La Salle, St. Xavier Post Sectional Tourney Wins


Posted on 2/26/2020 at 11:48 a.m.

Lancers Now 18-0 Outside GCL South; Bombers Streak At 14

Greater Catholic League South Division teams La Salle and St. Xavier both posted victories Tuesday night in the Ohio High School Athletic Association Division I State Basketball Tournament, winning games in their respective sectional tournaments to improve the league’s impressive record against non-league opponents and keep their postseason journeys alive.  Two-time defending DI state champion Moeller and Elder are both scheduled to play Thursday and attempt to keep the GCL South unbeaten in sectional play.

La Salle (21-3) won its second straight and has now won 10 of 12 games with a 60-49 victory against Middletown at Lakota West High School.  Senior Derek Eddings led the La Salle with 21 points, while senior Jaylen Leoms added 12 and junior Jeff Queen Jr. chipped in 10.  The Lancers, whose lone setbacks during the recent stretch have come to Moeller and Elder, 49-48, are now a perfect 18-0 against teams from outside the GCL South – going 5-0 against the Greater Miami Conference.  La Salle advances to meet Walnut Hills (17-6) in a district semifinal at 7 p.m. Friday at Lakota West.  Walnut Hills advanced with a 55-23 victory against Sycamore.  The two teams met on January 3 at La Salle, with the Lancers emerging with a 65-51 win behind 19 and 17 points, respectively, from Eddings and Queen.

The long wait to open postseason play did not bother St. Xavier, which played its first sectional game last night.  The Bombers scored 24 points in the first quarter and held a 41-20 lead at halftime on its way to a 70-50 victory against West Clermont at Fairfield High School.  Senior Hank Thomas led three double-figure scorers for St. Xavier (15-7), which extended its winning streak to 14 games against non-GCL South opponents.  Up next for the Bombers is Hamilton (18-6) in a district semifinal at 7 p.m. Friday at Fairfield.  The Big Blue has won seven straight, including an 82-68 win against Mt. Healthy, the Southwest Ohio Conference champion, last night.

Joining Thomas in double figures were guard Avery Wilson, who had 16 points including four three-point goals, and Kobe Rodgers, who added 15 and sank two three-pointers.  The Bombers shot 55 percent from the field and knocked down 8-of-17 from long range against West Clermont (16-8).

GCL South teams are now 61-8 outside the league.

The remaining two GCL South teams – Moeller and Elder – will return to sectional play Thursday night.  The Crusaders look to extend their winning streak to 22 games, including 18 in a row in the postseason, when they face Colerain at 6 p.m. at Hamilton High School.  Elder (14-9) has one of the more intriguing second-round matchups when the Panthers, winners of seven of their last eight games, face Turpin for the second time this season.  Elder lost to Turpin, 46-43, on the road to tip off the 2020 calendar year.  Turpin is 20-3 overall, finished atop the Eastern Cincinnati Conference at 13-1, with one of its three losses at Moeller.