By Tom Gamble, GCL South Commissioner
Seniors Jaxson Hayes and Isaiah Payton each scored 18 points to lead four double-figure scorers for hot-shooting Moeller in a 74-61 victory Friday night at La Salle, giving the Crusaders a perfect 4-0 record in 2018 and extending their Greater Catholic League South Division winning streak to 10 games. St. Xavier, on the other hand, ended a streak of 27 consecutive GCL South losses with a 55-53 overtime win against Elder at St. Xavier Friday night, as senior Andrew Wittrock – who posted a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds – went coast-to-coast and converted a layup as time expired in OT to give the Bombers the win.
La Salle gave Moeller (11-3, 2-0 GCL South) all is could handle – trailing the Crusaders just 46-44 heading into the fourth quarter before Moeller erupted to score 28 points in the final eight minutes and pull away. Hayes – who leads the GCL South in field-goal percentage at 70.2 percent (73-of-104) – was a perfect 9-of-9 from the field to go along with six rebounds. Payton was 5-of-9 from the field and sank all six of his free throws. Senior Jeremiah Davenport added 13 points and seven rebounds, while junior Alex Pfriem scored 13 to go along with nine assists and seven rebounds.
Moeller’s balance overcame a 30-point night for La Salle senior forward Riley Haubner – who leads the league in scoring, averaging 21.1 points per game. Moeller controlled the boards, outrebounding La Salle, 28-12, but La Salle’s long-range shooting kept the Lancers right there for three quarters. La Salle (7-7, 1-1) knocked down 11-of-20 from three-point range, with Haubner and sophomore guard Derek Eddings each nailing four three-pointers. Eddings finished with 13 points, while junior guard Nathan Vogelpohl came off the bench to score 10 points.
While Moeller was extending its GCL South streak, St. Xavier was putting an end to one Friday night. The Bombers, who had not posted a league victory since knocking off Elder, 60-41, on January 18, 2013, appeared headed to that elusive GCL South win going into the fourth quarter with a 34-27 lead. But Elder (6-8, 0-2), which had rallied from being down 22-1 to start Tuesday’s game at Oak Hills to get as close as five points, rallied to send the game into OT tied at 44. St. Xavier (10-4, 1-1), however, managed to prevail in the extra period and win for the fifth time in six games this season – sending its two student sections into post-game jubilation.
Senior forward Chase Wolf joined Wittrock, who had a career scoring night, in double figures with 12 points. Junior guard Nathan Stockman hit only one field goal, but grabbed 10 rebounds, and senor Brand Gilbert chipped in nine points. The Bombers were only able to convert 11-of-22 free throws, allowing Elder to work its way back in the fourth quarter. Panthers’ senior guard Zach Harp tied the game at 53 with a three-pointer with 6.6 seconds left in OT. Before that, senior guard Brett Marsh hit from long range to male it 50-50. Marsh, Who led Elder with 16 points, and Harp (who had 12) combined to score 23 points in the fourth quarter and OT. Adam Byrne added 13 for Elder.
ACTION TODAY: Three of the four GCL South teams are in action today, with Moeller hosting Massillon Washington at 5 p.m. It was Massillon Jackson, a district rival of Washington, that prevented the Crusaders from a perfect season in 2016-17 – handing Moeller its lone loss in the Division I state championship, 39-38, in Columbus. Elder returns to The Pit tonight to face Withrow at 7:30, while La Salle travels to GCL Co-Ed member Roger Bacon at 7:30. St. Xavier has the night off, but returns to action when it travels to face Beavercreek next Tuesday.