By Tom Gamble, GCL South Commissioner
Senior forward Jeremiah Davenport enjoyed a rare perfect night, hitting 7-of-7 field goals and converting 6-of-6 free throws for a team-high 20 points in just 15 minutes to help Moeller stay perfect in the calendar year, upping its winning streak to 11 games, with a 69-41 victory over Lakota West in a non-conference game Saturday night at Moeller’s Brisben Family Center in Kenwood. St. Xavier, the other Greater Catholic League South Division team in action Saturday, got 17 points from senior Chase Wolf and 11 from junior guard Nathan Stockman to post a 50-48 win over Walnut Hills at St. Xavier’s Berning Gymnasium.
Elder and La Salle did not play Saturday.
Moeller (18-3), which one night earlier wrapped up the GCL South championship outright with a win at St. Xavier to extend its league winning streak to 13 games dating back two years, had 12 players score on Senior Night – building a 30-19 lead at halftime and then outscoring West (3-17), 24-10, in the third quarter. Davenport, who had 21 points and 12 rebounds one night earlier, was the lone Crusader in double figures. Senior Jaxson Hayes had eight points, five rebounds and three blocked shots, while senior guard Jaret Tabler had seven points, and senior forward Kevin Marklay added six points and six rebounds.
The Crusaders – ranked No. 2 behind Princeton in The Enquirer’s Division I weekly area coaches’ poll and No. 3 in the Associated Press DI state rankings, close the regular season by traveling to Elder at 7:3 p.m. Friday. Moeller defeated Elder, 64-43, in the first meeting on February 26 as senior guard Isaiah Payton paced four double-figure scorers with 17 points. Moeller will attempt to wrap up a second consecutive unbeaten GCL South season with a win.
St. Xavier enters the final week of the regular season with momentum after its two-point victory against Walnut Hills – which needs one win this week to clinch sole possession of first place in the Eastern Cincinnati Conference, which the Eagles currently lead with an 11-1 record. The Bombers fell behind Walnut Hills, 15-8, after one quarter, but came alive to outscore the Eagles, 27-17, in the second and third periods to take a lead into the final eight minutes. The game was close throughout the final quarter, but St. Xavier (14-6) was able to hold off Walnut Hills.
Neither team shot particularly well, with percentages below 40 percent from the field for both schools. St. Xavier was able to knock down six three-point goals, led by four from Wolf. The Bombers also were solid down the stretch from the free-throw line, hitting 10-of-13 in the final 4:39 to preserve the win. St. Xavier led 40-38 at that time and scored its final 10 points all from the free-throw line. Junior Nick Frank was 5-of-6 on free throws in the final minutes. Walnut Hills (15-5) was led by 17 points from senior guard Kanneron Gibson, while 7-foot-1 senior center Zubi Nwankwo added 15.
St. Xavier has two games this week, including a matchup against La Salle at St. Xavier on Friday night to determine sole possession of second place in the GCL South. Both teams are 2-3 in the league, with St. Xavier winning the first meeting, 60-53, two weeks ago at La Salle. The game will also be Senior Night for St. Xavier. The Bombers then close the regular season by traveling to Woodward at 7:30 Saturday – the final day of the regular season.