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
With the exception of eight teams, every other team is preparing for either the PIAA State Tournament…. or next season. Here’s a quick look at the District 1 Class AAAA Championship Gams that will be played on Friday at 9pm at Villanova’s Pavilion:
Class AAAA – #2 Lower Merion vs. #1 Chester – 9pm
History Lesson: It’s the matchup everyone has been predicting since December: Lower Merion vs. Chester for the chance to win the District 1 Class AAAA Championship. The Aces and Clippers met twice last season; Chester won both meetings. In the 2012 District 1 Final, Rondae Jefferson scored 13 points and grabbed 21 rebounds as Chester won 61-53. It was a little more lopsided in the PIAA State Tournament Final, as the Clippers routed Lower Merion 59-33 to win their second straight state title. The Clippers have won 21 District 1 titles to LM’s 15. The Aces last won a District Title in 1996 behind Kobe Bryant’s 34 points. Who did they beat? You named it, Chester. Fun Fact: This will be the sixth all-time meeting between the two schools. Chester leads the series 3-2.
- How They Got Here: Lower Merion: First Round: Defeated #31 Conestoga 59-42. Second Round: Defeated #15 Penncrest 75-42. Quarterfinal: Defeated #10 Coatesville 73-63. Semifinal: Defeated #3 Great Valley 61-35. Chester: First Round: Defeated #32 West Chester Rustin 86-57. Second Round: Defeated #16 Strath Haven 85-44. Quarterfinal: Defeated #9 Upper Darby 78-29. Semifinal: Defeated #5 Abington 76-43.
- Projected Starting Lineups: Lower Merion: B.J Johnson, JaQuan Johnson, Raheem Hall, Justin McFadden, Yohanny Dalembert. Chester: Conrad Chambers, Rondae Jefferson, Darius Robinson, Rashan DeJarnette, Richard Granberry.
- Scouting Chester: The two-time defending state champions come into Friday’s District Final with a 23-3 overall record, with its three losses all coming t0 nationally-ranked teams. The Clippers tore up Del-Val play, once again, finishing with an unblemished 10-0 mark. Arizona commit Rondae Jefferson and Richard Granberry, both listed at 6’7″, will be the X-Factors for the Clippers on Friday night. If the Aces can match CHS’s athleticism and size, they’ll have a decent chance. Watch out for junior guard Conrad Chambers and senior guard Darius Robinson, who aren’t afraid to shoot a jumper under any circumstances.
Scouting Lower Merion: The Aces breezed through Central League play and finished with a perfect 16-0 league record and a 25-2 mark overall, with losses to Neumann-Goretti and Imhotep Charter. LM’s closest league win was a 57-50 victory over Ridley in the Central League championship game, a game where the Green Raiders couldn’t miss – almost literally. The key for the Aces, as stated above, will be to win the boards and hold Chester to one-shot possessions. Yohanny Dalembert (6’6″) and Co. will be responsible for those difficult tasks. The Aces won’t necessarily beat teams with their outside shooting. Can they hit open jumpers? Absolutely, but Lower Merion is a drive-happy team with speedy guards such as junior JaQuan Johnson, B.J. Johnson, and Raheem Hall.
- The Bench: Both teams are oddly similar to one another, including their depth. For the Aces, sophomore Corey Sherman and senior Baird Howland will be the first two off coach Gregg Downer’s bench. For Larry Yarbray and Chester, Isaiah Warren and James Kirksey will be the first two to check into the scorers table.
- The Pick: Chester 68, Lower Merion 60