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PIAA State Boys Basketball Tournament: Cedar Crest’s Strong Start Not Enough Against Lower Merion in Season-Ending Clash


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The Cedar Crest Falcons earned their spot in the PIAA State Championship Tournament after finishing 6th in District 3. This set-up for a trip to play Lower Merion, the site of Cedar Crest’s last State Playoff win in 2015. The Aces have a long tradition of excellence that includes a little-known player named Kobe Bryant. More recently, Lower Merion is this year’s District 1 Champion and has looked poised to make a deep run in the PIAA State Tournament. However, the Falcons are senior-heavy and have shown that they do not back down easily.

In the 1st quarter, Cedar Crest showed that they came to play. Owen Chernich was the hot hand early, scoring 6 points as the Falcons only trailed by 1 point after the opening frame. In the 2nd quarter, Lower Merion began to capitalize and rode a balanced scoring attack to a 42-28 lead at the half. Aiden Schomp scored 6 points in the 2nd quarter, but it was not enough to match the firepower that the Aces put on display.

The 3rd quarter was the exact 25-12 spread as the 2nd and Lower Merion continued to break away. Down 67-40 going into the 4th quarter, the Falcons continued to battle until the final buzzer. Unfortunately, the result was still lopsided and does not reflect how Crest was able to go toe-to-toe with one of the State’s best teams.

Chernich scored 11 points to lead Cedar Crest. Leo Tirado hit three three-pointers to finish with 9 points. The three-pointers were a significant difference in this game, as Lower Merion drained ten shots from beyond the arc.

Cedar Crest finishes the 2023-2024 season with a 21-8 record. They completed their mission of winning the Lancaster Lebanon League Championship and fought hard to make it to States before seeing their season end on the Main Line.

For more on the game, check out Andy Herr’s coverage on


Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Cedar Crest 16 12 12 15 55
Lower Merion 17 25 25 18 85

CC Scoring: O. Chenich (11); L. Tirado (9); F. Marquez (8); R. Young (7); A. Schomp (6); J. Custer (5); D. Groff (4)



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