breaking news

Pike County murders: 2nd grandmother posts bond, released from jail

Springfield coach after season-ending loss to Moeller: ‘We’ll be back’


Springfield needed to be at its high-end best to have any chance against mighty Cincinnati Moeller. There’s always next season.

Moeller flexed its might yet again, this time a 65-44 defeat of Springfield in Wednesday night’s boys high school basketball Division I regional semifinals at Xavier’s University’s Cintas Center.

Moeller (24-3), last year’s D-I state runner-up, will return to the Cintas on Friday night and play Wayne (25-1) in the regional final, with that winner advancing to next week’s season-ending state final four at Columbus. Wayne advanced by dodging Cincinnati Princeton 56-49 in the doubleheader nightcap.

The defeat closed outstanding four-year runs by Springfield seniors Leonard Taylor and Michael Wallace and newcomer Derrick Robinson-Verse. The Wildcats had three district title teams and played in D-I regionals the past two seasons.

“It’s been great and I was glad I was able to be a part of it,” said Taylor, a 6-foot-6 center who signed with Cincinnati to play football. “I’m just glad I was a Wildcat.”

»RELATED: Boys basketball regional pairings/results

Moeller already had beaten host Springfield 56-39 in the regular season and it was more of the same in this Sweet 16 matchup.

Wright State signee and Moeller senior Jeremiah Davenport was unstoppable, hitting 9 of 13 shots for a game-high 25 points to go with six rebounds, four assists and two steals.

And when Davenport wasn’t producing, 6-10 senior center Jaxson Hayes (Texas) stepped up with 10 points, six rebounds and four blocks.

»RELATED: Girls basketball state final four pairings/results

Moeller stayed in its comfort zone throughout, hitting a sizzling 25 of 37 shots (67.6 percent) and blocking a half-dozen shots. The Crusaders haven’t lost to an Ohio team.

“We took away what they had to do,” said Moeller coach Carl Kremer.

Jajuan Rodgers hit 6 of 9 shots to lead Springfield with 15 points. RaHeim Moss added 11 points and five rebounds.

In contrast, Springfield hit just 17 of 47 shots (36.2 percent) and was 5 of 22 in 3-pointers (22.7 percent). That inaccuracy carried over in free throws, too (5 of 12).

»RELATED: Wildcats brace for Crusaders rematch

That lack of shooting touch wasn’t the Wildcats’ only problem. Early turnovers plagued Springfield just as much as Moeller’s 10-rebound advantage.

“That was a big thing,” Springfield coach Isaiah Carson said. “You gotta give Moeller credit, those guys did an amazing job. We just didn’t get it done and we got beat up pretty good.”

Springfield finishes the season at 21-5. The Wildcats were a combined 82-25 over the last four seasons and won 20 games three times.

»RELATED: Springfield dodges Elder in district final

There should be more of the same in coming seasons. Springfield returns nine players who suited up against Moeller.

“Moeller, those are guys we’ve been clashing with the last couple years,” Carson said. “We want our program to be up there on that level. For us to be able to compete with those guys is a very good thing. We’re going to remember this feeling and come back strong next year. We’ll be back.”

Wallace has yet to sign but Carson insists “Michael will play at the next level. We’re still figuring that one out.”

»TWITTER: You should like @MarcPendleton

Taylor will visit UC this weekend to “make a fit, get in a groove and see what’s up.”

He also had a message for Springfield’s many returning players for next season.

“They better make sure they take care of business,” he said.

»FACEBOOK: For more high school sports you should like Marc Pendleton


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

A year after leading comeback at Michigan, Buckeyes are Dwayne Haskins’ team
A year after leading comeback at Michigan, Buckeyes are Dwayne Haskins’ team

Dwayne Haskins was a legend before he started a football game for Ohio State. That’s the power of the Buckeyes’ rivalry with Michigan, set to be renewed for the 115th time this Saturday. While those who are glued to recruiting updates knew all about Haskins long before, he was introduced to the rest of the nation Nov. 25, 2017. That&rsquo...
Tom Brady predicts Michigan victory against Ohio State; Karan Higdon guarantees it
Tom Brady predicts Michigan victory against Ohio State; Karan Higdon guarantees it

With rivalry week ramping up both north and south of the Ohio-Michigan border, Wolverines past and present seem to be feeling pretty confident. “I've lost too many years of bets to Ohio State guys, Michigan State guys,” New England Patriots quarterback and proud Michigan alumnus Tom Brady told a Boston radio station Monday. “But this...
Bengals coach Marvin Lewis: Receivers must fight through physical play
Bengals coach Marvin Lewis: Receivers must fight through physical play

Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said Monday he is going to start asking the league questions about why defensive backs are grabbing hold of his receivers without penalty. It’s an issue media has been asking Bengals coaches about all season, but some no-calls potentially changed the outcome of Sunday’s 24-21 loss at Baltimore. Bengals...
Ohio State looking to match longest winning streak in Michigan series
Ohio State looking to match longest winning streak in Michigan series

The 115th football game between Ohio State and Michigan is set for Saturday in Columbus. Before the fourth-ranked Wolverines head south to take on the No. 10 Buckeyes, here are seven things to know about the history of college football’s most storied rivalry: The series began with a 34-0 Michigan win in 1897, and the Wolverines dominated the...
Cincinnati Reds: Manager David Bell adds two coaches to his staff
Cincinnati Reds: Manager David Bell adds two coaches to his staff

The Cincinnati Reds added to their coaching staff on Monday with the additions of J.R. House (third base/catching coach) and Donnie Ecker (assistant hiting coach). House and Ecker are the third and fourth members of new manager David Bell’s major league staff. Previously, Bell tapped pitching coach Derek Johnson and hitting coach Turner Ward...
More Stories