Jack Forrest '19 drilled a trey with four seconds left in overtime to lift the Aces to a 60-59 victory at Penncrest. Down two with possession and 15 seconds left to play, LM recovered an offensive rebound and moved the ball around the perimeter until Steve Payne '19 found Forrest for the dagger.
Early on it seemed unlikely that Tuesday's contest would be decided in dramatic fashion. LM played one of their strongest halves of the season to open the game, leading by as many as 17 points and connecting on seven first-half threes. At intermission, the Aces led by 12 points and appeared to be in control. But a gritty Lions squad with multiple returnees from last season's 5A district title squad battled back and knotted things up late to force the extra period.
A host of unsung Aces came up clutch in key moments, paced by Julian Hairston '19, who scored a career-high 18 points on 5-7 shooting from beyond the arc. Matt O'Connor '19 drilled three three-pointers and took a team-high four charges to help negate several Penncrest scores. Darryl Taylor '19 connected on a huge three in the overtime period to pull the Aces back from an early two point deficit. LM needed every contribution to earn the win.
It was a big win in an electric road gym and a key victory as the Aces look to make a push for the Central League playoffs.
Thursday was Coaches vs. Cancer Night at Penncrest and a particularly emotional one for the Central League family as Lions head coach Mike Doyle was diagnosed with leukemia before the season. Coach Doyle delivered powerful remakrs about his personal battle and the importance of supporting the cause. Aces Nation wishes Coach Doyle a full and speedy recovery and encourages the LM community to get involved in annual fundraising efforts to support the American Cancer Society. LM's Coaches vs. Cancer night is scheduled for January 23rd against Harriton.