Seasoned Penn Wood squad seeking consistency and maturity

Ahmad Smalls looks to run the fastbreak, accompanied by Penn Wood teammate Javon Lindsey-Terrell. (Digital First Media/Anne Neborak)

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By Matthew De George

Before the word “Lower Merion” is finished being enunciated, Kairi Jones starts ruefully shaking his head.

“I think about it every day,” the Penn Wood senior guard said, memories of a 68-66 overtime loss to Lower Merion in the first round of last year’s District 1 Class 4A tournament still raw.

The Aces went on to the PIAA tournament. The Patriots, on the heels of a second straight, first-round, overtime ouster, have a new coach and a new resolve not to repeat the past with a seasoned group.

Longtime assistant and Penn Wood grad Matt Lindeman takes the reins from Clyde Jones, who departed for Girard College. The parallel of Lindeman, a 1998 baseball All-Delco, growing into the coaching role as the Patriots mature around him is poignant.

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