By Tom Gamble, GCL South Commissioner
Tonight’s Greater Catholic League South Division basketball games between Moeller and St. Xavier have been moved to Saturday because of the Winter Weather Advisory issued for Southwest Ohio until 10 a.m. Saturday, with today’s forecast calling for a wintry mix of freezing rain, sleet and snow expected to produce hazardous driving condition as the day progresses. The tripleheader will be held at Moeller High School’s Brisben Family Center at the same time as originally scheduled, with the freshman to tip off at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, followed by the junior varsity at 6 and the varsity at 7:30.
The games are sold out.
GCL South member La Salle (4-6) steps out of league play to host St. Mary’s (8-1) from Lancaster, N.Y. today. The game, originally scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. tipoff, has been moved up to start at 4:30this afternoon because of the weather. Elder (5-6) is off this evening, but is scheduled to host the same St. Mary’s team at 2 p.m. Saturday at The Pit. La Salle also is scheduled to play Saturday, traveling to Kettering to take on GCL Co-Ed member Alter (3-7) at 7:30 p.m.
Moeller ((8-3), which has won outright or shared the league title the last five seasons, begins defense of its GCL South title with just its second game in 2018. After finishing sixth with a 2-2 record in the prestigious Beach Ball Classic in Myrtle Beach, S.C. over the holidays, the Crusaders defeated Centerville, 49-32, in its first game of the New Year last Saturday on the road. Moeller is led by seniors Jaxon Hayes and Jeremiah Davenport. Hayes, a University of Texas recruit, is fifth in the GCL South in scoring (12.6), second in rebounding (6.7), and leads the league in blocked shots (4.1). Hayes is shooting 65.9 percent (54-of-82), which also leads the league.
Davenport is fourth in the GCL South in scoring (14.8), leads in rebounding (7.1), and is third in blocked shots (1.1). Davenport, like Hayes, also shoots well – having connected on 58-of-114 field goals for 50.9 percent. As a team, Moeller is shooting better than 50 percent (228-of-446). Senior guard Isaiah Payton also is in double figures, averaging 11.9 points and 3.0 assists per game, which rank him second in the league behind teammate and junior forward Alec Pfriem, who dishes out 3.6 per game.
St. Xavier (8-3) enters the game riding a three-game winning streak, having shot better than 54 percent in non-conference victories against Shroder Paideia, Roger Bacon and Alter in the last 10 days. The Bombers are led by junior guard Nathan Stockman, who averages 15.1 points (third in the league) and sits atop the GCL South in steals, at 2.6 per game. Senior forward Bobby Jefferson gives St. Xavier a solid inside presence, averaging 4.4 rebounds (fourth) and ranking fifth in field-goal percentage, at 52.8 percent. Seniors Brandon Gilbert (10.7) and Chase Wolf (8.9) give the Bombers balance on offense.