Lower Merion Ends Chester’s Reign As PIAA Quad-A Champs

Sunday, March 24, 2013 | 3:17 AM

The weekend ended in Hershey as the PIAA Basketball Championships came to a conclusion with an exciting Quad A Boys title game. The move back to Chocolate Town was a success at the box office as 24,582 attended this year's eight title games, up almost 10 thousand from last year's championships at the Bryce Jordan Center.

Here is a recap of the Lower Merion victory:

Lower Merion Aces 63 – Chester Clippers 47

The Aces ended the two year reign of the Clippers with the victory in the PIAA Boys Quad-A championship at GIANT Center on Saturday night. The Aces have now won seven state titles, it’s the first since 2006. Syracuse recruit B.J. Johnson led all scorers with 22 points and snagged 11 rebounds to lead the Aces.

Chester defeated Lower Merion in last year’s final 59-33 and in this year’s District 1 championship 60-47. It’s the ninth consecutive year that a District 1 team has played for the title, in fact it’s been an all D-1 final in 6 of the last 9 years. The Aces continue the six year championship reign for a District 1 team.

It looked like the Clippers would run away and hide in the first quarter, scoring the first six points of the game. Lower Merion stormed back on three-pointers by B.J. Johnson and Justin McFadden to take an 8-6 lead. The Clippers took back the lead on a Rondae Jefferson slam, leading 14-12 after the first quarter.

The second quarter went back and forth with three ties and four lead changes. Chester took back the lead with 3:10 remaining in the half on a Darius Robinson basket, little did anyone know it would be the last Chester lead of the night. Baird Howland came off the bench and drilled a three to give Lower Merion back the lead, that three started a run of 10 straight points to end the half, the Aces up 28-20 at the break.

The third period looked like the first, Chester went on a six point run to cut the score to 30-26, the teams traded baskets until Howland struck again from behind the arc to put the Aces up ten. Yohanny Dalembert took over the game in the fourth, the brother of Milwaukee Bucks center Samuel Dalembert, scored 8 points in the fourth, including a basket support shaking one handed jam. The Aces outscored the Clippers 20-11 in the final frame to claim their 30th win on the season with just 3 losses.

Raheem Hall scored 12 points for Lower Merion, Dalembert added 7 rebounds with his 10 points. McFadden scored only 5 points, but grabbed 9 rebounds. The Aces shot 12 of 21 in the second half and 21-43 for the game, good for 48 percent. Lower Merion had 5 three pointes on the night, the Aces were 16 of 27 from the foul line.

Jefferson led the way for the Clippers with a double-double, 12 points and 18 rebounds, he dished out 5 assists. Richard Granberry also had a double-double with 10 points and rebounds each. Chester shot 19 for 60 for the game, at 31 percent, the Clippers were 1 of 13 behind the arc. Chester also struggled from the foul line, going 8 of 15. As was the case in all four championship games today, the losing team won the battle of the glass, Chester had 42 rebounds to Lower Merion’s 33.

Score By Quarters:
Lower Merion Aces  12 – 16 – 15 – 20 = 63
Chester Clippers  14 – 6 – 16 – 11 = 47


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