Moeller, Elder Post Saturday Sectional Hoop Wins


Posted on 2/23/2020 at 12:01 p.m.

GCL South 3-0 In Postseason; St. Xavier To Play Its First Game Tuesday
Two-time defending state champion Moeller opened its title defense early Saturday evening with a convincing 69-21 victory against Little Miami at Hamilton High School in a sectional game as part of the Ohio High School Athletic Association State Basketball Tournament.  The Crusaders, ranked No. 1 all season in the Associated Press DI state poll, extended their winning streak to 21 games this season and 17 in the postseason.  Moeller has now won 77 consecutive games against Southwest Ohio opponents, and coach Carl Kremer’s team is 106-5 the last three-plus seasons.
Moeller (22-1) advances to meet Colerain in the second round at 6 p.m. Thursday at Hamilton.  The Crusaders defeated Colerain (1-21), 58-23, in mid-January at Moeller behind 13 points each from senior guard Max Land and junior forward Logan Duncomb.  Against Little Miami, Moeller had 13 players score with Duncomb and fellow junior Alex Williams leading the way with 13 each, and Land adding 10 as Moeller jumped out to a 26-4 lead after one quarter and extended the advantage to 42-12 at halftime.  The Crusaders had a strong shooting night, converting 25-of-36 field goals and knocking down 13-of-15 free throws while also dominating the boards with a 36-12 edge, led by seven from Land. 
Greater Catholic League South Division member Elder capped a 3-0 weekend for the league with a 65-43 victory against Anderson in a sectional game at Lakota West High School.  The Panthers have now won three straight and seven of their last eight games, the lone setback during their late-season surge is to Moeller.  Elder (14-9) moves on to earn a rematch with highly regarded Turpin in an outstanding second-round sectional matchup at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Lakota West.  Elder tipped off 2020 with a 46-43 loss at Turpin on January 3.  
This will be the sectional tournament opener for Turpin (19-3), which has won 10 of its last 11 games – the lone blemish during that stretch a 64-41 loss at Moeller.  The Spartans are the Eastern Cincinnati Conference champions, finishing with a 13-1 record in the ECC.  But it won’t be easy to get past an Elder team at full strength that is playing its best basketball in the postseason.  Against Anderson, which is a member of the Forest Hills Local School District along with Turpin, Elder was led by junior David Larkins, who scored 15 points and grabbed four rebounds, and sophomore Sean Keller, who chipped in 14 points.  The Panthers built an early 16-7 lead after one quarter, extended the margin to 25-12 at halftime and then 41-21 entering the fourth quarter.
One night earlier, La Salle (20-3) kept its perfect record against non-GCL South opponents alive with a 57-46 win against Withrow in its tournament opener at Lakota West.  The Lancers, now 17-0 outside the GCL South, advance to meet Middletown in the second round at 7:30 Tuesday at Lakota West.  The combined record of the four GCL South teams is 59-8 outside of the league.
St. Xavier (14-7) will play its first postseason game Tuesday, facing West Clermont in a sectional game at 7:30 p.m. at Fairfield High School.  The Bombers are 13-2 versus non-GCL South opponents, including a winning streak of 13 consecutive games that includes victories against Covington Catholic and Taft.  The Bombers are led by two first team All-GCL South players in senior Hank Thomas and junior Kobe Rodgers.