There is plenty at stake when Cincinnati Moeller visits Cincinnati
St. Xavier tonight in the Greater Catholic League South division
regular-season finale. Moeller (18-1, 13-0) is
ranked No. 1 in the Division I AP state poll, while St.
Xavier (18-1, 12-1) is No. 3. Neighborhood bragging rights are on the line as well. Said Moeller athletic director Barry Borman: “We have always had a special rivalry with St. X.”
There is plenty at stake when Cincinnati Moeller visits Cincinnati St. Xavier tonight in the Greater Catholic League South division regular-season finale.
Moeller (18-1, 13-0 Greater Catholic League South division) is ranked No. 1 in the Division I Associated Press state poll, while St. Xavier (18-1, 12-1) is No. 3.
Of course, there will be plenty of neighborhood bragging rights on the line between the two state athletic powers as well
“We have always had a special rivalry with St. X,” Moeller athletic director Barry Borman said.
“As you know many of the kids at our two schools attend grade school together and have played on select and community teams together. The parents know each other and are friends. So besides being an intense rivalry during the game, there is always friendly banter both before and after the game.”
Moeller could win the GCL South title outright for the first time since the 2002-03 season.
St. X has not had at least a share of the league title since the 2004-05 season (tied with Moeller).
Besides the league implications, both teams certainly would like the momentum this game carries with it as the sectional tournament looms next week.
“The phone has been ringing non-stop with questions about tickets,” St. X athletic director John Sullivan said. “The game sure has a ‘tournament’ excitement about it. It’s senior night as well. We are very pleased to be in this position playing for a league title.”
The game undoubtedly gives a great deal of significance to the last weekend of the regular season in the Cincinnati area.
The teams will meet for a second time this season after host Moeller defeated St. X 63-54 Dec. 14.
That December game was the first meeting since Moeller defeated St. X 43-40 in the Division I state title game March 24, 2007.
Moeller has won four consecutive games against St. X. The Bombers last defeated Moeller 64-53 Feb. 17, 2006 at St. X.
“Moeller deserves all the press they’re getting,” St. X senior forward Walt Gibler told the Cincinnati Enquirer last week. “They’re a great team, and hopefully we’ll get them the next time.”
Both teams are very similar in points scored and allowed during games this season.
Moeller, which has won eight consecutive games, scores 62.5 points per game and allows 43.
St. X scores 66.3 points and allows 48.7.
Moeller, which is rated No. 20 in the ESPN High Elite 25 rankings, has played well even without top scorer Quinn McDowell, who has missed seven games with a foot injury, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.
McDowell, who has committed to William and Mary, was averaging 14.1 points and 5.3 rebounds, but Moeller coach Carl Kremer told the Enquirer earlier in the week he doesn’t expect to have McDowell back until the tournament.
Senior forward Michael Davenport has played well for Moeller as he averages 10.6 points, 4.4 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.9 steals. Senior forward Daniel Wulker (Christian Brothers) averages 9.7 points and 1.8 assists. Senior guard Tony Rack averages 7.5 points and 4.4 assists. Junior guard Tony Harris averages 7.4 points and 2.4 assists.
Moeller’s only loss was to St. Benedict Prep (N.J.) 56-45 Dec. 29. St. Benedict is rated No. 3 nationally in the ESPN poll.
St. X is led by Gibler (Loyola, Ill.), who averages 16.9 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1.3 assists for the Bombers.
Senior guard Brad Loesing (Wofford) averages 13.7 points, 3.5 rebounds and three assists.
“Our guys maybe felt a little pressure early this season, coming off the state finals,” St. X coach Scott Martin told the Enquirer last week. “I think they overcame that and just kind of relaxed, and they’ve done a nice job working together.”
Sectional tournament starts Monday
Moeller is the No. 1 seed in Division I. The Crusaders will play Feb. 18 against the winner of Amelia-Walnut Hills.
St. X, the No. 2 seed, plays Feb. 22 against the Kings-Anderson winner.
Withrow, led by University of Cincinnati recruit Yancy Gates, is the No. 3 seed. The Tigers play Mount Healthy Thursday (Feb. 14) at 6:30 p.m. at Mason.
In Division II, Taft is the top seed. The Senators play Norwood Saturday (Feb. 16) at 3 p.m. at Anderson.
In Division III, Deer Park is the top seed and will play Tuesday (Feb. 19) against the winner of Felicity-Franklin and Blanchester.
In Division IV, Seven Hills is the top seed and will play Feb. 20 against the winner of Cincinnati Country Day and New Miami.