By Tom Gamble, GCL South Commissioner
One day after Greater Catholic League South Division colleagues Elder and La Salle posted victories in their second-round sectional tournament games, Moeller and St. Xavier made it a perfect 8-0 for the league by recording convincing wins Wednesday night in the Ohio High School Athletic Association Division I Basketball Tournament. Moeller, the No. 1 seed in the sectional, maintained a perfect 14-0 record this calendar year with a 70-21 win over Talawanda at Hamilton High School, while St. Xavier scored 63 points in the final three quarters behind four players in double figures to defeat Wilmington, 74-58, at Lakota West.
Elder and La Salle will play district semifinal games Friday night, followed by Moeller and St. Xavier on Saturday. Each of the GCL South teams are one victory away from playing for district championships at the University of Dayton Arena next week.
Moeller (21-3) had 13 players score against Talawanda, with seniors Jeremiah Davenport and Chase Kendall leading the way with 12 points each as the Crusaders scored 26 points in the first quarter and held a 43-4 lead at halftime. Kendall came off the bench to score a career high for Moeller, which knocked down 31-of-55 field goals. The Crusaders advance to meet Withrow in a district semifinal game at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Hamilton. Withrow, which advanced with a 41-39 win against Middletown on Wednesday, nearly handed Moeller its first loss in last year’s sectional tournament. Moeller, however, held on for a 54-51 win in the second round to keep its record unblemished at 24-0. The Crusaders did not lose until the DI state final, a 39-38 setback to Massillon Jackson in Columbus.
St. Xavier (17-7) won its third straight to advance to the district semifinals and a second matchup with Oak Hills this season. The two will meet again at 5 p.m. Saturday at Lakota West. Oak Hills advanced with a 54-40 win Wednesday over Northwest. The Bombers won the first time, when senior Brandon Gilbert scored in the final seconds to give St. Xavier a 56-55 win at Oak Hills on December 16. Senior Chase Wolf led the Bombers against Wilmington with 19 points, while Gilbert added 18, junior Nathan Stockman chipped in 16, and senior Andrew Wittrock had 14 points, seven assists and seven steals. St. Xavier scored 21, 22 and 20 points, respectively, in the last three quarters.
Elder and La Salle will get the GCL South weekend started with district semifinal matchups Friday night. Elder (13-11), which kept its postseason hopes alive with a last-second, 60-58 victory against Mason on Tuesday night thanks to a Jake O’Brien layup with 1.5 seconds left, advances to meet Winton Woods at 7:30 p.m. at Fairfield. La Salle (15-9) is looking to extend its winning streak to six games when it meet Lakota East at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Hamilton. The Lancers hope to get another big night from senior forward Riley Haubner, who scored 27 points, including 14-of-16 free from the free-throw line, had eight rebounds and four assists in Tuesday’s 67-57 victory against Hamilton.
Here is a look at the GCL South district semifinal games:
(at Fairfield High School)
Elder vs. Winton Woods, 7:30 p.m.
(at Hamilton High School)
La Salle vs. Lakota East, 7:30 p.m.
(at Lakota West High School)
St. Xavier vs. Oak Hills, 5 p.m.
(at Hamilton High School)
Moeller vs. Withrow, 7:30 p.m.