Xavier Edwards and his Norristown High teammates thrived against Lower Merion with their ball movement and unselfishness.
“We played like we always do, as a team,” the 6-foot, 190-pund senior guard said. “There are no individuals on this team. We’re a brotherhood.”
Edwards was one of five double-digit scorers for the Eagles as they topped Lower Merion, 71-61, Saturday afternoon in the second annual Diane Mosco Foundation Shootout at Archbishop Wood.
Edwards (17 points), Aaron Reddish (13), Tyler Lyons (11), Nazir Kinney (11), and Mickeel Allen (10) led the way for Dana “Binky” Johnson’s squad.
“We’re a tough team to be beat when we share the ball, play good defense, and execute the plays our coach draws up for us,” Edwards said.
After being at Norristown, Edwards last year moved to North Carolina, lived with his aunt, and played basketball for Overhills High.
“I enjoyed my time in North Carolina, but I just felt like it was best for me to come back home and finish up at Norristown,” he said.
Edwards shot 5 for 6 from the field (1 for 1 from beyond the arc) and 6 for 7 from the free-throw line against Lower Merion. The 18-year-old added five rebounds, three assists, and a steal.
The Eagles (2-1) began to pull away from the Aces (4-1) late in the third quarter.
Allen’s inside bucket and Reddish’s and Marcus Sanford’s back-to-back steals and fastbreak layups gave Norristown a 47-38 advantage.
Lyons, a senior guard, handed out six of his eight assists in the first quarter; Reddish drilled three three-pointers; and the 6-4 Allen (six third-quarter points) posted five boards (three on offense) and two blocked shots.
Lyons’ right-wing trey put Norristown ahead by 59-49 with 3 1/2 minutes remaining.
“We really want to get to the district final this year and win it all,” Lyons said. “And then, hopefully, we can do some damage in states.”
The Eagles lost to eventual champion Abington in the quarterfinal round of the PIAA District 1 Class 6A playoffs last season, placed seventh in the consolation bracket, and bowed to District 2’s Hazleton in the first round of states.
Lower Merion played without 6-5 senior wing Jack Forrest. The Columbia recruit suffered a high ankle sprain in Tuesday’s 54-41 win over Central League rival Haverford High and could be sidelined for up to six weeks.
Senior floor general Steve Payne spurred the Aces, who were slowed by eight second-half turnovers, with a career-high 30 points. He added six boards and three assists.
Lower Merion 20 12 10 19 - 61
Norristown 21 9 19 22 - 71
LM: Steve Payne 30, Darryl Taylor 12, Josh Martin 3, Matt O’Connor 11, Theo Henry 2, Julian Hairston 3.
N: Xavier Edwards 17, Aaron Reddish 13, Mickeel Allen 10, Marcus Sanford 5, Tyler Lyons 11, Nazir Kinney 11, Willie Anderson 4.