Conestoga came into this week on the outside looking in at the Central League’s playoff picture.
At 7-4 in the league standings, the Pioneers sat in fifth place, a half-game behind fourth-place Upper Darby and looking up at Penncrest, Lower Merion and Garnett Valley in the Central League standings.
Conestoga beat Radnor on Monday and Ridley on Tuesday and continued the momentum against Lower Merion on Friday night. Junior guard Zach Lezanic hit the go-ahead basket with under two minutes to play to help give the Pioneers a 65-61 win against the Aces.
“We knew this was a season where we had to grow and we were going to have to learn some lessons, which sometimes meant taking a loss while learning those lessons so we could be a really good team,” Conestoga coach Mike Troy said. “I think we’re starting to see some of that learning come to fruition now.”
Lezanic finished with 20 points, Evan Medley had 12, Shane Scott scored 11 and Milton Robinson had 10 to make it four Pioneers players in double figures.
Conestoga will enter next week tied with Garnet Valley in third place in the Central League standings. The Pioneers take on Upper Darby, now a game behind in fifth, on Tuesday and Garnet Valley on Thursday.
Though they returned just two starters from last year’s squad, the Pioneers control their own destiny to make their fifth straight Central League playoff appearance.
“Nobody really gave us a chance at being anywhere this year and I think that has fueled the guys as well,” Troy said. — Owen McCue