La Salle Opens GCL South Postseason Hoops With Victory


Posted on 2/22/2020 at 3:05 p.m.

Lancers Post Win No. 20; Top-Seed Moeller, Elder In Sectional Action Today

La Salle tipped off the postseason for the four Greater Catholic South Division basketball teams Friday night, earning victory No. 20 with a 57-46 win against Withrow in a Division I sectional game at Lakota West High School as part of the Ohio High School Athletic Association State Tournament.  Two-time defending Division I state champion Moeller and Elder, winner of six of its last seven games, play postseason games tonight, while St. Xavier – the fourth GCL South team – does not begin its postseason journey until Tuesday night.

La Salle (20-3), which finished second in the GCL South behind Moeller, overcame a slow start to put together a 10-point run early in the third quarter to erase a one-point deficit and take a 32-23 lead.  Junior Justin Lovette led the Lancers with a double-double, finishing with 14 points and 11 rebounds.  Junior Ayden Schneider added 11 points and seven rebounds, while senior Jaylen Lemons chipped in 10 points.  Senior Derek Eddings was solid defensively, holding Withrow standout senior guard Niles Wheatley to five points, 10 below his season average.

The Lancers advance to meet Greater Miami Conference member Middletown in a second-round sectional game at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Lakota West.  La Salle is perfect against non-GCL South competition this season, upping its record to 17-0 outside the league with the victory against Withrow.  The Lancers also beat Withrow, 69-36, in mid-December at La Salle.   La Salle is 4-0 against the GMC, with wins against Lakota West, Hamilton, Colerain and Oak Hills. 

Moeller (21-1) takes a 20-game winning streak into its sectional game against Little Miami at 5 p.m. today at Hamilton High School.  Moeller, which has won 16 straight postseason games and is 105-5 against teams from Southwest Ohio the last three-plus seasons, features a balanced scoring attack that includes four players named  to the All-GCL South first team earlier this week in senior Max Land, who was voted league Player of the Year, and juniors Logan Duncomb, Will McCracken and Alex Williams.

Elder (13-9), which handed La Salle a 49-48 loss eight days ago in the regular-season finale, looks to continue its recent surge.  The Panthers, who have played a brutal schedule and worked through a slow start largely caused by the school’s football team advancing to the Division I state final, are playing their best basketball entering the tournament.  Senior Willard Cluxton, named first team All-GCL South for the second straight year, will lead Elder against Anderson at 8 tonight at Lakota West.

St. Xavier (14-7) faces West Clermont on Tuesday at Fairfield High School.  West Clermont (16-7) advanced with a 64-53 win over  fellow Eastern Cincinnati Conference member Milford on Friday night.  The Bombers hope to continue their success against non-GCL South competition, which includes an impressive 13-2 record this season and wins against Covington Catholic, Northern Kentucky’s No. 1-ranked team, and talent-laden Taft.  Both victories came late in the regular season.  Since opening the regular season with closes losses at Princeton and Lakota East, St. Xavier is 13-0 versus non-GCL South opponents.