THANK YOU, ACES!! LM’s remarkable run through the postseason concluded Saturday in the state quarterfinals, but what a ride it has been. After starting the season 2-5, the prospects looked bleak for a return to glory. But the Aces battled through adversity and turned the season around in a huge way.
LM reeled off 14 straight Central League wins to capture a third consecutive league title. For the third year in a row, they finished 4-1 in the District playoffs, beating four league champs in the process, after beginning as the #9 seed. They earned a state playoff berth on the road at Penn Wood – clinching their fourth straight state appearance for the first time since 1940-43. They made it to the final week of the season thanks to a stunning win over Roman Catholic, a nationally-ranked opponent and the state’s top-ranked 4A team. They finished 8-2 in the postseason and 21-3 in 2014. They ignited the Dawg Pound, made us believe and created a beautiful, memorable, victorious chapter in the storied history of Lower Merion Basketball.
Special thanks to the Aces’ super seniors, Justin McFadden, JaQuan Johnson, Oliver Henry, Adrian Levitt and Dave Baer. This is an amazing group of young men who represented the jersey as well as any senior class in history.
Oliver, Adrian and Dave provided strong leadership on and off the court, and did it with humility, class and a work ethic second to none. Whether it was diving for loose balls, taking a charge, grabbing a key rebound or simply saying something meaningful in the locker room – they did it all and their contributions cannot be overstated.
JaQuan concludes his career as one of the most decorated three-year starters in team history. He helped lead the Aces to a state title last year and another finals appearance in 2012. He battled through a shoulder injury this postseason and had perhaps the best game of his career against Roman in one of the most inspiring individual performances in team history.
Justin was a four-year varsity player and three-year starter who truly left it all on the floor every time he suited up for the Maroon & White. He was the heart and soul of this year’s team and his inspired play over the second half of the season keyed the Aces’ run. This week he was named Central League Player of the Year and notched the 101st victory during his player career – the most in Aces history.
Most impressive was that this team went to work every day for nearly five months, playing their hearts out every time they took the floor. They overcame obstacles and injuries. They learned to win. They believed in each other. They made believers out of all of us. After being written-off at the start of the season, the 2013-14 Aces took us for an improbable, amazing ride. They competed like champions – like Aces – and in so doing captured the hearts of Aces Nation.
THANK YOU, ACES!!