The Aces made their debut at the Cancer Research Classic in Wheeling, WV a memorable one, routing St. Raymond's (Bronx, NY) 71-44.
Using suffocating defense and a high-octane fast break, LM stung the Ravens early and often. The Aces led 9-2 after the first three minutes of play and extended the margin to 17 points by the end of the first half. A 20-4 run to open the third quarter put the game completely out of reach. The Aces led 60-27 heading into the fourth quarter and cruised to the finish. All players in uniform saw action.
Yohanny Dalembert '13 earned game MVP honors, tallying 15 points, 12 rebounds and 7 blocks. BJ Johnson '13 (13 points, 5 assists), JaQuan Johnson '14 (12 points), Raheem Hall '13 (8 points, 5 rebounds), Justin McFadden (8 points), Baird Howland (7 points), Bryan Shapiro (4 points) and Jule Brown (4 points) rounded out the scoring. The Aces' starters did most of their damage in the decisive first half.
In a night of numerous highlights, Dalembert had two of the most emphatic -- an alley-oop slam off a pretty Johnson feed in the second quarter and a driving dunk down the middle of the lane in the third that brought the crowd to its feet. Johnson stroked two pretty treys in a dominant first-half. Hall and JaQuan were their usual selves, wreaking havoc on St. Raymond's guards all night long. Howland blocked a season-high five shots, including two big rejections in a row on one second quarter possession.
The Aces have been playing well of late, but no one could have predicted the outcome of Friday's contest. St. Raymond's is one of New York's storied programs and despite relative youth, entered the evening with a solid 10-4 record and worthy talent. LM simply put on a show, proving that they belonged at one of the nation's premier high school basketball invitationals. More impressive, LM did it on the second half of a back-to-back in two different states. The Aces beat Upper Darby 57-40 on the road Thursday night.
LM will enjoy the rest of the weekend from the stands, catching the action at the Cancer Research Classic, which includes Philly powers Neumann-Goretti and St. Joseph's Prep and nationally-ranked Huntington Prep, Simeon and Whitney Young.
The Aces (9-1) return to action January 8th at home against Radnor.