By Lannis Timmons
Moeller was looking to improve its league record to 5-0, and their overall record to 18-3, while St. Xavier broke their span of five years not winning a league game.
Moeller also was trying to defeat the Crusaders in their second meeting this year, and attempting to win their third game in the conference, but fell short 66-48. After losing, St. Xavier record went to 2-3 in league play, and 14-6 overall.
Playing before a sold-out gym, both teams came out swinging, as Jeremiah Davenport got going early as the Wright State bound senior scored six points in the first quarter with his two Michael Jordan lean in dunks and a put back lay in. Even though Jaxson Hayes didn’t score in the quarter, the future Texas Longhorn blocked two shots, and changed a number of other ones, making it hard for the Bombers to rebound their missed shots, as the senior grabbed a number of rebounds. But the Bombers stayed with Moeller behind the hot shooting of junior guard Nathan Stockman, who knocked down two 3-point shots, and his backcourt mate Andrew Wittrock added 4 points to end the quarter at 10-10.
Things didn’t change for Davenport as the second quarter got underway, Jeremiah went to work again, as he scored 6 points in the quarter, as he was slashing to the basket scoring two lay ups, and another monster dunk.
On defense, Davenport got out in the passing lanes getting two steals, and he was getting on the floor for loose balls, while assisting on two baskets for his teammates.
Jeremiah had help, as junior Alec Pfriem, who transferred from Roger Bacon got going as he scored 4 points in the quarter on two dunks, and had two assists. Hayes got in the scoring column as he contributed 4 points, one on a steal where he dribbled from a little bit behind half court and went in for a lay up and got fouled. Although he missed the free throw, I loved the 6’11 Hayes’ hustle. St. Xavier tried to keep it close as possible as Stockman was able to score another 3 points, and 6’7 senior Brandon Gilbert helped out with his 4 points. But it wouldn’t be enough, as the Bombers would go into halftime down nine points at 28-19.
When the third quarter began, the Crusaders Isaiah Payton started to look to score, as the senior scored all 7 of his points in the quarter, and Carlos Garcia chipped in with 7 points of his own, but that didn’t keep the Bombers from hustling, as seniors Chase Wolf and Bobby Jefferson came alive scoring 8 and 6 points, respectfully. Wolf knocked down two 3-point goals and a lay up he got off a steal, and Jefferson was finishing around the basket with strong post moves. But like in the second quarter, it wasn’t enough, for Moeller still had the lead as the third quarter expired at 44-36.
At the beginning of the fourth, the Crusaders were starting to wear down the Bombers as Davenport and Pfriem went to work again, with both players scoring 8 points each, as Pfriem had two more dunks, and Davenport was all over the place, scoring inside with hard to guard post moves. But it was Hayes’ height and reach that was making a difference on defense as he continued to block and change shots, and again he was holding the Bombers to one shot when they were on offense.
What I did like was St. Xavier coach Jimmy Lallathin’s players played their hearts out, as they never gave up. Moeller behind coach Carl Kramer were just a little better then the Bombers as they won both meetings.
Jeremiah Davenport led the Crusaders with 21 points, and Alec finished with 16 points. The Bombers had two players in double figures with Chase Wolf and Nathan Stockman scoring eleven points each.