By Tom Gamble, GCL South Commissioner
Seniors Alec Pfriem and Miles McBride combined to score more than half of their team’s points, helping Moeller jump out to a 25-8 lead after the first quarter and collectively shoot better than 55 percent on its way to a convincing 74-42 non-conference win against a good Springfield team early Saturday evening at the Brisben Family Education Center on Moeller’s Montgomery Road campus. The win extended Moeller’s overall winning streak to 35 games. The Crusaders have now won 32 consecutive games at home dating back to the 2015-16 season.
In last night’s other game involving a GCL South school, La Salle rebounded from a tough 49-47 home loss to Elder Friday to go on the road and rally to outscore Oak Hills, 13-8, in the fourth quarter to force overtime before emerging with a 39-37 victory over the Highlanders at Oak Hills. Junior Derek Eddings forced OT with a pair of free throws, and then senior Nathan Vogelpohl scored on a driving layup, was fouled and converted the three throw for an old-fashioned three-point goal with five seconds left in the extra period to erase a one-point deficit and give the Lancers the win.
Elder and St. Xavier did not play Saturday.
Pfriem led Moeller (15-0) with a game-high 23 points, hitting 9-of-12 shots while also grabbing five rebounds and recording four assists. McBride added 16 points on 8-of-14 shooting to go along with seven steals, five rebounds and four assists. The two combined to score 39 points while hitting 17-of-26 shots for Moeller, which had 10 different players score and made 30-of-54 shots from the field as a team. Coach Carl Kremer played 15 different players in a game that saw his team dish out 21 assists while also holding a rebounding edge, 42-20. Springfield (10-5) entered the game having won six of its last seven games.
All but one of Moeller’s wins have been by double digits this season. The closest win for the Crusaders came last Sunday, 61-53, over Lakota East as part of the inaugural Midwest King Classic held at Middletown High School’s Wade E. Miller Arena. One night earlier, Moeller needed a big fourth quarter to defeat Elder, 50-39, at The Pit in Price Hill after trailing for the first time after three quarters, 34-33.
Oak Hills (10-6), one of the top teams in the Greater Miami Conference currently in a three-way for second place in the league at 7-3, was coming off a home win against Middletown one night earlier that earned coach Mike Price career victory No. 400. And, after La Salle jumped out to a 12-5 lead after one quarter and maintained a 17-12 lead at halftime, Oak Hills stormed back behind a 14-4 edge in the third quarter to pull ahead 26-21 heading into the final eight minutes. But La Salle rallied and was able to force OT thanks to Eddings converting two free throws.
Vogelpohl was the lone Lancer in double figures, coming off the bench to score 11. Juniors Jaylen Lemons and Jeff Queen each added eight for La Salle (10-6) in what was a low-scoring game. Zach Moeller scored a game-high 13, including three three-pointers, for Oak Hills, as neither team was able to get much going offensively. The teams combined to shoot 39.2 percent from the field (29-of-74), 26.3 percent from three-point range (10-of-38), and 47.1 percent from the free-throw line (8-of-17).