The Aces exploded on a 17-2 run to start the game and blitzed Carlisle 77-36 in round one of the PIAA state playoffs. LM led by 40 for much of the fourth quarter and forced running clock against the Thundering Herd, the #5 seed from District 3. After a long week of practice following the team's tough District final loss to Chester, it was a particularly satisfying performance for the Maroon & White -- dominant, complete and filled with highlights.
The Aces' frenzied full-court press fueled the opening run; Carlisle coughed up the ball 11 times in the first frame leading to multiple fast-break layups and threes in transition. At the center of the press was Raheem Hall '13, who nearly finished with a rare points-rebounds-steals triple double. The senior guard had 17 points, 8 rebounds and 10 steals (tied for a team record) on the afternoon.
After a second quarter lull that saw Carlisle pull to within 11, LM quickly put the game out of reach in the third thanks to a barrage of threes from Justin McFadden '14. Three minutes into the period, the junior nailed three treys in a row to extend the Aces' lead from 38-23 to 49-23. BJ Johnson '13 also had a strong quarter, scoring 11 of his game-high 18 points and converting on back-to-back, highlight-reel dunks over Carlisle defenders that brought the crowd to its feet. By the end of the quarter, LM led 60-28 and the rout was on.
Every Ace in uniform saw action and ten scored. The Aces drilled eight threes on the afternoon. Of note was the performance by senior Bryan Shapiro, who entered the game in the second half and immediately forced a turnover, converted a three and had an assist. Jule Brown '15 also had a strong outing off the bench, chipping in with six points and playing strong perimeter defense.
With the win, the Aces advance to round two of the PIAA playoffs, and will take on District 12 #2 seed Martin Luther King at Plymouth Whitemarsh on Wednesday night at 7 PM. King scored a 71-61 first round victory over Reading.