The Aces led throughout most of the first three quarters, but couldn’t hang on in a 53-41 loss to Pennsbury on Saturday night. Corey Sherman led the way with 12 points and took home team MVP honors in the Scholastic Play-By-Play Tip-off Classic at Philadelphia University.
The Aces faced a tall task on Saturday night against the Falcons, who returned the nucleus from their 2014 District 1 finalist team. With several key players out of the lineup and facing a decided height disadvantage, LM looked to dictate tempo and slow the Falcons’ attack.
LM did just that, keeping Pennsbury off balance and moving the ball with pace and precision in a nearly perfect first half. The Aces led 5-0 through the first four minutes and 14-9 at the end of the quarter thanks to a strong ball-control offense and stingy defense. Behind three-pointers from Sherman, KJ Helton ’16 (8 points) and Jule Brown ‘15, (7 points, five assists) LM pushed the lead to as many as seven points in the second before the Falcons closed the gap to 25-23 at halftime.
The Aces led by as many as five in a taught third quarer before an 8-2 Pennsbury run at the end of the period gave the Falcons their first lead. In the fourth, the Aces went cold, shooting just 1-14 in the period. Still, they trailed by just six points at the halfway mark of the quarter and had several clean looks from three to make it a one possession game. The shots didn’t fall, however, and Pennsbury was able to extend their lead on free throws when the Aces were forced to foul. LM finally got their first bucket of the period with less than two minutes to play on a deep three by Steve Pendleton ’15 (9 points).
Despite the loss, LM showed promise in its season opener, with a number of players performing capably in their first extended varsity minutes, including Helton, Terrell Jones ’17 (5 points) and Eli Needle ’16.
The Aces return to action on Tuesday night at Penncrest in their Central League opener. Game time is 7 PM.