Tom Gamble, GCL South Commissioner
If Friday night’s opening game in the 2017-18 Greater Catholic League South Division season is any indication, it could be quite an exciting two months of basketball between now and the postseason. La Salle, opening its GCL South schedule on the road at The Pit and trailing by eight points entering the fourth quarter, rallied to outscore Elder, 17-7, in the final eight minutes capped by a basketball from junior forward Kodyn Lambert in the final seconds to emerge with a 40-38 victory in the league opener for both schools. It also was the first GCL South victory for La Salle coach Pat Goedde, who took over the Lancers’ program before this season after longtime coach Dan Fleming retired.
Moeller and St. Xavier did not play Friday, but all four GCL South teams have non-conference games scheduled today – including La Salle (4-4, 1-0 GCL South), which snapped a two-game losing streak with the win at Elder behind a team-high 10 points, seven rebounds and five assists from senior forward Riley Haubner. Senior Henry Louden added six points and eight rebounds to lead La Salle, while sophomore Cole Hildebrand also chipped in six points for the Lancers – who trailed 16-4 after one quarter and were still behind, 31-23, entering the final eight minutes. Senior quarter Zach Harp led Elder (4-6, 0-1) with 18, but no other Panther scored more than four points. La Salle travels to Xenia (5-6) at 4 this afternoon, while Elder heads to Middletown (2-7) for a 7:30 tip tonight. The Panthers had their two-game winning streak snapped on Friday.
Moeller (7-3) plays its first game since returning from a 2-2 record and sixth-place finish at the prestigious Beach Ball Classic in Myrtle Beach, S.C. over the holidays. The Crusaders, who lost to highly regarded Imhotep Charter from Philadelphia, 47-44, in their final game there, open up their 2018 schedule at Centerville (3-8). Tipoff is 7:30 this evening. St. Xavier (6-3), which posted an 82-68 home win over Shroder Paideia on Wednesday behind 17 points on 7-of-8 shooting from junior forward Luke Pellot off the bench, hosts GCL Co-Ed member Roger Bacon (4-7) at 7:30 tonight. The Bombers had three other players in double figures against Shroder, RJ Fredenburgh (14), Brandon Gilbert (10) and Bobby Jefferson (10). St. Xavier made 36-of-57 field goals, good for 63.2 percent shooting, in the game.
Moeller and St. Xavier open GCL South pay at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Moeller.