Just as Lower Merion and St. Joseph's Prep were about to tip off in the title game of the Kobe Bryant FamJuice Classic, the lights powered down, pitching Bryant Gymnasium into darkness.
During the 10-minute delay, Yohanny Dalembert worried about getting cold. Turns out, that's a concern no one needed to have Saturday.
The 6-foot-6 junior earned MVP honors as Lower Merion surged in the fourth quarter to beat St. Joe's Prep, 67-55.
The brother of former 76er Samuel Dalembert dominated on the inside, scoring 17 points and pulling down 21 rebounds. He also recorded a fistful of blocks, including a punctuating rejection in the final minute.
It was the kind of complete performance Dalembert has worked on putting together, fine-tuning his rebounding and free-throw skills.
"Every day after practice, we stay an extra hour," Dalembert said.
It took Lower Merion a while to get going. The Hawks led by two after the first quarter, four at halftime, and three entering the fourth quarter.
But the Aces took control in the final period. Syracuse-bound B.J. Johnson hit a three-pointer to tie it at 47, and Dalembert gave Lower Merion a lead it never relinquished.
Dalembert said it had to do with a couple of key players, Johnson and Raheem Hall, picking up their third foul in the first half.
"They were a little cold in the third quarter, and I think they warmed up through the end of the third," Dalembert said. "[Johnson] hit a couple of big threes, and that's what helped us get back in the game."
Their defense did, too.
Lower Merion held Wake Forest recruit Miles Overton to nine points, and Stephen Vasturia, who is headed to Notre Dame, to 15.
"Coming out of the locker room, we had to stop these two," Dalembert said. "They can't go off on us. Try to make other people make plays."
The game featured two of the area's best teams. Lower Merion, which had knocked off nationally ranked St. Frances (N.Y.) in the first round and came in ranked sixth in Southeastern Pennsylvania by The Inquirer, has won seven straight since opening the season with a loss to Neumann-Goretti.
The Prep (6-2) was ranked No. 3, with only a previous loss to Imhotep Charter.
"We're just going to have to try and be humble and build on this," Dalembert said.
St. Joseph's Prep 16 13 18 8 – 55
Lower Merion 14 11 19 23 – 67
SJP: Miles Overton 9, Kyle Thompson 12, Chris Clover 8, Dan Nedbal 11, Stephen Vasturia 15.
LM: JaQuan Johnson 12, Justin McFadden 7, Raheem Hall 12, Yohanny Dalembert 17, B.J. Johnson 19.