minutes to record a 53-29 win in the opening round of the Blue Star High School Invitational at the Rock Hill Sports & Event Center in Rock Hills, S.C. last night.

Senior guard Max Land scored a team 18 points, while junior forward Alex Williams added 16 points and grabbed a team-best nine rebounds for Moeller (6-1) – which advances to meet Ardrey Kell from Charlotte, N.C. at 6 tonight in the semifinals of the event’s National Championship bracket. Ardrey Kell (11-1) defeated Tampa, Fla. Catholic, 70-65, in the opening round.  Against Westlake, the Crusaders had a rare off-shooting night going 19-of-30 and committed 19 turnovers, but did manage to outrebounds their opponent, 33-17.

St. Xavier Streak Now At Six – The Bombers got an all-around game from junior Kobe Rodgers, who had 15 points, six rebounds, four assists and three steals in a 42-40 win last night against Walsh Jesuit – the team’s sixth consecutive win after opening with close losses to Princeton and Lakota East.  Rodgers was joined in double figures by Senior Hank Thomas, who added 11 points and eight rebounds.

St. Xavier (6-2) was able to win despite a tough shooting night that included 18-of-51 from the field, 3-of-18 from three-point range, and just 3-of-10 on free throws.  Rodgers snapped a 40-40 tie with a jump shot with 2:28 remaining and neither team was able to score again.  Walsh had a chance to win late, but a three-pointer by Maison Ross was no good and Rodgers grabbed the game’s final rebound with two seconds left.  The Bombers will face Toledo Central Catholic at 3 this afternoon to close out  2019.

Elder Wins Fourth In Five Games – Since opening the season less than 24 hours after playing in the DI state football final with a loss to nationally regarded Huntington Prep from West Virginia, Elder has won four of five games – the latest triumph a 71-59 victory over Toledo Central Catholic last evening at The Pit in Price Hill.  The only other setback this season for the Panthers was a 54-51 defeat to Hamilton Badin last Saturday.

Against Toledo Central Catholic, senior guard Willard Cluxton paced the Panthers with 19 points, while sophomore guard Sean Keller added 11 as Elder maintained leads of three after the first quarter and at halftime, and then extended the advantage to seven, 54-47, entering the four quarter.  Elder (4-2) swaps Northeast Ohio opponents from Friday night with St. Xavier, hosting Walsh Jesuit at 3 this afternoon.