GCL South Basketball On Display Today At XU

03/08/2020

Posted on 3/8/2020 at 1:17 p.m.

Moeller, La Salle And St. Xavier To Play In DI District Final Games

It has already been a memorable season for the four Greater Catholic League South Division basketball teams, which are a combined 65-9 against opponents from outside the league to date. The GCL South takes center stage today at Xavier University’s Cintas Center, with two-time defending Division I state champion Moeller looking to extend a pair of winning streaks and La Salle and St. Xavier later meeting for the third time this season in district finals of the Ohio High School Athletic Association State Basketball Tournament.

The GCL South will have at least one team in Wednesday’s regional semifinals and, should Moeller keep its three-peat alive with a win, the league will grab half of the spots in the regional with the chance to have two league teams meet in the final with a berth in the DI Final Four on the line.  But first things first.

Moeller (24-1), which has won 23 consecutive games overall and 19 straight in the postseason, meets Springboro (13-11), winner of four straight, in the second of four district finals at XU this afternoon.  The game is scheduled to tip off at 3 p.m., with Beavercreek meeting Lakota East in the first game at 1.  Tickets are good for both games of the afternoon session, and then the facility will be cleared and fans will need a separate ticket for the night session.

Centerville plays Lakota West in the third game, at 6 p.m., followed by La Salle (22-3) looking for its third win against St. Xavier (16-7) this season in the finale at 8.  The winners of the district finals in each session advance to the DI regional semis at 6:15 and 8 p.m. at Cintas Wednesday.  The regional final is set for 7:30 Saturday night at Cintas Center, with the winner advancing to the DI Final Four March 19-21 in Columbus.

Moeller has been nothing short of dominating in the postseason, winning its three tournament games by more than 40 points a game.   The Crusaders feature balanced scoring, with four players averaging 9.1 points or better, and average 31.6 rebounds per game to hold a significant advantage over their opponents, while also shooting 56.3 percent from the field as a team and 76.3 percent from the free-throw line.  Moeller’s lone defeat is at Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary, 64-59, in early December.

La Salle has enjoyed a strong season, finishing second in the GCL South behind Moeller and holding a perfect 20-0 record against non-league competition.  The Lancers, who have won six of their last seven games and 12 or 14, also swept the regular-season series against St. Xavier – posting a 50-47 victory at home on January 17 and then winning 51-42 at St. Xavier on February 7. La Salle’s three losses this season are to Moeller, twice, and to Elder, 49-48, in the regular-season finale.

St, Xavier also has been strong under first-year coach Mike Noszka.  The Bombers opened the season with close losses to Greater Miami Conference teams Princeton, 70-68, and district finalist Lakota East, 49-43, on the road before closing with 15 wins in a row against non-GCL South competition.  That resume includes wins over Covington Catholic, Northern Kentucky’s Top-ranked team that advanced Saturday to the Ninth Region semifinals, and talent-laden Taft on the road.