Aces overcome Penncrest 46-40; net important league win

Back to News List | Posted on Jan 10th, 2009
Alon Seltzer '10 looks to make a play in the Aces' win on Friday night
By Steve Mandelbaum

On Friday evening, the Aces headed into Penncrest’s gym with determination and grit, and walked out with their third win in a row, beating the Lions 46-40. It was an important victory for the Aces; Penncrest, a serious Central League contender this season, entered the night with only one loss and had been undefeated at home. With stifling, tenacious defense and clutch shooting, Lower Merion raced to an early 7-0 lead and never looked back.  Though Penncrest made a run in the 2nd half, the Aces never seemed to get deterred. At times, the Aces struggled from the field, but were somehow able to find a way to put the ball in the bucket, getting to the hoop and nailing some important, timely three-pointers. The Aces beat yet another formidable opponent with key players sidelined on injured reserve. LM’s win also ensured a successful homecoming for Head Coach Gregg Downer (Penncrest ’80), who captured career victory #346 in front of a host of friends and family.

Even though he didn’t match his season scoring average, Greg Robbins (6 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 blocks, 3 steals) again proved why he is a winner -- doing many of the little things the Aces have come to expect of their leader and senior co-captain. He controlled tempo from the point guard position, running the offense effectively and finding teammates with timely passes while playing strong defense on the Penncrest big men. Junior Alon Seltzer led all scorers with 23 points, bailing the Aces out of some difficult second-half shooting struggles and silencing an energetic Penncrest crowd time and time again with his offensive arsenal. Junior Oliver Cohen rose to the occasion, knocking down two huge threes, including one late in the fourth quarter that put the game on ice. Senior Vince Weldon played brilliant defense all night, helping to limit Penncrest’s talented playmaking guard Andrew Radomicki to one field goal and only four points. Harley Williamson filled-up the stat sheet, contributing 8 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists and 5 blocked shots.

Williamson also added the two highlights of the game: he stole a first quarter pass and sprinted to the rim for a thunderous slam. With two minutes left in the fourth quarter and the Maroon & White up by only four, Williamson smacked a Penncrest layup attempt off of the backboard, keying a fast break that led to an Aces basket.

It was a great defensive team effort by the Aces; they kept Penncrest out of the paint, contested shots and limited the Lions to their second lowest scoring output of the season. An effective, if imperfect Lower Merion offense combined with near-perfect defense was a combination that proved to be just enough to edge a hard-nosed, talented Penncrest team.

The Aces return home on Tuesday night to square-off against Radnor. Tip-off is 7:30 PM at Bala Cynwyd Middle School.

Box Score:

Lower Merion: 15 10  7 14 –  46
Penncrest:          7   8 13 12 – 40

LM: Alon Seltzer 23, Harley Williamson 8, Greg Robbins 6, Oliver Cohen 6, Aaron Staley 3.
PC: Marvin Little 16, Rodney Duncan 8, Rick Bailey 6, Austin Barrett 4, Andrew Radomicki 4, Matt Atkinson 2.