By Tom Gamble, GCL South Commissioner
Elder and La Salle returned to the hardwood Tuesday night to post victories against teams from the Greater Catholic League Co-Ed Division in preparation for the second half of the GCL South basketball season that resumes Friday night. Elder used a fast start, getting out to a 12-2 lead after one quarter and a 28-10 advantage at halftime, to record a 53-32 win at Roger Bacon, while La Salle got 11 points each from Riley Haubner and Nathan Vogelpohl to record a 50-44 win against McNicholas at La Salle.
The win was the third in four games for Elder (9-9), which hosts St. Xavier at The Pit at 7:30 Friday night in search of its first GCL South win. St. Xavier defeated Elder, 55-53, in overtime in the first meeting earlier this month at St. Xavier. Against Roger Bacon (5-12), senior guard Lance Harp paced the Panthers with 13 points. Harp was one of three double-figure scorers in the first game at St. Xavier, finishing with 12 points. Senior guard Brett Marsh led Elder in that game with 16 points, while junior guard Aiden Byrne added 13. Both Harp and Marsh had key three pointers in OT, before the Bombers won at the buzzer on a coast-to-coast layup by Andrew Wittrock.
La Salle (10-8), which won its second straight game and posted its third victory in four games, looks to hand Moeller its first league loss in nearly two years Friday. The Lancers travel to Moeller for a 7:30 p.m. tipoff. Elder is the last GCL South team to defeat Moeller, knocking off the Crusaders, 48-43, in Price Hill on February 5, 2016. Moeller has won 11 straight against league opponents since, including a touch 75-61 win at La Salle in the first meeting earlier this month. In that game, the Lancers trailed by just two points after three quarters, 46-44, before the Crusaders pulled away late for the double-digit victory. Against McNicholas (15-2), La Salle was perfect at the free-throw line in 13 attempts, with Haubner going 5-for-5 and sophomore guard Derek Eddings going 4-of-4 to finish with nine points.
McNicholas continues to lead the GCL Co-Ed Central Division with a 6-1 league mark. The Rockets’ only other loss this season was 10 days earlier at Purcell Marian, 54-47. McNicholas opened the season 13-0 before falling to the second-place Cavaliers on the road. Moeller – which is ranked No. 2 behind Princeton in The Enquirer’s Division I weekly area coaches’ poll again this week – and St. Xavier had the night off Tuesday.