On an evening when basketball seemed more like the sideshow to a pep rally, the Aces rolled past Harriton 76-52.
More than 1400 fans packed the Bryant Gymnasium and student sections from both schools kept the rafters rocking from tip-off to the final buzzer. LM provided most of the fireworks on the court, outscoring the Rams 23-12 in the first quarter and extending the margin to as many as 27 late in the game.
Junior guards BJ Johnson (21 points) and Raheem Hall (19 points) and senior Darryl Reynolds (17 points) paced the Aces' attack. Hall opened the scoring with a corner jumpshot, then ignited the crowd with a drive and dunk off a feed from Mike Robbins '12. The Aces never looked back.
The Rams played hard and scrappy, but were simply overmatched by LM's size, speed and athleticism. LM forced numerous turnovers and dominated play in the paint. In a charged atmosphere, with adrenalin pumping in front of the big crowd, players from both teams struggled to find a rhythm. The Aces' runs came in fits and starts, with plenty of crowd-pleasing dunks and highlights, but an equal share of sloppy play.
Meanwhile, fans from both schools engaged in a spirited back and forth, delivering verbal jabs across the gym and landing multiple witty blows. A few of the Dawg Pound's best efforts made not-so-subtle references to Harriton's recent penchant for being in the news for litigation. In the end, old winners like "Scoreboard" and "Warm up the Bus" worked just fine.
LM swept all four games played on Tuesday, including both JV and varsity boys and girls. The Aces girls won 44-34 behind 19 points from Rosie Stahler.
LM returns to action on Friday night as they take on the Ridley Green Raiders at 7:30 PM at Ridley.
Note: Additional coverage, links and photos will be posted on the Aces' Facebook page on Wednesday.