By Tom Gamble, GCL South Commissioner
Senior Brandon Gilbert’s tip in as time expired gave St. Xavier a 56-55 victory over Oak Hills on Saturday night, helping the Bombers go 2-0 last week and win for the fourth time in five games this season, while Greater Catholic League South Division colleague Moeller had four players score in double figures to post a 63-50 win at Sycamore that same evening, four days after the Crusaders’ 28-game, regular-season winning streak was snapped by unbeaten Covington Catholic. GCL South member La Salle dropped a pair of games Friday and Saturday, losing to CovCath, 67-49, on the road Friday and then falling to Hilliard Bradley, 46-36, in Greater Columbus Saturday.
Elder did not play Saturday, but the Panthers fell to Winton Woods, 49-39, at The Pit Friday.
St. Xavier (4-1) got its second big game of the week from senior Chase Wolf, who is working his way into basketball shape after leading the Bombers to a GCL South championship and regional final appearance in football. Wolf, who scored a team-high 21 points in St. Xavier’s 55-47 win at Hamilton Badin on Tuesday, scored 18 – including four three-pointers and four rebounds – to lead his team against Oak Hills. After Oak Hills had taken a 55-54 lead with five seconds remaining, Wolf attempted a shot to win if for St. Xavier – only to have Gilbert beat the buzzer with his tip.
Gilbert finished with 13 points, hitting all four field-goal attempts including two three-pointers, and led the Bombers with five rebounds. Junior guard Nathan Stockman had a solid game, too, finishing with 14 points, three assists and three rebounds. St. Xavier is off until Friday, when the Bombers travel to West Clermont (2-2) for a non-conference game. Oak Hills senior Nick Deifel led all scorers with 24 points, knocking down 6-of-12 three-point shots, while also recording four rebounds and two assists. Both teams shot better than 50 percent, with St. Xavier sinking 20-of-37 shots.
Moeller (4-1), which had not lost a regular-season game in almost 14 months before Tuesday’s 58-53 setback at CovCath, started a new streak against rival Sycamore – thanks to a combined 36 points and 15 rebounds from seniors Jeremiah Davenport (18 points, eight rebounds) and Jaxson Hayes (18 points, seven rebounds). Senior forward Carlos Garcia added 12 points and five assists, while senior guard Isaiah Payton chipped in with 10 points and four assists for Moeller, which made 25-of-44 field goals. Hayes made it tough down low for Sycamore, blocking a game-high eight shots. Moeller’s next game is at home against Wilmington at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
La Salle (1-2) was unable to get untracked offensively against Bradley, scoring just 15 points in the first half and failing to score more than 11 points any quarter. The Lancers, which opened the Pat Goeede era with a 78-49 win over Shroder Paideia a week earlier, were led by 10 points from junior forward Kodyn Lambert, the lone La Salle player in double figures, and nine from senior Riley Haubner – who had a team-high 18 against CovCath. Lambert added 15 against CovCath. La Salle travels to Lakota West for a non-conference game at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. La Salle defeated West, 71-36, last season at La Salle.
Like La Salle, Elder (2-3) also was unable to get its offense going – managing just 10 points in the first two quarters against Winton Woods. The Panthers were led by senior Zach Harp’s 21 points, but no other player scored more than six points. Harp has now scored 20 or more points in three of Elder’s first five games, including a season-high 30 in the Panthers’ win one week earlier against Springboro, 65-62. The Panthers are off until Friday, when coach Joe Schoenfeld’s team take on Walnut Hills on the road at 7:30.