For the best high school basketball fans in America, there's no need for a reminder. There's only one place to get warm on cold, Friday nights in December - one swirling sea of maroon suitable for a bonafide basketball baptism - one time when everything else stops and all of Aces Nation comes together in a deafening roar of solidarity...
It's showtime at Aces Stadium, baby! Basketball season is baaaaacck!
After a nearly ten month hiatus that included nothing more than a state championship and more recently, another tip-off tourney title, the boys in Maroon & White return home Friday night to the high school basketball capital of Pennsylvania for what should be an exciting early season contest against rival Springfield. Tip-off is 7:30 PM. Pregame festivities include a tailgate party and bar-b-que in the back parking lot. The Dawg Pound is calling for a Maroon Sea in the stands, with all fans expected to wear maroon. For those who are in need of appropriate gear, a new batch of Aces Nation t-shirts will be sold at the game for $8.
The Aces enter the contest 2-0 with wins over Lancaster McCaskey and Parkland at the Eastern PA Tip-Off Tournament in Allentown last weekend. Junior Carl Johnson earned tournament MVP and sophomore Greg Robbins joined him on the all-tourney team after a 26-point outing in the finals. Springfield arrives at 3-0, with wins against St. Pius, Penn Wood and Harriton. Last season, the Cougars and Aces tangled four times, each game proving to be an epic battle. Though the Aces emerged victorious in three of those contests, including the district and state playoff games, Springfield stung LM with one of only two losses on its home court. The senior-laden Cougars return three starters from a year ago, including All-League performer and University of Maryland-Baltimore County signee Frank McKnight.
The last time the Aces played at home (February 21), they clinched a 2006 state playoff berth with a 68-35 second round district victory against Coatesville. Though less is at stake this time around, Friday night's outing could be an important indicator of the Aces' prospects this season. Is the program in re-building mode, or could this squad contend for a Central League title? Only time will tell, but one thing is certain: the Dawg Pound will be in full effect and hoping for an opening night splash in the Maroon Sea.