As the clock ticked under four minutes and Lower Merion trailing Springfield by four points, Lower Merion girls’ basketball head coach Lauren Pellicane was hoping her team learned from tough losses earlier in the season to find a way to pull out a victory.
With solid offensive execution, some key shot making combined with defensive stops the Aces fought back to earn the 37-35 win Jan. 16 and in the process help Pellicane earn the 200th win of her coaching career at Lower Merion.
“It wasn’t even on my mind”, said Pellicane referring to the milestone following her team’s 62-53 win over Bodine Jan. 17 at the 10th Annual Hoops or Hope Classic benefitting the Make-A-Wish Foundation held at University of Sciences to pull LM’s record even at 8-8 for the year. “We have lost a couple of close games earlier in the season so to execute down the stretch and pull this one out was the exclamation point today. It shows the growth of our program”.
Pellicane added, “With regard to the milestone, it speaks to the efforts and dedication of our players who have left their mark on our program as well as the hard work of my coaching staff over the years.”
“It means a lot,” said senior Margo Urheim, referring to he victory over Springfield. “I have been through many season, many tough seasons and getting a win like that is huge. For Coach Pellicane to reach a milestone is just a bonus. I have incredible respect for her and this a great win and her accomplishment is well deserved.”
“It’s incredible,” said current assistant coach and fomer player Kiki Worku ’12, who played her college ball for Lauren’s father at Dowling University. “I did not know where she was in relation to this milestone and for me to be part of something like this is incredible. She has helped me so much and I would not be where I am today without her.”
Prior to Pellicane’s arrival, Lower Merion had a string of District 1 Playoff appearances and one Central League title. Since she has been at the helm, the Aces have been to the PIAA District One playoffs eight times (including two trips to the semi-finals in 2008-09 and 2010-11); the PIAA State Playoffs five times (including a trip to the final four in 2010-11); four Central League titles (including undefeated seasons in 2009 and 2011) along with having many players achieve individual accomplishments including all-state recognition; all-Southeastern Pennsylvania; all league and Central League Player of the Year.
“With all of her teams, Pellicane not only coaches players to be successful during their seasons at Lower Merion, but also develops a competitive environment to improve players in hopes of advancing their careers after high school,” said current Gettysburg standout and Lower Merion alum Jessie Porter ’12. “A huge part of her time and hard work during the season is to help players improve their individual skills,”I value the support that Pellicane gave me in high school and her continued support after I graduated, in addition to many of her other former players. She had followed my basketball career, stayed in contact with me, and has even organized the Lower Merion girls team to attend my games when in the area. Similarly, I follow the LM team and Pellicane with great excitement, especially with her 200th win! It is a great accomplishment and I am very excited for her and the Lower Merion program. I would like to thank her and congratulate her for this impressive achievement.”