Aaron Staley '11 had nine points and seven rebounds in the Aces' win on Tuesday night
After losing two scholarship players and a stellar nine-member senior class in '09, there were few who believed the Aces would contend in the Central League this season. The 2009-10 campaign is still young, but the Aces have given the critics reason for pause. LM notched a third-straight victory on Tuesday night, knocking off a talented Ridley squad 41-35 in the Green Raiders' home gym. It was another hard-fought battle in the long and storied rivalry between two decorated programs. The Aces secured the win with balanced scoring, gritty defense and clutch free throw shooting.
Matt McKenna '11 and Aaron Staley '11 led the way with nine points apiece. Oliver Cohen '10, who got the Aces going with a three-pointer in the game's first possession, netted eight points. JJ Hoffstein (six points), Mike Robbins (5 points) and Mike Buchwald '11 (4 points) came off the bench to complete the scoring. All six of Hoffstein's points came at the charity stripe, including 4-4 shooting in the game's closing minutes.
The Aces trailed Ridley by a point after the first frame, but took a 20-15 lead into halftime thanks to a late 5-0 run in the the second quarter. Two steals with less than a minute to play in the half led to a Cohen three and driving lay-up from Buchwald. The Aces extended the margin to as many as 11 points early in the third quarter, before Ridley began to chip away behind the strong play of 6'9 Penn-bound star senior Cameron Gunther. The Green Raiders tied the game at 31-31 at the 4:08 mark of the fourth quarter, but Robbins was fouled on a made three-pointer and converted the free throw to give the Aces a 35-31 advantage. The Aces extended the lead to seven points and Hoffstein's efforts at the free-throw line prevented any late game heroics from the Green Raiders.
Staley (7 rebounds) and Buchwald (5 rebounds) helped the Aces win the battle of the boards. A total of ten LM players saw the floor, contributing to a true overall team effort. The Aces have held opponents to ten points or fewer in 12 consecutive quarters.
The Aces play three games over winter break. First up is Neshaminy on Monday 12/28 at 1 PM at Widener University. On Wednesday, 12/30, the Aces will take on Atlantic City at 4:30 PM at Gwynedd Mercy College. Both games are part of the Pete Nelson Play By Play Classic. LM will open the new year against league rival Conestoga on Saturday, January 2nd at 7:30 PM at Bala Cynwyd Middle School.
Aces 8 12 9 12 - 41
Ridley 9 6 10 10 - 35