By Tom Gamble, GCL South Commissioner
Senior forward Jeremiah Davenport had game highs of 26 points and 11 rebounds, while senior frontcourt mate Jaxson Hayes added 19 points and nine rebounds to lead Moeller to a convincing 60-41 victory over previously undefeated Scott County from Georgetown, Ky. in Tuesday’s opening round of the prestigious Beach Ball Classic at Myrtle Beach Convention Center in South Carolina. The win was the third straight for Moeller (6-1), which advances to meet Long Island (NY) Lutheran at 5:15 p.m. Thursday.
Moeller, which led for nearly 30 minutes and had its largest advantage, 19, with 42 seconds left in the first half, dominated inside against Scott County (8-1) – outscoring the Cardinals, 44-20, in the paint and winning the rebound battle, 39-26. Moeller also recorded 14 assists, with Davenport and senior Carlos Garcia each with four each to lead the team. Hayes and Davenport combined to block five shots, with Hayes leading the team with three. Moeller shot 55.6 percent (25-of-45) for the game, including 60 percent in the second half. Moeller’s defense held Scott County to just 29.8 percent shooting (17-of-57).
Moeller’s next opponent is Long Island Lutheran, which defeated Myrtle Beach, 90-41, behind four double-figure scorers in Tuesday’s final of four first-round games. Four more games are scheduled for today, including the opening games involving national powers Bishop Gorman from Las Vegas, the defending Nevada state champion, and legendary DeMatha Catholic from Hyattsville, Md., one of America’s most storied programs that currently has five players in the NBA and has won six national championships – the last coming in 2006. A total of 16 teams comprise the Beach Ball Classic boys’ field.
Two of the remaining three Greater Catholic League South Division teams also are back in action Thursday, both participating in holiday tournaments. Elder (2-4) makes its annual trek to Florida and faces Ft. Lauderdale Stranahan (7-0) in the opening round of the Suncoast Holiday Tournament at Riverview High School in Sarasota. Both La Salle and St. Xavier are competing in Ohio events this week. La Salle (2-3) begins a stretch of three games in as many days when the Lancers oppose Dublin Jerome (4-1) in the Stephen Gussler Holiday Invitational at Thomas Worthington High School in Greater Columbus. Tipoff is 5 p.m. Thursday.
St. Xavier (4-2), which has won three of its last four games, is off until Friday. That’s when the Bombers will oppose Licking Heights (5-2) from Pataskala, Ohio at 6 p.m. as part of the Newark Christmas Tournament at Newark High School. GCL South league play tips off on Friday, January 5 when La Salle travels to The Pit to face Elder. Tipoff is 7:30 p.m. St. Xavier and defending champion Moeller play their first league game the following Friday, January 12 when the two teams meet at Moeller.