The Aces made a triumphant curtain call on Friday night, capping a stirring league and District playoff run with a 66-46 victory over Downingtown West in their final home game of the season.
LM took an early 13-12 first quarter lead, then blitzed the Whippets with an 18-4 second quarter run that effectively put the game out of reach.
It was by no means the prettiest performance of the season; but the Aces got the job done with energy, speed and grit, particularly on the defensive end - smothering Downingtown West?s guards and keeping their sizable and talented front line in check. It was a team effort, with numerous Aces seeing action and making contributions. Ten players entered the scoring column, with Terrell Jones ?17 (18 points), Jack Forrest ?19 (13 points) and Steve Payne (12 points) each reaching double-figures. The Aces? tally of 66 points was the most given up by the Whippets this season.
Senior Sean Ryan capped the night with a deep three ball from the right corner, drawing a roar from an adoring Bryant Gymnasium crowd that turned out in droves to celebrate LM?s unlikely late season run. It didn?t seem to matter that the District Final was being played up the road at Villanova; Aces Nation ? including a large contingent of distinguished alumni ? showed up and showed love to a young, scrappy Aces team that had overcome multiple double-digit deficits, a triple-overtime thriller and three do-or-die games in qualifying for States.
The Aces finish the District Playoffs with a 4-1 record and improve to 6-1 overall this postseason, including their title run in the Central League tournament. The team's overall record stands at 21-8.
The Aces now turn their attention to the PIAA 6A State Playoffs and a first round matchup next Saturday at 5:30 PM at Pleasant Valley High School with District 11 champions Pocono Mountain West. The Panthers crushed Parkland 83-59 on Saturday to clinch their first District title since 2012.
This is LM?s seventh consecutive trip to the state playoffs, the longest active streak among District 1 6A teams and the longest streak in the program?s storied history.