February 3, 2009
Havertown, PA – Molly Hanlon and Amy Woods were as giddy as the leaders of an unbeaten league team should be. The senior captains sat in the Haverford High School locker room with smiles on their faces celebrating passionately with their teammates following the team’s 55-37 win over host Haverford on Tuesday night. Hanlon said, “We were chanting ‘Central League champs, Central League champs’ in the locker room”. Woods added, “We are all very excited; there was a little dancing going on in the locker room.”
With the victory, Lower Merion became the first girls’ basketball team in school history to win every game on the league schedule ending the regular season at a perfect 16-0. In gaining their 24th consecutive Central League win over the last two seasons, the Aces have become a powerhouse in conference play.
“Going undefeated during the regular season in league is a remarkable achievement,” Lower Merion head coach Lauren Pellicane said. “This was our focus coming into this season. We knew we were talented enough to get it done but we had to go out and prove it on the court”.
Continuing a recent trend, the Aces jumped out to a huge lead to open up the contest taking a 12-0 lead within the first two and a half minutes of play. In that run, Hanlon tallied five points for Lower Merion including her first trey of the game and two free throws. At the end of one stanza, the Aces held a 23-2 commanding lead.
The final conference victory of the season came through a group effort as all thirteen Aces saw action and contributed in the win. Hanlon led all players with a game-high 17 points including a 4-of-7 effort from three-point range in addition to five assists, three rebounds and two steals. Junior Dana Albalancy gave the Aces a big spark off the bench contributing eight points on 4-of-7 shooting from the field while senior Lil Carney, junior Kiki Worku and freshman Jessie Porter all added seven points apiece. Other scorers for the Aces’ included Lila Jones with four points, Betsy Hanlon with three and Woods with two.
“It’s a great feeling,” Pellicane admitted. “We will savor this for a couple of days and truly appreciate what this team has accomplished. Then it is back to business.”
With the victory, the Aces end the regular season at 20-2 overall and 16-0 in Central League play. Lower Merion is expecting a top four seed in district play and will await word of their opponent which will be announced on Sunday, February 8th.
Lower Merion: 23 13 14 5 55
Haverford: 2 10 9 16 37
LM: Molly Hanlon 17, Dana Albalancy 8, Lil Carney 7, Kiki Worku 7, Jessie Porter 7, Lila Jones 4, Betsy Hanlon 3, Amy Woods 2
HHS: Chelci Asbury 7, Ruth Garrett 6, Maris Kalodner 6, Kelly Kiefer 5, Jackie Gantz 3, Jill Root 2, Michelle Pennoni 2, Dana Janney 2, Liz Maynor 2, Jackie Sprows 2