Alter knocks off Moeller in overtime to remain unbeaten

Centerville, Ohio — The already highly anticipated matchup bewteen Moeller and Alter increased after it was announced the game would be moved to Centerville High School. After a great battle in regulation, Ryan Chew made several clutch players including an and-one, a corner three, and his layup on Mahaffey that helped Alter defeat Moeller 58-51 in overtime.

Moeller has started off the season 2-0 and Penn State commit Evan Mahaffey is a big reason why. 6’6″ forward is averaging 20 PPG over those two games and is the lone returning starter from the Crusaders’ regional finalist team from a year ago.

Moeller senior Evan Mahaffey

Alter enters this matchup following their win at the buzzer over Homestead last Saturday. The Knights looked solid as Jacob Conner and Ryan Chew have already proven to be a lethal duo. Tonight’s test against Mahaffey and the Crusaders will be a big test early on in the season.

Alter’s starting lineup

A.J. Leen scored Alter’s first four points of the game. The junior’s ability to create opportunities without the ball is one of his more impressive characteristics. Donovan Mukes hit a pair of threes for Moeller but Alter would respond as Ryan Chew and Anthony Ruffolo each hit a three to tie the game. Moeller would hold an 18-15 lead at the end of the quarter as a trio of free throws from Mahaffey.

Evan Mahaffey began to take over in the second quarter as he was very effective driving the ball. Anthony Ruffolo helped keep Alter in the game as he connected on another three. Jacob Conner cut the deficit back to three points with a two handed dunk off of A.J. Leen’s pass. This cut Moeller’s lead to 27-24 at the half.

Alter junior Anthony Ruffolo

Jacob Conner started off the second half with a dunk and then a turnaround layup at the rim to bring Alter within one. Conner’s full court pass to Ruffolo gave the Knights their first lead of the half. Conner’s corner three gave Alter a 37-35 at the end of the quarter.

Alter senior Jacob Conner

Donovan Mukes immediately tied the game with a layup off of his own miss. Conner spot-up three give Alter right back the lead. Yoro Diallo gave Moeller back the lead after his steal and slam put the Crusaders up 43-42. Leen, Mukes, and Conner traded baskets back and forth as they two southwest Ohio powerhouses were battling.

Down one, Ryan Chew drove to the rim and converted on an improbable up and under layup while being fouled. This completely shifted the momentum to Alter’s side and gave the Knights a 49-47 lead. Moeller responded right away as Evan Mahaffey knocked down the pullup jumper to tie the game.

Alter senior Ryan Chew

Moeller elected to hold the ball for a final shot with the game tied at 49-49. Conner and Chew were able to poke the ball free. Alter recovered the possession and called a timeout.

This gave the Knights the ball with 3.4 seconds left. They inbounded to Geisel who was fouled at halfcourt. Alter was not yet in the bonus so they were forced to inbound the ball again. After a timeout, Leen’s lob to Conner fell short and time expired which meant this game was heading to overtime.

Alter got on the board first in overtime as Ruffolo’s shot fake sent the defender flying which led to an easy basket. Then with 2 minutes remaining, Chew drove past Mahaffey for the bucket and celebrated after which ignited the Alter student section even more. Then A.J. Leen forced a turnover on the ensuing Moeller possession. Leen fed it to Geisel who kicked it to Chew in the corner. The senior guard drilled the three to put Alter up 56-49 with a minute to go.

Alter senior Ryan Chew

Moeller got the ball back with around 40 seconds left. Mahaffey’s floater to make it a one possession game was too strong and Gavin Geisel was able to haul in the rebound. Jacob Conner sealed the game at the free-throw line as Alter’s picked up their second straight statement win. This time it was a 58-51 win over Moeller in overtime.

Jacob Conner led the scoring for the Knights with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Anthony Ruffolo hit big shots all night long as he contributed 13 points but quite possibly the most memorable shots of the night came from senior Ryan Chew who finished with 11 points.

Alter senior Jacob Conner

Evan Mahaffey had a game high 24 points for Moeller in the loss. Donovan Mukes added on 14 points for the Crusaders as they suffer their first loss of the year. Alter improves to 2-0 and face another tough team at home tomorrow when they host Oakwood and division-one prospect Will Maxwell.

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