absence of top scorer Quinn McDowell to score a career-high 25 points
in the Crusaders 58-52 win Friday over rival Elder in a big Greater
Catholic League South Division game. The No. 1 ranked team in the state survived a tough test from an
Elder squad lead by Notre Dame football recruit Kyle Rudolph, who
provided 25 points in the Panthers defeat.
CINCINNTI – Moeller senior forward Michael Davenport picked up the slack in the absence of top scorer Quinn McDowell to score a career-high 25 points in the Crusaders 58-52 win Friday over rival Elder in a big Greater Catholic League South Division game.
The No. 1 ranked team in the state survived a tough test from an Elder squad lead by Notre Dame football recruit Kyle Rudolph, who provided 25 points in the Panthers defeat and became the second Elder player ever to record 1,000 career points.
Moeller coach Carl Kremer had been concerned that the loss of McDowell to a partial stress fracture in his right foot would negatively affect his team.
“I was concerned the last three games without Quinn,” Kremer said. “We didn’t have good chemistry in those games.”
McDowell, who averages 14.1 points a contest, missed his fifth consecutive game with the injury.
The high-flying Davenport, a 6-foot-3 left-handed swingman who was averaging 9.2 points a game heading in, made his impact felt early with a thunderous dunk in the second quarter that sent the home crowd into a frenzy and put the Crusaders on top 23-20.
Davenport also pulled down a game-high nine rebounds to help Moeller (16-1, 12-0 GCL-South) tighten its hold on first place in the league. Elder is 13-3, 8-3.
“Michael got us going offensively,” Kremer said of his forward’s career night.
Moeller’s only loss was to St. Benedict’s (N.J.) when USA Today had them ranked No. 1 nationally.
The first half was marked by scrappy play by both squads. Davenport and Rudolph both had 12 points at the half, and a three-point bucket by junior guard Zach Autenrieb cut the Moeller lead to 27-26 at the breaK.
A couple of Rudolph baskets and two made free throws by forward Josh Jones gave Elder a 36-29 lead early in the third quarter. Elder lead 39-35 entering the fourth.
The Panthers had control and a 47-43 lead with less than four minutes to go in the game, when Moeller went on a 9-0 run to take a 52-47 lead and change momentum for good.
“We should have had a bigger lead in the third quarter,” Elder coach Joel Shoenfeld said. “We didn’t get enough stops in the fourth quarter and lost a little focus on offense.”
Moeller guard Tony Harris contributed eight points and Rack had six points with center Matt Roberts also throwing in six points.
The Crusaders hope to get McDowell back by tournament time in February.
“To close (the win) without Quinn was really big for us,” Kremer said. “To claw back in the game was a huge maturing process.”
Moeller defeated Elder 49-44 at Elder on Dec. 7 in the other regular-season meeting between both teams.
Moeller’s next game is today at Withrow in a huge non-league game.
Elder next plays at Oak Hills on Tuesday.