The Aces used their best defensive quarter of the year to ignite a 65-42 victory against Souderton on Saturday at Wissahickon HS. Tied 24-24 at halftime, the Maroon & White exploded on a 20-1 outburst in the 3rd and never looked back in handling the Indians in a final tune-up before the State Playoffs. With the win, the Aces enter state play as the #3 seed from District 1 and will open against Carlisle (#4 seed from District 3) next Saturday (time/location TBD).
Carl Johnson scored 19 points and Greg Robbins had 13 points and 10 rebounds to pace the Aces' attack. Ten Lower Merion players scored on the afternoon, with the Aces receiving key contributions off the bench from Steve Meehan (6 points), Adam Ellison (5 rebounds, one point), Ben Lucas (3 points, 2 steals, 2 rebounds) and Will Jones (6 points). Kevin Escott provided a spark in the starting lineup, contributing 9 points, 3 rebounds and 3 steals. Eric Barefield (4 points) and Eric Stahler (2 points) had strong floor games, tallying five assists each. Mike Joseph once again rounded out the scoring with a bucket in the closing seconds.
After jumping out to an 11-7 first quarter lead, the Aces took their foot off the gas, enabling Souderton to go up seven midway through the 2nd quarter. A rally in the closing minutes of the frame, keyed by threes from Lucas and Robbins and a driving layup by Escott, sent the Aces into the locker room on a strong note. The run continued in the third thanks to lockdown defense and a punishing fast break. Johnson and Barefield set the tone with two quick steals in the opening minute of the half and the Aces began to build their margin. Seven minutes later, the lead was 44-25. The one-point scored by the Indians in the quarter was a single-quarter low for an Aces opponent this year. Souderton's final tally was its third lowest point output of the season.
The Aces conclude the District 1 playoffs with a 4-1 record for the 2nd consecutive season. The 06-07 squad is the fifth team under Coach Gregg Downer to win 4 or more games in District play.