The Aces raced to an early 9-2 lead and never looked back in a 73-57 victory over Abington on Monday night at the Kobe Bryant Classic. Steve Pendleton 15 led LM with a career-high 20 points and Corey Sherman 15 added 19 points in the win.
A hot start proved to be the difference as LM played perhaps their finest 16 minutes of the season to date over the first two quarters. The Aces nailed five three-pointers and thwarted the Ghosts high-flying perimeter attack en route to a 35-14 halftime lead. LM led 40-18 early in the third quarter, before Abington mounted a comeback to cut the margin to 15 at the end of the frame. The Ghosts crept to within 13 early in the fourth, but a Sherman trey at the 6:25 mark put the Aces up 54-34.
Much of the final frame was played at the foul line as the Ghosts tried to extend the game. LM made 35 trips to the charity stripe a season-high and nailed 25, including six in a row down the stretch from Jule Brown 15, who tallies 17 points, 6 assists and 3 steals. LM also hit a season-high eight threes in the contest.
The Aces once again received important contributions from a number of players. Asher Barry 15 led LM with seven rebounds to go along with eight points and two charges taken. KJ Helton 16 was a presence on both sides of the ball, knocking down a big second-half trey and dishing out four assists to go along with five points and three steals. Dion Harris 17 provided a spark off the bench, patrolling the paint and connecting on four points in transition during the Aces big second quarter run. Also seeing action were Terrell Jones 17, Eli Needle 16, Mike Berg 16, Joel Dunoff 15 and Jeremy Horn 16.
All in all, it was a quality win against a worthy opponent. Abington entered the game 7-2 and boasted one of the areas better backcourt tandems in Matt Penecale and Amir Hinton. The Aces held Hinton to a season low of seven points and delivered a strong response to their loss two nights earlier to state-ranked Parkland. In that game, a poor start and barrage of Parkland threes spelled doom in an ugly 70-49 defeat. On Monday, the Aces turned the tables and got perhaps their best win in 2014.
LM opens the New Year with a trip to 3A state-title contender Susquehanna Township on January 3 in the 2015 Susquehanna Play-By-Play Classic. Tip-off is 8:30 PM.