For the first time since 2013, the Aces are headed to the District 1 Finals! LM went on the road again Tuesday night and delivered a resounding 56-41 victory against dangerous league foe Garnet Valley, a team that hadn’t lost since falling to the Aces 73-64 back on February 15. With the win, LM captured the season series 2-1 against the Jaguars and earned a measure of payback for a missed opportunity in the league playoffs. Garnet Valley won the Central League title with the Aces varsity sitting on the sidelines during the league tourney in COVID protocol.
On Tuesday, with the stakes at their highest, LM came up clutch. Using patient offense and a smothering defense, the Aces held the high-flying Jaguars to their lowest scoring output of the season.
Demetrius Lilley ‘22 (18 points) and Sam Davison ‘21 (17 points) paced the LM attack, which was a masterpiece in ball control. LM’s lead guards -- Davison, Jaylen Shippen ‘22, and Sam Brown ‘23 -- kept the Jaguars off balance, moving the ball crisply until an opportune moment to attack, often resulting in a Lilley post-up or Davison drive to the rim. On the defensive side, the Aces displayed the grit and resilience that has marked this surprising playoff run -- and got better as the game went on. After a tight first half that saw the Jaguars connect on five threes, the Aces locked down and held Garnet to just 18 total points and one second half three.
LM maintained a double-digit margin throughout the fourth quarter, and went 11-12 from the foul line in the final frame to prevent any chance of a GV comeback.
The Aces received on-court contributions from a number of players and an equally important lift from an energized bench that has carried the squad through its postseason travels. And now, they’ll have a chance to play for a championship -- at home. By virtue of being the highest seed left standing, LM will host Abington Friday night at 7 PM in the District 1 title game.