St. Xavier, Elder Split Games In Midwest King Classic


Posted on 1/19/2020 at 12:09 p.m.

La Salle, Moeller To Play Later Today In Annual Holiday Event
Greater Catholic League South Division basketball teams St. Xavier and Elder split their games on the opening day of play in the second Midwest King Classic held Saturday at Middletown High School, with St. Xavier defeating Sycamore, 54-39, in the third of six games, and Elder knocked down 13 three-point goals and held a seven-point halftime advantage before eventually falling to Akron St. Vincent-St .Mary, the state’s No. 1-ranked team in Division II, 79-68.
La Salle and Moeller are scheduled to play today in the two-day, 12-game showcase to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  La Salle (12-1) faces neighborhood rival Colerain in the second game at 1:15 p.m., while Moeller (12-1) opposes Hughes in the finale at 8:15.   Tickets are $10 at the gate.   Moeller is ranked No. 1 in the latest Associated Press DI state rankings, while La Salle is No 6.
Elder appeared prime to take down SV-SM behind its highest number of three-pointers in any game this season, leading to its halftime advantage.  But the Fighting Irish came alive in the third quarter to outscore Elder, 21-9, and take the lead for good.  The Panthers were 13-of-21 from three-point range – including 8-of-12 in the first half.  Senior Willard Cluxton led Elder with 17 points, going 5-of-6 on three-pointers), while sophomore Andre Harp had 16 (4-5), and junior Tony Walker added 13 (3-3).  Junior David Larkins was the fourth player in double figures with 11, but he did not attempt a three-pointer.
Elder (7-6) has lost two straight and three of its last four, but the Panthers have played a rigorous schedule.  The combined record of the six teams to defeat the Panthers is 71-19 – Huntington Prep Academy 15-7, Moeller 12-1, Turpin 12-2, Badin 12-3, SV-SM 10-3 and St. Xavier 10-3.  SV-SM is the only team to defeat Moeller in the last two seasons, posting a 64-59 victory in Northeast Ohio back on December 7.  It doesn’t get any easier for Elder, which travels the short distance to face rival Oak Hills (9-4) at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.
St. Xavier got back on the winning streak after having its nine-game winning streak snapped one night earlier in a 50-47 loss at La Salle.  The Bombers jumped out to a 13-7 lead after one quarter but Sycamore narrowed the margin to two, 27-25, at halftime.  The Bombers took command in the third quarter by outscoring Sycamore, 16-6, to post the win.  Junior guard Kobe Rodgers led St. Xavier with 20 points, while senior forward Hank Thomas added 13 points and a team-high nine rebounds.  Freshman Jack Konauge made his varsity debut and scored 1- points off the bench.
The Bombers are off until Friday when they travel to Moeller for the third of six GCL South games. Moeller has won 21 consecutive league games and has won outright or shared the GCL South championship the last seven seasons.  Tipoff is 7:30 p.m. at Moeller.