By Sam Oshtry '19
Noah Fennell '17 buried a game-tying three pointer in the final minute of regulation to cap a furious fourth-quarter comeback and the Aces outlasted CB East in a 58-54 triple-overtime playoff thriller.
Trailing 37-27 with less than four minutes to play in the game, the Aces? chances looked bleak. On a night when offense was scarce and the Patriots seemed to make all the right plays, a ten-point deficit seemed insurmountable.
But the Aces would not quit.
Jack Forrest ?19 started the run with a three from the left wing at the 3:37 mark -- just the Aces? second trey of the game after starting 0-13 from beyond the arc. After a Patriots? missed jumper, Noah Fennell ?17 drilled another three to pull the Aces with four at 37-33. CB East added a point on a free throw, but Jones answered with a driving dunk to narrow the margin to three points. A wild sequence ensued that ended with an Aces foul with less than a minute to play. The Patriots missed the front end of a one-and-one to set up Fennell?s heroics. CB had one more shot at the rim, but LM?s defense held to force overtime.
The first two overtimes featured almost no scoring, with both teams valuing possession and eating clock until the last shot. Neither team had a good look at the end of the first OT, but the Patriots had a deep three rattle in and out at the conclusion of the second extra period. LM seized control in the third overtime thanks to a bucket by Jones and excellent free throw shooting, including a combined eight straight from Jones, Theo Henry ?19 and Steve Payne ?19 -- who sealed the outcome with four consecutive makes in the final 15 seconds.
Jones and Forrest led the way with 19 points each. Noah Fennell finished with 10 points; Payne (8 points) and Henry (2 points) rounded out the scoring.
It was a remarkable turn of events and perhaps the most improbable comeback in the history of Bryant Gym -- much to the delight of the Dawg Pound. LM?s student section was at its best, providing energy and enthusiasm all night, especially down the stretch.
The Aces simply refused to lose and in doing so, extended their District playoff run. LM will travel to Pennsbury on Tuesday night for a 7 PM match-up with the sixth-seeded Falcons. The winner advances to the PIAA State Playoffs.