Mike Joseph '09 nails a jumper during the Aces' Senior Night victory over Haverford
By Steve Mandelbaum
A day after their stirring victory over Conestoga, the Aces returned home to Bala Cynwyd MS to cap the regular season with Senior Night. Despite the area’s biggest snowstorm of the year, the gym was packed with Aces faithful as members of the Class of 2009 took the court for a final regular season bow.
A starting line-up of seniors Mike Joseph, Joe Moran, Greg Robbins, Harley Williamson and Vince Weldon propelled LM to a 21-7 first quarter margin and the Aces never looked back in rolling Haverford 60-36. All seven Aces seniors on the active roster contributed on the evening, with Joseph (12 points, 4 blocks) and Moran (7 points, 5 assists) recording career highs.
With a blizzard blowing outside, it was fitting that “The Hurricane” got things going on the floor. Moran, aka “Hurricane Joe,” who usually provides energy off the bench nailed a pull-up jumper and deep three in the first frame and sliced through the Fords defense to set-up Williamson on two beautiful assists. Not to be outdone, Joseph shot 4/4 from the floor in the first half (and 6/7 overall for the game) while playing his trademark tough interior defense. Robbins also made his mark, scoring a game high 15 points in limited minutes. Williamson added 11 points, four blocks and the aerial highlight of the night, a one-handed jam off a pass from Moran that sent the Dawg Pound into a frenzy.
Making his first appearance in several weeks due to injury, senior Marquise Hall played through the pain of a torn labrum and recorded two assists in the fourth quarter. With less than a minute left in the game, he found younger brother Darius – a late season call-up – in the corner for a three-pointer, providing a memorable and emotional moment for the Aces basketball family. With Marquise on injured reserve for much of the season and the prospect of season-ending surgery looming, it was the first and perhaps the last time the two Hall brothers would play together in their Lower Merion careers.
Seniors Nick Bibbs and Vince Weldon also had notable games, once again setting the bar on defense, shutting down anyone they were assigned to guard. Junior Conor Foote made his first career varsity trey in a high-energy stint off of the bench.
The Aces finish the regular season with a 17-4 record, but still have work to do in their hunt for a Central League title. The Central League Championship playoffs begin this Friday evening as #2 Lower Merion takes on the league’s #3-seed (either Penncrest or Upper Darby) in a semifinal match-up. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 PM. Because of the small size of Bala Cynwyd’s gym, only 650 tickets will be available for Friday’s game. Tickets may be purchased at the Lower Merion Athletic Office through Friday afternoon. For more information, call (610) 645-1820.
Additional notes…The Central League playoffs do not count towards seeding for the District playoffs, which begin next weekend (2/13). Seedings will be determined on Sunday based on regular season records...Congratulations to the JV, who capped a remarkable 19-0 undefeated season with their victory over Haverford on Tuesday night. Congratulations are also in order for the Lower Merion Girls Varsity team, who stormed through an undefeated league season to capture the Central League title. The girls overall record stands at 19-2 heading into District play.
Lower Merion: 21 12 8 19 – 60
Haverford: 7 10 9 10 – 36
LM: Greg Robbins 15, Mike Joseph 12, Harley Williamson 11, Joe Moran 7, Vince Weldon 3, Conor Foote 3, Darius Hall 3, Oliver Cohen 2, Aaron Staley 2, Matt McKenna 1, Nick Bibbs 1.
HHS: Scott Zlotnick 11, Shane McNichol 6, Liam McGrath 5, Ryan Oaks 4, Eric Falasco 4, Darwin Mushrush 4, Kevin Gladstone 2.