Thursday, March 5, 2015

Boys' Hoops: McFadden, Aces handle Patriots


Boys' Hoops: McFadden, Aces handle Patriots



With his torrid third-quarter shooting, Lower Merion's Justin McFadden hid his halftime queasiness from most on hand for Tuesday night's PIAA District 1 Class AAAA second-round boys' basketball playoff at Penn Wood.

"Yeah, I was feeling pretty sick in the locker room," the senior said. "I have a cold, some sinus issues."

Drilling three straight attempts from beyond the arc in the frame and closing with 24 points, McFadden sparked the ninth-seeded Aces past the eighth-seeded Patriots, 58-43, in Lansdowne.

"I haven't been shooting my best this year," McFadden acknowledged afterward. "One of my coaches [David Stotter] has been working with me and encouraging me."

Lower Merion, which clinched a berth in the state tournament, will visit Central League rival and No. 1 seed Conestoga (22-4) in a district quarterfinal Friday night. The Pioneers downed 17th-seeded Methacton, 45-40, Tuesday.

"We want to keep getting better," Aces coach Gregg Downer said. "We think we can play with most anybody."

The 6-foot-4, 200-pound McFadden, a wing player who has committed to Binghamton, shot 5 for 13 from the field (3 for 5 on treys) and 11 for 16 from the line. He added nine rebounds (two on offense), two assists, and a blocked shot.

McFadden, who drew a first-half charging foul, was a starter on last year's state-championship squad. "He's going to be leaving here with an unbelievable resume," Downer said.

With Lower Merion (19-6) ahead by only a point early in the third stanza, McFadden buried a right-wing three-pointer. That was followed by his triple from the top of the arc. His third trey, from the right baseline, gave the visitors a 38-28 advantage.

Corey Sherman, with three of his four threes coming in the second quarter, chipped in 12 points; Jule Brown posted nine points; and floor general JaQuan Johnson had six points, three assists, and three steals.

Still alive for one of the district's 10 state playoff berths, Penn Wood (16-7) will host Methacton (16-9) in a playback game Friday.

Early in the fourth quarter, Johnson scored inside on a feed from McFadden to put the Aces ahead, 46-36. The Patriots, who were hurt by 18 turnovers, never recovered.

"We really got out of character in the second half," Penn Wood coach Clyde Jones said. "Really, I just don't think we were ready to play tonight."

Malik Jackson paced the hosts with 15 points and six boards. Before fouling out with 5 minutes remaining, Amadou Kaba recorded 11 points and seven caroms.

Lower Merion 13 16 15 14-58

Penn Wood 14 11 11 7-43

LM: JaQuan Johnson 6, Corey Sherman 12, Jule Brown 9, Justin McFadden 24, Steve Pendleton 4, Nick Jones 3.

PW: Addison Scott 4, Landen Jenkins 5, Jeff Padilioni 6, Malik Jackson 15, Antonio Ward 2, Amadou Kaba 11.


Rick O'Brien Inquirer Columnist
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About this blog
Rick O’Brien has been at The Inquirer since 1993, primarily covering high school sports in Southeastern Pennsylvania. Reach Rick at

Rick O'Brien Inquirer Columnist
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