Moeller Extends Streaks, Lead In GCL South

01/25/2020

Posted on 1/25/2020 at 8:46 a.m.

Road Victory At Elder Keeps La Salle In Thick Of League Race

Moeller’s Max Land, Logan Duncomb, Alex Williams and Michael Currin combined to score 55 points on a near-perfect shooting night for the group, connecting on 19-of-21 field goals to help the Crusaders to a 59-43 victory against St. Xavier on Friday night at the sold-out Brisben Family Education center on Moeller’s campus – extending four impressive winning streaks for the state’s top-ranked team in the process and keeping  a one-game lead in the Greater Catholic League South standings at the halfway point of the league schedule.

La Salle remained one game off the pace by posting a 44-43 win at Elder on a basket with seven seconds left by senior guard Jaylen Lemons that gave the Lancers their fifth consecutive win and moved them in sole possession of second place in the GCL South.  The lone loss for La Salle (15-1, 2-1 GCL South) is a 45-43 setback in the GCL South opener three weeks ago at La Salle.  The two teams are scheduled to meet again next Friday at Moeller.

Moeller (14-1, 3-0) connected on 21-of-29 field goals, good for 72.4 percent shooting, and built a 29-20 lead over St. Xavier at halftime.  Land finished with a game-high 17 points, hitting 6-of-6 field goals, including 3-of-3 on three-point goals.  He actually missed one free throw, going 2-of-3.  Duncomb and Williams were both 5-of-6 from the field, finishing with 15 and 13 points, respectively, while Michael Currin added 10 and made all three of his field goals.  Duncomb had seven rebounds to pace Moeller, while Will McCracken grabbed six boards.

The win extended four streaks for Moeller – ranked No. 1 in the Associated Press Division I state poll for the third straight week – giving the Crusaders 42 straight home wins, 27 in a row against St. Xavier and 22 without a loss versus GCL South teams, and 14 consecutive this season dating back to their lone setback, a 64-59 loss at Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary, which is ranked No. 1 in DII back on December 7 in Northeast Ohio.

Senior guard Joe Kirby came off the bench to lead St. Xavier (10-4, 1-2) with 14 points, knocking down 5-of-7 shots and sinking 4-of-6 three-pointers.  Junior Kobe Rodgers added 15 points, while senior Hank Thomas had eight points and a team-high five rebounds.  Moeller’s defense held St. Xavier to 34.1 percent shooting (15-of-44), and the Bombers hit just 8-of-25 from three-point range.  Moeller had a slight edge in rebounding, 24-18.

La Salle – No. 6 in the AP DI state rankings again – needed a victory at The Pit in Price Hill to stay on the heels of Moeller, and it was anything but easy.  It took a late basket by Lemons and a missed three-pointer at the buzzer by Elder to give the Lancers the one-point win in a game featured as part of the Mercy Health Hoops Classic.  Junior forward Ayden Schneider was voted the game’s Most Valuable Player after scoring a game-high 17 points for La Salle, which handed Elder (7-8. 0-3) its fourth straight loss and fifth defeat in the last six games.

La Salle led by four at halftime, 20-16, and extended the advantage to 33-25 after three quarters. But Elder battled back to eventually hold a 43-42 lead on a pair of made free throws by junior David Larkins with 21 second remaining, setting up the game-winning shot by Lemons.  Larkins led the Panthers with 11 points, while senior Willard Cluxton and junior J.T. Miller each added nine.

Three of the four GCL south teams are back in action tonight, with Moeller hosting Colerain at 5 p.m. in Kenwood; St. Xavier facing Toledo Rogers at 7:30 p.m. at home; and La Salle welcoming Oak Hills to North Bend Road at 7:30 in what should be a good West-side, non-conference game.  Oak Hills is 11-4, including 8-2 in the Greater Miami Conference, and riding a three-game winning streak that includes a 63-41 victory against Elder last Tuesday and a 41-36 win against Colerain last night.