PIAA 6A Playoffs - First Round
11-1 Pocono Mountain West vs. 1-9 Lower Merion
March 10, 2017 - Pleasant Valley High School, Brodheadsville, PA - 5:30 pm
Lower Merion (21-8) will make its 7th consecutive trip to the state playoffs. This is the longest active streak among District 1 6A teams. This is also the longest streak in the rich program's history. Leading the way for the Aces in his 27th year is Greg Downer. Downer has helped lead Lower Merion to 535 victories and three PIAA state titles since 1990. The Aces head into this year's field as champions of the Central League. Lower Merion has claimed 5 of the last 9 league titles and their first since 2014.
Lower Merion is led by a dynamic duo of seniors who have started all four years, Terrell Jones and Noah Fennell. Jones, a 6'4 guard, and Fennell, a 6'1 guard, have been offensive forces for the Aces. More importantly, they have senior leaders for their team that is predominantly underclassmen. The Aces 2019 class have been huge contributors to their team's success. Jack Forrest, who handles the ball for Lower Merion, as well as Steve Payne normally find their way to double digit points. Matt O'Connor, Darryl Taylor, Theo Henry, and Joshua Martin round out the Aces' talented sophomore class. In a short time, these young guys have had much experience, especially making it to the state tournament last season. Watch out for the next few years as well from these Aces.
Lower Merion's opponent will be the District 11 6A champions, Pocono Mountain West (22-4). The Panthers have won the Mountain Valley Conference 7 of the last 12 seasons. Pocono Mountain West took down Parkland, 4-time defending champions, in the District 11 title game 83-58. The Panthers are led by a veteran coach as well, Brad Pensyl. Pensyl recently announced to his team he will be retiring after this season, his 28th year (15th with Pocono Mountain West).
The very talented Panthers are led by their big three seniors. Jalen Vaughns, a 6'5 forward, was a first team all-league selection this season. He recently passed the 1,000 career point total. Isaiah Wiggins, cousin of NBA star Andrew Wiggins, has been an all-league selection throughout his great career as well, runs the point for the Panthers. Lance Singh entered this season as Pocono Mountain West's all time leading scorer. Recently, he is coming off a school record, 36 point performance in the District 11 title game vs. Parkland. Travis Elmore (Junior) is a force for the Panthers on the boards, grabbing 14 in his last game. Pocono Mountain West is red hot entering Friday's contest, winning 14 of their last 15 games.