By Sam Oshtry '19
The Aces advanced to the second round of the District 1 Playoffs with a 70-57 win over Central Bucks South on Friday night in a packed Bryant Gymnasium.
The Aces’ momentum from their Central League title victory carried over as they jumped out to an 8-0 start and led 23-11 at the end of the first quarter, punctuated by a Noah Fennell three at the buzzer. The Aces continued to move the ball well in the second frame with key contributions off the bench from Khadafy Bilal ‘17 (four points in the period) and Theo Henry ‘19, who answered a Titans three with an old-fashioned three-point play of his own. LM led by as many as 18 points before the Titans closed the margin to 40-24 at the half.
CB South went on a run to start the second half, briefly cutting the Aces lead to six midway through the third, but LM stemmed the tide thanks to threes by Steve Payne ‘19 and Matt O’Connor ‘19. LM led 50-41 heading into the fourth and extended their lead back to double figures early in the quarter on layups by Terrell Jones ‘17 and Darryl Taylor ‘19. A few key stops and transition baskets allowed the Aces to pull away for good, though the Titans battled hard and extended the contest by sending the Aces to the foul line over the last two minutes.
The leadership of Fennell and Jones was key; the Aces’ two senior starters -- both four year varsity players -- led the team with 16 points apiece and ensured that LM kept its composure with the season on the line. It was the Aces’ seventh consecutive opening round playoff win and their first by double-digits since 2014.
With the victory, the Aces improve to 18-7 and will travel to league rival Conestoga for the second round of the playoffs. Gametime is 6 PM on Tuesday night.