By Tom Gamble, GCL South Commissioner
With Elder trailing Western Hills by seven points at halftime Saturday night, it looked like Panthers’ veteran basketball coach Joe Schoenfeld might have to wait at least one more game to reach career victory No. 400 at the school. But Elder came alive offensively in the final two quarters, outscoring its longtime neighborhood rival, 40-28, to earn a 56-51 win on the road and give Schoenfeld the milestone victory.
Schoenfeld, who became Elder’s all-time winningest basketball coach when he recorded career win No. 384 on February 28, 2107 in the postseason – a 50-26 victory against Northwest that gave him more victories than any other hoops coach at the Price Hill school (surpassing legendary Elder coach Paul “Hans” Frey). Schoenfeld has a career record of 400-232 in his 27-plus seasons at the helm of the Panthers, including a 2-2 mark this season.
A 1977 graduate of Elder, Schoenfeld has guided Panther teams to seven Greater Catholic League championships, seven sectional titles, five district crowns and two regional tournament wins. Elder has won 20 or more games under Schoenfeld five times, and his resume includes leading Elder to the 1993 Ohio Division I state championship and a runner-up finish in 2001.
Schoenfeld and Moeller coach Carl Kremer are active coaches in the GCL South with 400-plus victories. Kramer, who took over the Crusaders’ program in the 1989-90 season, is 549-157 at Moeller – including four state championships (1999, 2003, 2007 and last season). Former La Salle coach Dan Fleming, who retired after the 2016-17 season, earned 452 wins in his coaching career – posting a 445-198 record with two state titles (1996 and 2011) during his tenure with the Lancers.