By Tom Gamble, GCL South Commissioner
The Greater Catholic South Division was 0-2 in basketball games against two schools from the GCL Co-Ed Division on Tuesday night, as Kettering Alter traveled down from Greater Dayton to take a double-digit halftime lead and go on to defeat La Salle to win its first game after advancing to the state football championship earlier this month, while Purcell Marian used balanced scoring and a home-court advantage to knock off Elder – which was aiming to give coach Joe Schoenfeld career win No. 401 at the school.
Defending state champion Moeller and St. Xavier did not play Tuesday.
Here is a look at the GCL South games:
Kettering Alter 55, La Salle 49 – Junior guard Brady Uhl posted game highs of 23 points, sinking 9-of-13 field goals, and seven rebounds to lead Alter to the road win. Junior Conor Stolly came off the bench to score 11 for the Knights, who made 20-of-30 field goals and were 7-of-14 from three-point range. Stolly knocked down 3-of-4 three-pointers for Alter (1-2), which overcame 24 turnovers in the game.
La Salle (2-2) – which entered the week ranked No. 9 in The Enquirer’s Division I latest area coaches’ poll – got off to a slow start, scoring just six points in the first quarter and trailing by 11, , at halftime. The Lancers were led by 16 points from junior guard Jaylen Lemons, while senior guard Nathan Vogelpohl added 13. La Salle connected on just 6-of-22 shots from three-point range, and the Lancers were outrebounded, 31-14.
La Salle hosts Covington Catholic at 7:30 p.m. Friday. CovCath is the defending Kentucky state champion and off to a 5-1 start.
Purcell Marian 63, Elder 57 – Junior guard Aidan Byrne scored a season-high 22 points, but it wasn’t enough against a balanced Purcell Marian team. Byrne, who came into the game averaging single digits, led the Panthers and made all three of his team’s three-point goals. But Purcell Marian (1-2) built a five-point lead and won its first game of the season behind three double-figure scorers – Javonta Lyons (15), AJ Garrett (14) and Alex Dotson (12). Byrne was the lone double-figure scorer for Elder (2-3), which also got nine points from junior guard Willard Cluxton and seven from junior center Joe Royer.
The Panthers, who have lost three of their last four by a combined 13 points, travel to Winton Woods at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
GCL South members Moeller and St. Xavier return to the hardwood later this week, with the No. 1-ranked Crusaders putting their 23-game winning streak on the line against Wayne (2-2) at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Huber Heights. Moeller defeated Wayne, 65-53, in last year’s postseason en route to winning the Division I state championship. Wayne entered that game with a 25-1 record. St. Xavier (2-1), fresh off two wins last week over ranked teams in then No. 3 Princeton and No. 2 Lakota East, looks to make it three straight victories Saturday when the No. 6 Bombers travel to meet GCL Co-Ed member Roger Bacon. Tipoff is 7:30 p.m. in St. Bernard.