By Danny Kane
The Lower Merion Aces pulled off a big win at the Hakim Warrick Classic at Philadelphia University, beating Shabazz High School of Newark, NJ by a score of 76-60. Raheem Hall ?13 was named the game?s MVP, scoring a career-high 17 points for the Aces. Hall had no shortage of help, as ten of his teammates entered the scoring column, and several others made additional contributions. Senior Eric Green continued his stellar play by dominating the low post and scoring ten points, while Mike Robbins ?12 poured in 16 for the Aces. Lower Merion was hot from the start, leading 18-13 after the 1st quarter, and extending their margin to as many as 22 in the second half.
Shabazz, winners of three New Jersey state titles in the past decade, entered the game with a 14-4 record and boast one of North Jersey?s top point guards in junior Michael Reid. On paper, it appeared the Aces would be in for another difficult non-league contest. But the Aces matched the Bulldogs? speed and wore Shabazz down with depth and size. Aside from a sloppy fourth quarter and a few defensive lapses, LM put together one of its most convincing victories of the season.
With their fifth straight win on Sunday, the Aces? record stands at 13-7 with two games to play in the regular season. A home playoff game, which seemed implausible several weeks ago, is now within reach. Standing in the way are the Marple Newtown Tigers, who were responsible for Lower Merion?s only regular season Central League loss last year, and the Haverford Fords. The Aces still have much to prove in the weeks ahead, but if their performance against Shabazz is any indication, they are emerging as a team to watch as the playoffs approach.
Lower Merion: 18 15 22 21 ? 76
Shabazz: 13 11 14 22 ? 60