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Moeller Outlasts St. Xavier, 38-31

January 12, 2013
Cincinnati Moeller High School

From Mark Schmetzer, Cincinnati Enquirer

Moeller Outlasts St. Xavier, 38-31

The last time St. Xavier beat Moeller in basketball, back in February 2006, “Crash” was less than a month away from winning the Academy Award as the Best Picture for 2005.

That’s appropriate, because that’s what happened Friday night before a sellout crowd of witnesses at St. Xavier. The Bombers and visiting Crusaders crashed into each other, and Moeller survived with a 38-31 Greater Catholic League South Division win.

“This was as hostile an environment as we’ve played in in a long time, and the kids responded well,” said Moeller coach Carl Kremer, whose team has won 14 straight against St. Xavier since a 64-53 Bombers win on Feb. 17, 2006. “They kept their poise and played under control. We knew it was going to be in the 30s. That’s what we predicted. There were men on that floor tonight. Good looks were hard to come by (offensively).”

Moeller had to make seven of its 12 shots in the second half to reach 43.3 percent (13-of-30) for the game. That far outpaced the Bombers, who finished at 24.1 percent (13-of-54), including 2-for-23 on 3-pointers.

“We had a bad shooting night,” St. Xavier coach Scott Martin said, pointing out his team committed five turnovers to Moeller’s 17. “We took care of the basketball, but the field-goal percentage was big. We played good defense. They were a little better.”

Senior guard Josh Davenport scored 12 points and 6-foot-8 sophomore center Nate Fowler added 11 for Moeller (11-3, 6-0 GCL South), the No 4 team in the Enquirer’s Division I coaches poll.

“The key was ‘KYP’ – Know Your Personnel,” Davenport said. “The coaches prepared us, and our Gold Squad (scout team) does everything to get us ready. We knew who their shooters were.”

The Crusaders also enjoyed a decisive edge on free throws, going 10-of-14 while St. Xavier was just 3-of-4.

Junior forward-center Roderick Mills was the only player to reach double figures for St. Xavier (9-2, 4-1), the Enquirer’s No. 3 team. Mills finished with 12.

With Xavier University coach and St. Xavier product Chris Mack on hand with his wife Christi in bleachers on the stage behind the team benches, St. Xavier missed its first eight shots before Ben Carroll drove the left baseline and sank an acrobatic layup with 59 seconds left in the first quarter.

Moeller was almost equally as ineffective, and the teams combined to go 12-for-44 (27 percent) from the field in the first half, which ended with the Crusaders leading, 17-14.

The Bombers, needing a World War II-era Norden bombsight, were 0-for-8 on 3-pointers in the first half.

St. Xavier’s shooting woes continued in the second half. The Bombers missed their first six shots after halftime, allowing Moeller to open up a 24-15 lead before Mills scored on a putback with 3:14 left in the third quarter.

St. Xavier couldn’t capitalize when Moeller missed the front end of three consecutive bonus free-throw situations in the last 1:08.

“They’re a very big team,” Martin said. “Fowler’s 6-10. He’s not 6-8. Their wing men are 6-3, 6-4. They have a lot of length on them. We had a lot of good looks in the second half. We usually make a lot of shots in practice. We’ve shot fantastic throughout the year.”

Moeller (11-2, 6-0 Greater Catholic League South Division) – Benzinger 1 0 3, Davenport 3 6 12, Muchmore 1 0 2, Fowler 4 3 11, Ragland 1 1 4, Anton 1 0 2, Lynch 2 0 4. Totals: 13 10 38.

St. Xavier (9-2, 4-1) – Mills 5 2 12, Hadden 1 0 2, Carroll 3 0 6, Blink 3 0 7, Barrett 0 1 1, King 1 0 3. Totals: 13 3 31.

Halftime: Moeller, 17-14. 3-pointers: M 2 (Benzinger, Ragland), S 2 (Blink, King).

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