Moeller Advances To Final Of Blue Star HS Invitational

12/29/2019

Posted on 12/29/2019 at 3:49 p.m.

La Salle, St. Xavier And Elder Take Winning Streaks Into New Year

Two-time defending Ohio Division I state champion Moeller completed an impressive two-day sweep of games for the four Greater Catholic League South Division basketball teams Saturday night, posting a 68-54 victory over Ardrey Kell from Charlotte, N.C. in the winner’s bracket semifinals of the Blue Star High School Invitational at the Rock Hill Sports & Event Center in Rock Hill, S.C.  The victory moves Moeller into the title game of the eight-team National Championship bracket against unbeaten St. Andrew’s Episcopal from Potomac, Md. at 8 Monday night.  St. Andrews advanced with a victory against Bergen Catholic, N.J. in Saturday’s other semifinal.

St. Xavier and Elder also posted wins Saturday, both defeating teams from Northeast Ohio earlier in the day at home to extend their respective winning streaks.  La Salle, the league’s lone unbeaten team, played its final game of 2019 Friday night.  The four GCL South teams are on a combined winning streak of 25 consecutive games – with La Salle and St. Xavier having won seven straight, Moeller winning six in a row, and Elder victorious in four consecutive non-conference games.

Here is a look at Saturday’s games involving GCL South teams:

Duncomb, Williams Pace Moeller – Juniors Logan Duncomb and Alex Williams combined to score 55 points and grab 19 rebounds to lead the Crusaders.  Williams finished with a team-high 23 points and five rebounds, while Duncomb recorded his fourth double-double in eight games – totaling 22 points and a game-high 14 rebounds.  Senior guard Max Land added nine points and 1 rebounds.

Moeller (7-1) shot 53.8 percent from the field (21-of-39), including 6-of-10 from three-point range, and also converted 20-of-27 free throws against an Ardrey Kell team that had won 11 of its first 12 games entering Saturday.  The Crusaders took control early, holding a 19-10 advantage after one quarter, and then outscored the opposition, 20-9, in the third quarter.  The Crusaders held Ardrey Kell to just 17 field goals and 31.5 percent shooting.

St. Xavier Streak Now At Seven – The Bombers made it two wins in as many days over a pair of Northeast Ohio opponents, with three players scoring in double figures Saturday afternoon during a 63-39 win against Toledo Central Catholic at St. Xavier.  The win was the seventh straight for St. Xavier (7-2), which beat Walsh Jesuit, 42-40, on Friday night at home.

Against Toledo Central Catholic, junior guard Kobe Rodgers led St. Xavier with 16 points and nine rebounds, while senior guard BJ Bransford added 12, and senior guard Avery Wilson chipped in 10. The Bombers held a five-point halftime lead had a big second half – outscoring Toledo Central Catholic, 32-13, to pull away.  St. Xavier is off until Friday, when the Bombers host Purcell Marian at 7:30 p.m.

Big Fourth Quarter Rallies Elder – After managing to score just 12 points in the first half, falling behind Walsh Jesuit, 24-12, the Panthers narrowed the deficit to five points, 31-25, after three quarters and then exploded for 24 points in the final eight minutes to emerge with a 50-42 win Saturday afternoon at The Pit in Price Hill.

Sophomore Andrew Harp scored a career high 21 points to lead Elder (5-2) to its fourth victory in a row and fifth in six games.  Senior guard Willard Cluxton added 13.  The Panthers play next on a rare Thursday night, traveling to Turpin at 7:30 this week for a game against the Spartans – who are off to an 8-0 start.  Elder then returns home Saturday to host Northwest.