Tyler Sablich (@TySablich)
Fresh off his 7-point, 11-rebound performance against Neumann-Goretti, Lower Merion senior center Yohanny Dalembert remained modest and reserved as to where he would play basketball beyond his high school career.
When asked where he pictures himself playing next season, Dalembert simply said “college basketball.”
Dalembert, the younger brother of former Sixer and current Milwaukee Buck, Samuel ‘Slammin Sammy’ Dalembert, is currently the 59th-ranked center in Pennsylvania according to MaxPreps.com. At the beginning of last season, he was considered the third best center in the state according to the same source.
In Lower Merion’s 70-64 losing effort against Neumann-Goretti, Dalembert played strong in the first half before getting into foul trouble in the second half. With Lower Merion trailing 65-57, Dalembert fouled out with 2:25 remaining.
Dalembert, who said he believes the game could have turned out differently if he hadn’t fouled out, was angry with himself following the loss.
“I think the team could have used me for extra rebounding,” Dalembert said. “It’s my fault, I welcome that. I wanted to stay out of foul trouble.”
Davis was the primary reason Dalembert succumbed to foul trouble. Davis, an aggressive player by nature, was around the basket all night with Dalembert having to defend and not allow any easy buckets.
“It was a tough matchup,” Dalembert said. “He’s very good around the rim and can score the basketball. It was really hard to stop.”
“(Dalembert) got in a foul trouble because (Davis) was more aggressive,” Neumann-Goretti coach Carl Arrigale said. “In the first half, I don’t know if (Davis) thought he was going to get the resistance Dalembert was giving him on the first couple moves.”
As for Davis, he admitted that Dalembert fouling out may have helped his squad close out Lower Merion.
“Once I got the last foul on him, that really helped us out a lot,” Davis said. “We got to finish, we got to the rim.”
Lower Merion coach Gregg Downer said Dalembert’s absence hurt down the stretch, but that he had other players off the bench he had confidence in to fill his senior center’s role. Overall, he came away pleased with Dalembert’s performance.
“We have other players that we think can produce in that situation,” Downer said. “[Dalembert] is an aggressive player, so foul trouble is gonna be an issue all season long. He did a pretty good job of controlling the rim back there.”
After losing to Chester last season in the State Finals, Dalembert can only hope to build on his already impressive resume and follow in his brother’s footsteps.