By Prince Huizenga '18
Noah Fennell '17 scored a career-high 21 points and Jeremy Horn '16 added a career-high 19 points, but the Aces couldn't fend off Coatesville down the stretch, dropping their opener 61-55 on the road.
LM controlled play for much of the first half against the athletic Red Raiders, jumping to a 17-11 lead late in the first quarter behind strong play from Horn and Fennell, who drilled two treys in the opening frame. Coatesville battled back, drawing to within three by the end of the quarter, then taking a one point lead early in the second quarter. Another three by Fennell, an inside score from Horn and a driving layup by Terrell Jones '17 extended the Aces' advantage to seven with two to minutes to go in the half, but once again Coatesville made a late run and nailed a three just before intermission to pull within two at 31-29.
The two teams traded baskets early in the third quarter, before the Red Raiders found their stride and pushed the margin to a game-high nine points. Fennell drilled a three to close the quarter and kept the Aces within striking distance at 47-41.
LM kept things close in the fourth, narrowing the gap to two points twice. With less than two minutes on the clock, LM stole the ball in the press and had a chance to tie, but could not convert from close range. Coatesville extended their lead to five, but the Aces countered with another Fennell three to keep things tight. The Red Raiders made enough free throws down the stretch to keep LM at bay.
The Aces are looking to fill big shoes this year as they return just one starter from last year's state playoff team and just a handful of players with varsity experience. Despite the loss on Friday, the team showed it can compete with a strong District 1 opponent.
The Aces return to action on Tuesday night in the home opener against Penncrest at 7 PM.