HUBER HEIGHTS — Moeller (4-0) rolled early, putting up 27 points in the first quarter and cruised to a 70-48 over Wayne (2-3, 1-1) Friday night.
Wayne knew it had a tall task Friday night facing Moeller in a rematch of last year’s regional final; a game in which the Crusaders used its length to frustrate the Warriors, beating them 65-53 on their way to a state title.
“They’re a really talented group. Carl does a great job, his program is solid,” said Wayne Coach Nahan Martindale. “They have buy-in from their players and that’s huge. That’s what I said to him before the game. I love watching them play because they truly are a team. There’s no secret as to why they are successful.”
Wayne cut into the Moeller lead by outscoring the Crusaders 13-10 in the second quarter and closed out the half down 37-21.
The hope that things had turned around didn’t last long, because Moeller sprinted out of the gates in the second half on a 19-3 run in the third quarter, going into the fourth quarter up 56-29.
In a fourth quarter that saw Moeller empty its bench, Wayne kept most of its starting lineup in until there were about 2 minutes left in the game. Wayne closed out the game by outscoring Moeller 24-14, but this game was pretty much in the books before the quarter began.
Even though Moeller’s twin tower seniors, Jaxson Hayes (6-foot-10) and Jeremiah Davenport (6-foot-7) have graduated, Moeller still has some length. Logan Duncomb who is 6-foot-8 with the wingspan of an albatross was making Warriors shooters change their shots all night. Wayne shot 13 of 40 from the field on the night.
Wayne lost about 75 percent of its offense from last year when L’Christian “Blue” Smith, Darius Quisenberry and Deshon Parker graduated. To put that into perspective, in last year’s regional final against Moeller, only four Wayne players scored any points and besides the three seniors mentioned above, the only other player to get any points was Rashad McKee with 11.
Wayne has struggled this year to get any consistency on offense and defense, but there is no quit in this Warrior squad. The one thing consistent about this team is it does not quit; that’s a good sign for a team trying to find its way.
“Our kids fought extremely hard. They fought as hard as they can play,” Martindale added. “You know we have to make adjustments, play a little better. We still have some guys that don’t have much varsity experience and they are learning and learning what playing at this stage is all about, playing in big games like this.”
Wayne stays home to host the Miamisburg Vikings Tuesday and Moeller will host Covington Catholic next Friday.
MOE 27 37 56 70 – 70
WAY 08 21 24 48 – 48
Moeller: Miles McBride 15, Logan Duncomb 13, Max Land 11, Alec Pfriem 10, Michael Shipp 9, Chase Harding 2, Patrick Suter 2. Totals: 27-11-70.
Wayne: Tallice Landers 11, Rashad McKee 9, Bobby Cole 8, Brian Hill 6, Cam Fancher 4, Malcolm Curry 4, Justin Harris 2, Ronnie Hampton 2, Ja’rod Lankford 1, Jordan Long 1. Totals: 13-18-48.
Three-point goals: Moeller 3 (McBride 2, Shipp 2, Land); Wayne 4 (Landers 2, McKee, Fancher).
JV Score: Wayne 55 Moeller 46