Harley Williamson '09 led the Aces with 22 points in the win against Harriton
By Steve Mandelbaum
The Aces fought off a pesky Harriton squad on Thursday night, topping the Rams 66-53 in an entertaining intra-district rivalry game. Hundreds of Lower Merion and Harriton packed the stands and the two schools’ student sections, positioned side-by-side, remained on their feet throughout (at least until the Rams’ faithful left with three minutes to play). The stands were shaking and the noise was vibrating off of the rafters, from the tip-off until the final whistle (the Dawg Pound lasted until the end of the game).
Harriton came out strong, holding a slim 14-13 lead after one frame. However, the Aces were able to overcome the deficit with a few huge defensive stops and some important offensive possessions. Junior Oliver Cohen and senior Nick Bibbs hit two big first half threes and the Aces used their superior size in the form of seniors Greg Robbins and Harley Williamson to methodically build a lead. Lower Merion took the lead in the second quarter and never looked back. They held the Rams scoreless for six minutes in the third quarter and stretched the margin to as much as 16 points in the fourth quarter. The Aces withstood a laudable effort from the Rams, who nailed a season-best 13 three-pointers, many from deep beyond the arc. The win was the Maroon & White’s fifth in a row and their ninth in their last ten games, catapulting the team into a tie for second place in the Central League standings. (Upper Darby was a loser to Springfield last night.)
Eight different Aces found their names on the scorecard in a game where a balanced team effort ensured the victory. Williamson, coming off of a strong game against Radnor, one-upped himself by scoring a career-high 22 points, including seven from the charity stripe. Robbins and Junior Alon Seltzer each had 12 points; Seltzer also hauled in 9 rebounds. Cohen was a difference-maker on both ends of the floor, filling up the stat sheet with 9 points, 7 assists, 5 steals and 4 rebounds. Senior Nick Bibbs (6 points) added two imporant three-pointers when Lower Merion needed them most.
The Aces return home to Bala Cynwyd to face Springfield on Saturday. Tip-off is at 7:30. Saturday night is Alumni Night in Aces Nation. Returning players will be honored on-court during a half-time ceremony and the Aces will pay tribute to inaugural LM Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Charles “Dutch” Sivertsen who passed away late last year.
Lower Merion: 13 21 17 15 – 66
Harriton: 14 18 9 12 – 53
LM: Harley Williamson 22, Greg Robbins 12, Alon Seltzer 12, Oliver Cohen 9, Nick Bibbs 6, Vince Weldon 2, Matt McKenna 2, Marquise Hall 1.
HH: Nance 19, Fusaro 14, Siegel 9, D’Angelo 6, Servetnick 3, Ayella-Silver 2.