By Leo Clibanoff '18
LM earned an important victory before the holidays, beating league contender Garnet Valley 77-68 in a rescheduled contest on Saturday. The Aces game vs. the Jaguars had been postponed due to last week's snow storm, prompting a rare Saturday matinee that provided entertaining action for a healthy home crowd, including numerous alumni home for the break.
Five Aces reached double figures, led by Steve Payne '19 (23 points) and Harrison Klevan '18 (18 points), in a high-scoring, fast-paced affair. The victory was a measure of revenge for LM, who lost twice to the talented Jaguars last season, including a home loss that ended on a 60-foot buzzer eater.
The Aces started hot on offense with four threes in the first four minutes, including two by Harrison Klevan off of two assists from Isaiah Morgan ’18, one from Payne and one from Jack Forrest '19. At the end of the first, the Aces held a three-point lead, with Klevan contributing eight points.
Payne led the Aces in the second, scoring 11 points in the frame and helping LM to open their largest lead of the game at 38-24. At the half, LM was up 41-30 and had made eight threes through two quarters. The Aces maintained their margin in the third, finishing the frame up 63-52. It seemed that every time Garnet made a run in the quarter, LM had an answer -- with Payne making big plays and Josh Martin '19 scoring six of his 10 points in the quarter.
In the fourth, Garnet made a final surge, drawing within five points with less than four minutes to play. But a soaring layup by Darryl Taylor '19 and another three by Klevan helped keep the Jaguars at bay. LM hit enough free throws down the stretch to seal the victory.
The Aces will enjoy a couple days off for the holiday and then prepare to take on Coatesville on December 29th at Philadelphia University.