Aaron Staley '11 goes up for two of his career-high 17 points on Tuesday night
The stage was set Tuesday evening at Bala Cynwyd for an epic early-season showdown between the top two teams in the Central League standings. Penncrest arrived with a spotless 10-0 record and 7-0 mark in league play. The Aces stood a game back with a 6-1 league record and were coming off a convincing double-digit win at Strath Haven. Something had to give.
The Aces, however, were not in a giving mood.
Led by the outstanding perimeter defense of David Ancona-Cole '10, Conor Foote '10 and nearly every Ace that took the floor, LM put the clamps on the Lions and emerged with a 54-32 victory. The 32 points scored by Penncrest represented a season low. The Aces held the Lions to two single-digit quarters, including a 3-point fourth frame.
Aaron Staley '11 had a career night, scoring 17 points and hauling in 9 rebounds. Staley provided the highlight of the first half, turning an offensive rebound into a thunderous dunk that sent the Dawg Pound into a frenzy. Alon Seltzer '10 scored 15 points and brought the crowd to its feet with a steal and breakaway dunk in the second half. Oliver Cohen, who added 13 points and five rebounds, had several clutch contributions. The senior guard connected on two free throws just before halftime to give the Aces a 21-19 lead at intermission. His buzzer-beating three-pointer at the end of the third quarter helped break open a tight game, giving LM an eight point cushion heading into the final frame.
The Aces also received offensive contributions from Foote (3 points), Ancona-Cole, Eric Green '11 (2 points) and Darius Hall '11 (2 points). LM shot 7-8 from the free throw line and outrebounded the Lions 25-17.
Ultimately, however, it was stingy defense that ruled the night. The Aces limited Penncrest's vaunted perimeter attack to just three connected threes and seemingly battled to contest every shot. Only one Penncrest player reached double-digit scoring. Even more impressive -- the Aces put together their best performance of the season to date without the services of starting point guard Matt McKenna '11, who was home recovering from illness.
Next up for the Aces is a showdown at Radnor on Friday night at 7:30 PM. The Red Raiders are 7-5 and coming off an impressive 62-59 win at Upper Darby.
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LM: 11 10 16 17 - 54
P: 7 12 10 3 - 32