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GMC-GCL Games Could Be on Horizon
February 13, 2014Cincinnati Moeller High School
by Marc Hardin, Cincinnati Enquirer
GMC-GCL games could be on horizon
Given a choice at Sunday’s Southwest District Division I boys’ basketball tournament draw at Lakota West, some of the second-tier Greater Miami Conference teams showed a preference for playing highly ranked Greater Catholic League powers rather than one of their own.
After another rough-and-tumble season in the GMC, it makes sense, said Lakota East coach Wally Vickers. Holding the No. 8 seed, he put his team in top-seeded Moeller’s path by drawing into the Cincinnati 2 bracket at Lakota West when other slots were available.
With expected victories against first-round opponent Loveland (7-11) and second-round foe Little Miami (7-11), Lakota East (13-7) would meet Moeller (18-1) in the sectional final Feb. 28 at Xavier University’s Cintas Center, if Moeller advances. Moeller, the top-ranked team in the Enquirer area Division I coaches’ poll, is a heavy favorite to get past Ross (4-15) in the first round Feb. 21 and Western Hills (2-17) in a Feb. 25 second-round contest.
The sectional winner advances to play the Dayton 3 champion March 8 in a district showdown at Cintas Center.
“It’s not a lack of respect for Moeller. We just played 13 league games, and we beat each other up,” Vickers said of the rugged GMC schedule. “There’s a lot that goes into every school’s choice. Speaking for ourselves, do we want to play a team for a third time? Sometimes, playing different teams is the way to go.”
Another GMC power, No. 7 seed Mason (13-4), drew into the path of No. 2 La Salle (14-4) in the Cincinnati 5 Fairfield bracket, when other options were available. Mason has a first-round bye and plays the Turpin-Amelia winner Feb. 25. Whoever advances likely gets La Salle next. The Lancers, ranked second locally, open Feb. 21 against Anderson (4-16). Should they advance, they would be heavy favorites against second-round opponent Edgewood (6-15).
Moeller coach Carl Kremer was not surprised by the decisions made by some of his GMC counterparts.
“The GMC schools in the second five chose to play GCL schools instead of other GMC schools because a lot of times you don’t want to play teams you have played a lot,” Kremer said. “Lakota East came in a little early on us, and Mason went in early against La Salle. So you got a 1 seed and an 8 in our bracket, and a 2 and a 7 in La Salle and Mason’s.”
GMC runner-up Fairfield (16-4) is seeded highest, at No. 3, in the Cincinnati I Lakota West bracket. Fairfield drew a first-round bye and plays the Feb. 22 St. Xavier-Harrison winner. Walnut Hills (12-7), next at No. 10, is on the other side of the bracket.
No. 4 Lakota West (13-6), fourth in the GMC, heads the Cincinnati 3 Hamilton bracket and opens Feb. 26 against the Feb. 22 Mount Healthy-Glen Este winner. No. 9 Wilmington (16-5) is on the other side with a Feb. 22 opener against Sycamore (9-9). If seeds hold, Lakota West could meet either No. 5 Middletown, the GMC champion, or No. 6 Elder in a March 8 district contest at Cintas. Middletown (14-6) and Elder (14-5) are the top seeds in Cincinnati 4 at Hamilton.
In the Division II sectional draw, Hughes (13-6) is the No. 1 seed at Mason and opens tournament play Feb. 21 against No. 10 Taylor (8-10). No. 2 McNicholas (13-5) is on the other side of the bracket with a Feb. 22 first-round game against No. 8 Batavia (11-7). Taft (14-6) is No. 3, on Hughes’ side.
Roger Bacon (15-3), ranked No. 1 in the local Divisions II-IV coaches poll, is the top seed in Division III. The Spartans play a first-round game Feb. 21 against North College Hill (4-11) at Turpin.
No. 2 Summit Country Day (13-5) opens Feb. 21 against Blanchester (2-15) at Taylor. Clark Montessori (17-2) is seeded No. 3 at Western Brown. No. 4 Madeira (14-5) is top-seeded at Monroe.
Aiken (11-8) is the top seed in Division IV at Oak Hills and plays Hillcrest in a Feb. 22 first-round game. No. 2 Georgetown (16-3) opens Feb. 21 against New Miami.