Latest posts by Teddy Bailey (see all)
- Lower Merion, Chester Advance to State Final (Storify) - March 19, 2013
- Chester 55, Great Valley 42: Jefferson, Clippers Advance to State Semifinals - March 16, 2013
- Coatesville 52: J.P. McCaskey 51: Boggs, Red Raiders Upset Tornado - March 9, 2013
Eddie Baxter scored 19 points and Rahmi Halaby added nine as the Penncrest Lions (16-7) defeated the Spring-Ford Rams (14-9) 49-47 in front of another capacity crowd at Kaufman Gymnasium in Media, Pennsylvania in the first round of the District 1 Class AAAA Playoffs.
“We won on the glass and did just enough to get by”, said Penncrest forward Rahmi Halaby. “We played hard throughout the whole game and we did what we needed to do.”
Baxter began scoring immediately, knocking down a three to score the first points of the game.
“Hitting the first shot is big”, said Baxter. “You’re always a little tightened up before the game. If you hit the first shot, everything starts going in then.”
It was a back-and-forth contest all game long, as Baxter and Mike O’Hara had tremendous games offensively. The Lions led the Rams 24-22 at the half thanks to 11 points courtesy of Eddie Baxter.
“We’ve been pleading with Eddie to shoot more”, said Penncrest coach Mike Doyle.” We’ve been saying, Eddie, you’re one of the best guards in District One, you need to go out and play. He went out (tonight) and showed the level of player he is. He stepped up tonight.”
Matt O’Hara scored a game-high 23 points in the losing effort including three 3-pointers. Zameer McDowell and Nick Stanek each added 10 points for the Rams.
McDowell is one of the best scorers in all of District One, as the 6’5″ senior is averaging 14 points and 10 rebounds per game. McDowell had a tough night at the free throw line, but the Lions, with their size, were able to slow him down on Friday night.
“It was huge”, said Doyle.” We felt that we were in a good place with our bigs. He’s a heck of a player.”
“One thing they do well is push the ball really well, so we wanted to get back in transition. We wanted McDowell to make shots over us. If he made a shot over us, so be it.”
The Lions will have a rematch against a Central League foe in the second round on Tuesday night, as the Lower Merion Aces beat Conestoga earlier tonight.
“It seems like we’re constantly there (Lower Merion) for district playoffs or central league playoffs”, Doyle said. “It’s the benchmark program. We had a taste of it before, but we’ll be ready.”
“We need to slow their offense down, keep them out of transition, and not turnover the ball”, said Halaby. “We should be alright.”
The Lions took a beating the first time they faced the Aces, losing 70-42 in a game that was expected to be a thriller.
“They’re good”, Baxter said. “We gotta figure something out.”