Moeller’s Hoop Three-Peat Put On Hold

03/14/2020

Posted on 3/14/2020 at 9:57 a.m.

OHSAA Postpones Remaining Winter Sports Tournaments Indefinitely
 
One day after Moeller extended a pair of lengthy winning streaks, the Crusaders learned that any chance at a threepeat is being placed on hold after the Ohio High School Athletic Association announced Thursday that all remaining winter sports tournaments are postponed indefinitely because of growing concerns about the COVID-19.
 
The suspended tournaments include the boys’ regional finals around the state, and three state tournaments all scheduled to take place in Columbus – girls’ basketball, ice hockey and individual wrestling.   The announcement came after state and local officials recommended that no public gatherings take place to help stop the spread of the virus, the OHSAA said in a release.
 
There is no timetable for possible rescheduling of the tournaments.
 
For Wednesday’s DI regional semifinals held at Xavier University’s Cintas Center, the OHSAA limited attendance by issuing allotted tickets that could only be used by members of the participating schools as a first step in the process.  Played in front of a largely vacant building, usually buzzing at tournament time, the Greater Catholic League went 1-1 in the semifinals as Moeller defeated Centerville, 54-42, in the first game to advance to the regional final for the fourth straight year, while league colleague La Salle suffered its first setback outside of the league against Lakota East, 44-35, in the second game – ending the chances of a GCL South regional final.
 
Moeller (26-1), which has won 25 consecutive games this season and 21 in a row in the postseason, was scheduled to face Lakota East (25-2), the Greater Miami Conference champion and winner of 16 straight, in the regional final at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Cintas Center.  East is scheduled to make its first regional final appearance after advancing to the regional semis in 2011, 2016 and 2019 – where the Thunderhawks fell to Moeller, 47-33.
 
In its regional matchup with Centerville, Moeller used a scoring spurt to again take command.  Just four days after reeling off 33 unanswered points to ultimately post a 65-25 win against Springboro, the Crusaders put together a 17-0 run to snap a 5-5 tie and take a 28-10 halftime lead against another team from the Greater Western Ohio Conference.  The run was keyed by the stingy Moeller defense that limited Centerville to 7-of-25 shooting through three quarters   and a balanced offense with three players in double figures – junior Alex Williams with 18, junior Logan Duncomb with 17 and senior Max Land adding 11.
 
Moeller, which has now won 81 straight games against teams from Southwest Ohio, attempted only two field goals in the final eight minutes but managed to connect on 20-of-29 free throws for the game.
 
For almost a half, it appeared that La Salle was going to get another shot at its league rival in the regional final.  The Lances had suffered only three losses before Wednesday, two to Moeller (one a 45-43 thriller in the GCL south opener on January 10) and the third to Elder, 49-48.  Besides suffering setbacks to the two league rivals, the Lancers were a perfect 20-0 against non-league competition – including a 5-0 mark against the GMC.   And, the Lancers got off to a fast start and held a 20-10 advantage in the second quarter before East put together a seven-point rally to trail by just three heading into halftime.
 
East picked up where it left off in the third quarter, keyed by senior Kaden Fuhrmann, who scored eight of his 17 points, including two three-pointers, to give the Thunderhawks a 31-29 edge heading into the final eight minutes.  Furhmann also was solid down the stretch in the clutch, sinking 5-of-6 free throws in the final 35 seconds to extend his team’s lengthy winning streak and send East to the final.  Coach Clint Adkins’ team has been solid from the foul line in recent tournament games, knocking down 20-of-24 against Turpin in the district semifinals, and then senior Alex Mangold concerting the game-winner in a 33-32 win against Beavercreek in the district final last Saturday.
 
It was an outstanding season for La Salle (23-4), which won 20-plus games for the fourth time in the last six seasons.  The Lancers, who graduate eight seniors, were led by 11 points and four rebounds from junior Justin Lovette.  La Salle entered the game having won eight of nine and 13 of its last 15 games – including four straight wins in the postseason.  The Lances spent weeks during the regular season ranked No. 6 in the Associated Press DI state poll and finished second to Moeller in the GCL South with a 3-3 record.  Coach Pat Goedde was named GCL South co-Coach of the Year with Moeller’s Carl Kremer.