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Moeller routs Roger Bacon, 61-35

January 30, 2013
Cincinnati Moeller High School

Written by Kevin Goheen

Moeller got 21 points from junior guard Grant Benzinger and held Roger Bacon to 24.4 percent shooting from the field to beat the Spartans 61-35 Tuesday night at Moeller and clinch the Greater Catholic League South division outright for the first time since 2008.

The matchup of GCL division leaders went Moeller’s way from the outset as the Crusaders held Roger Bacon without a field goal in the first quarter while taking a 14-2 lead. Benzinger connected on four 3-pointers, while senior guard Josh Davenport added 12 points, five rebounds, three assists and four blocked shots.

The win was the ninth in a row for Moeller, ranked No. 2 in the Enquirer Division I coaches’ poll and No. 10 in the Associated Press state poll, as it improved to 15-2 overall and 9-0 in the GCL South. Roger Bacon lost its second straight game to fall to 15-3 overall and 9-2 in the GCL Central. The Spartans are ranked No. 2 in the Enquirer Division II-IV poll and No. 6 in the AP Division III state poll.

Moeller starts sophomore Nate Fowler (6-8) and senior Patrick Wrencher (6-6) in its front court and brings senior Corey Muchmore (6-4) off the bench. Davenport (6-3) and Benzinger (6-2) provide length on the perimeter.

“We wanted to build a wall – no threes, no easy layups, make everything contested,” said Benzinger. “We did that Sunday and Monday in practice. That makes it easier in the game. We wanted to use our presence inside against their smaller defenders, and it worked.”

Moeller outscored Roger Bacon 32-14 in the paint.

Roger Bacon led the GCL in scoring at 67.6 points per game entering Tuesday night, led by junior guards Carlas Jackson (16.4 points) and Austin Frentsos (14.5). Jackson, guarded most of the night by Davenport, was limited to just four points, while Frentsos had just six points. Senior forward Erik Edwards led Roger Bacon with 13 points.

“The kids executed our defensive system well and Josh was dominant defensively,” said Moeller head coach Carl Kremer. “His game has evolved so much. I’m really proud of the total player he’s becoming and I thought all of our guys played unselfish, they played for the team and not themselves.”

The Crusaders bettered their season defensive average of 40.4 points per game. They led 26-14 at halftime by holding the Spartans to 3-of-16 shooting from the field and forcing 10 turnovers.

Even though Moeller committed 10 turnovers itself in the first half, the Crusaders shot 10-of-19 from the field, including three 3-pointers from Benzinger. Moeller had eight assists on its 10 made shots and outscored Roger Bacon 12-3 in points off turnovers.

Moeller and La Salle shared the GCL South title three straight seasons before the Lancers won it outright last season.

“It’s something special and something we should take in the moment to celebrate,” said Kremer.

Senior guard Keith Watkins played in just his third game following time off to recover from an undisclosed injury suffered in football. Watkins scored eight points and had eight assists and three steals off the bench and in front of his future college football coach in Northwestern University’s Pat Fitzgerald, who was in attendance.


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