With La Salle's 51-41 victory on Bill Cady Court they have defeated the Xavier Bombers for the 12th time in the last 13 meetings. The Lancers [12-7] swept the Bombers [9-11] this year, winning 39-37 at St. Xavier. The Lancers have won 9 of their last 12 games. They are 2-3 in the GCL while the Bombers fell to 1-4.
On Senior Night the Lancers came out cold, scoring only 4 points in the 1st quarter, trailing St. Xavier 6-4. The frigid Lancers were 1-11 from the field for the quarter. The Bombers were 2/6.
In the second quarter when Jay Lemons hit a 3 at the 5:45 mark, it was La Salle's first points in almost 6 minutes. Luckily for the Lancers they were playing good defense, holding the Bombers in reach. The Lancers took the lead 14-13 on a drive to the basket by Nathan Vogelpohl. For the rest of the half, the lead bounced back and forth between the Lancers and the Bombers.
The Lancers were lucky to be down only 20-17 at the half, shooting only 22% from the field and 5/12 from the line. The Lancers were also outrebounded 20-13. One saving grace for the Lancers was they committed 5 fewer turnovers and scored 5 more points off the break. Coach Goedde tried to explain, "Sometimes on Senior Night when the starters have to sit, it affects them."
Starting the 3rd quarter St. Xavier went on a 9-3 run, increasing their lead to 29-20. When things looked bleak, the Lancers started rolling. Jeff Queen hit a 3. Nathan Vogelpohl scored 4 points and Cole Hildebrand added 1. All of the sudden the Lancers had cut the deficit to 1. The quarter would end with the Lancers down 31-30.
Two minutes and 22 seconds into the final quarter, the Lancers tied the score on a big 3-pointer by Jay Lemons. Derek Eddings followed with a 3-point play and the Lancers had the lead at 38-35 with 4:27 remaining in the game. Coach Goedde called Edding's 3-point score the biggest play of the game, saying, "That allowed us to go 4 corners and get some easy baskets, attacking them and getting them in foul trouble. We are not very good at the stall. We are better at attacking." This was the Lancers' 1st lead since midway through the 2nd quarter when they were ahead 16-15. They would never trail again.
La Salle did keep it interesting, making just 3/7 free throws at one stretch. The Bombers got within two at 40-38, but that was as close as they would get.
With La Salle up 41-38, there was a scramble for the ball on the floor under the Xavier basket. Wergers came up with the ball but was swarmed by St. Xavier players, trying to tie him up. As one official was about to call jump ball, quick-thinking Goedde yelled "time out" and was granted it. He commented, "That's why I always like to have 4 timeouts in the 4th quarter."
In the final minute La Salle made 6/7 free throws to salt away the 51-41 victory.
La Salle ended up shooting 33% from the field compared to St. Xavier's 32%. The Bombers had 3 more turnovers and 2 more rebounds. The game was won at the line where La Salle made 20 free throws to Xavier's 6.
Nathan Stockman led all scorers with 20 points, 14 coming in the second half. The only other Bombers to score were Danny Greive with 14 and Hank Thomas with 7.
The Lancers were led by Nathan Vogelpohl's 15 points followed by Jay Lemons and Derek Eddings, who each had 10. Jeff Queen contributed 8. Michael Wergers led all rebounders with 11. Commenting on the good second half play Goedde said, "Sometimes you just have to grind these things out. We did play good defense. It was key giving up only 6 points in the first quarter since we weren't scoring."
At a time out Rich Dauer, who is retiring as official scorer after 35 years, received a plaque from AD Jim Barre in appreciation for his service and dedication. Dauer, who was the point guard for La Salle's 1979 Final Four team, is a member of La Salle's Hall of Fame.
Also on hand to congratulate him was fellow Hall of Famer Mike Weber.
Mike Wergers still leads the GCL in rebounding with an 8.7 average. Jay Lemons is 4th in scoring with a 12.2 average. Cole Hildebrand is 3rd in blocks with a 0.8 average. Nathan Vogelpohl is 4th in steals with a 1.4 average. Derek Eddings is 2nd in the GCL in free throw percentage shooting 83.4%.
La Salle is 2nd in the GCL, shooting 32.9% from 3-point range.
Mike Wergers leads the Lancers in field goal percentage at 50.7%. Derek Eddings leads the team in free throw percentage at 84.3%.
The Lancers lost at Walnut Hills Saturday evening 54-30. Stats for the game were unavailable at the time of publication.