When it mattered most, the Aces got the job done.
Following two regular season setbacks to Conestoga, LM downed the Pioneers 76-69 on Tuesday night in Round 2 of the District 1 Playoffs to earn their eighth straight state playoff appearance and a trip to the District Quarterfinals.
Five Aces scored in double figures, with Jack Forrest ?19 leading the way with 23 points. Josh Martin ?19 added 12 points and 13 rebounds.
After a tight opening quarter, the Aces seized control in the second frame taking a 39-29 lead into halftime. Unlike their previous, perimeter-oriented performances against Conestoga, LM found their rhythm by attacking the rim, with Martin and Darryl Taylor ?15 (15 points) leading the way with ten points each in the half.
Once they?d established a paint presence, the Aces turned inside-out, drilling six second-half threes, including two from Harrison Klevan ?18 (13 points). The Aces led by as many as 16 points in the third quarter and held a 14-point lead late in the fourth before a Pioneers surge in the waning minutes narrowed the gap. It was too little, too late, as the Aces notched their eighth straight state playoff berth ? the longest 6A streak in PA ? and their ninth state appearance in the last ten seasons. They also earned a victory against the only foe that beat them twice this season, making the post-game celebration that much more satisfying.
The Aces will now take on #6 Pennridge this Friday night at 7 PM in Bryant Gymansium with a trip to Temple University on the line. The winner advances to the District Semifinals at Temple?s Liacouras Center next Tuesday night.