The Lower Merion Aces suffered a heartbreaking 52-51 loss at the hands of the Ridley Raiders on Friday at the Kobe Bryant Gymnasium. This brought the Aces to 5-4 (4-2 in Central League), and was their third loss by only one point. The Aces were led in the score book by Mike Robbins, who posted 9 points, as well as Darryl Reynolds and Raheem Hall, who scored 8 apiece. The Aces were also powered by a strong effort off the bench from Mark Krantz, who made two key three pointers at the end of the third quarter (and narrowly missed a third). Shawn Church led the Raiders with 19 points.
The game got off to a rough start for the Aces, and they quickly found themselves in an 11-8 hole late in the 1st quarter. But a 12-0 run carried Lower Merion into the 2nd quarter with a 20-11 lead. Ridley then started the 2nd quarter with its own run, tying the game up at 20. The game went into the half with the Aces leading 26-22. The 3rd quarter was also a struggle for Lower Merion, who trailed 41-36 with less than a minute left until Krantz sunk 2 deep threes. The 4th quarter saw Ridley gain some momentum in addition to some offensive struggles by the Aces. Lower Merion eventually lost when BJ Johnson’s desperation heave at the buzzer fell just short. This loss is the Aces 3rd loss by just one point, and despite the end result not being a victory, it was another step in the right direction for Gregg Downer’s young team, who proved that they can compete with more veteran teams like the Raiders, who start 2 juniors and 3 seniors. The Aces now move on to their next game at Haverford on January 11.