By Tom Gamble, GCL South Commissioner
No. 1 seed Moeller and St. Xavier capped a successful opening weekend for the Greater Catholic League South Division basketball teams, notching victories Saturday night to join Elder and La Salle as having advanced to the second round of Cincinnati sectional tournaments with hopes of making it all the way to the Ohio High School Athletic Association Boys’ Division I State Tournament that is set for March 23-24 at the Jerome Schottenstein Center on the campus of The Ohio State University in Columbus.
Moeller (20-3), which made it to the DI state final last year, opened its postseason with a convincing 63-28 victory against Harrison Saturday night at Hamilton High School. The Crusaders, now 13-0 in the calendar year, shot 65.1 percent (28-of-43) behind balanced scoring, with three players in double figures, and built a 37-13 halftime lead. Seniors Jeremiah Davenport and Isaiah Payton each scored 12 points, while junior Alex Pfriem added 10 for Moeller. The Crusaders advance to meet Talawanda in the second round at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Hamilton.
St. Xavier (16-7) was the last of four GCL South teams to play, but it didn’t hurt the Bombers – who outscored Loveland, 38-18 , in the second and third quarters en route to an 80-50 win at Lakota West. Senior forward Chase Wolf led St. Xavier with 17 points, while sophomore forward Danny Greive came off the bench to add a career-high 16 and junior guard Nathan Stockman chipped in 10. The Bombers nailed 10-of-21 three-pointers, with Greive a perfect 4-of-4 from long range. Wolf and Stockman added four and two three-pointers, respectively. St. Xavier advances to oppose Wilmington at 7:30 Wednesday night at Lakota West.
Elder and La Salle, which posted opening-round victories the previous two days, will play back-to-back on Tuesday night at Fairfield High School. Elder (13-12), advancing with a 47-34 win against Mt. Healthy on Friday, meets Mason at 6 p.m., followed by La Salle – a first-round 60-40, first-round winner over Lakota West in the GCL South’s first tournament game last Thursday – plays Hamilton at 7:30. The Lancers (14-9) are riding a four-game winning streak.
Here is a look at the GCL South second-round games:
(at Fairfield High School)
Elder vs. Mason, 6 p.m.
La Salle vs. Hamilton, 7:30 p.m.
(at Hamilton High School)
Moeller vs. Talawanda, 7:30 p.m.
(at Lakota West High School)
St. Xavier vs. Wilmington, 7:30 p.m.