By Leo Clibanoff '18
The Aces passed their final non-league test of the season on Sunday, beating a dangerous Neshaminy squad 73-64 in the finale of the Kobe Bryant Play By Play Classic. Harrison Klevan ?18 led the Aces with a career-high 25 points and earned game MVP honors. The senior guard drilled four treys and came up big in the decisive fourth quarter, scoring 10 points in the frame. Steve Payne ?19 (19 points, 8 assists), Jack Forrest ?19 (14 points) and Darryl Taylor (11 points, 6 assists) also reached double figures. Josh Martin ?19 added 16 rebounds.
LM opened the game on fire from beyond the arc. Consecutive threes by Klevan and Forrest and then another by Klevan that resulted in a four-point play propelled the Aces to a 13-2 lead. LM hit three more threes in the period and led 26-14 heading into the second quarter.
Neshaminy cut the lead to six by halftime and then tied things early in the second half as the Aces offense went cold and Redskins star guard Chris Arcidiacono found his rhythm. The two teams traded baskets during a tight third quarter. At the end of the period, the Aces held a precarious 42-40 advantage.
LM turned on the jets in the fourth quarter, using a 15-6 run to break open the game. Neshaminy hit several late threes to narrow the gap and tried to extend the game by fouling, but LM?s solid free-throw shooting was too much to overcome. Payne went 5-5 from the line in the quarter. As a team, the Aces shot 19-21 from the stripe.
It was a solid win against a quality opponent. Led by Arcidiacono (who finished with a game-high 29 points), the Redskins have had their strongest season in several years and entered the game ranked among the top teams in District 1. LM hung tough and delivered when it mattered most, capping a strong 5-1 non-league campaign.
Up next for the Aces is a visit to Springfield on Tuesday at 7:30 PM.