Despite the loss of five seniors, St. Andrew’s has exceeded expectations this season. The youthful Lions got off to a 12-1 start and entered The Post’s top 20 for the first time in school history.

St. Andrew’s (12-3, 1-3 in MAC) has lost some steam in conference play, though, falling in back-to-back games against No. 17 Maret and Potomac School.

On Monday, the Lions will attempt to get themselves in the thick of the MAC race as they host first-place Flint Hill (11-6, 5-1). The Huskies suffered their lone conference loss to Saint James on Jan. 14.

“We have to play defense and I have to pressure their point guard,” St. Andrew’s senior guard Cedric McFadden said. “Playing well in transition and rebounding is the key for us to have a chance to beat them.”

The Lions know they cannot fall behind by double digits again. They trailed the Frogs by 10 points at the half and faced a 14-point deficit entering the fourth quarter against the Panthers.

St. Andrew’s charged back against Potomac School to knot the game with 48 seconds remaining, but faltered at the free-throw line down the stretch to lose by two points.

Potomac School Coach Levi “Franklin’s team is tough and plays well,” St. Andrew’s Coach Kevin Jones said. “It was a tough game on the road and our guys are resilient, so they came back.”

Junior Marcus Adkison scored 14 points in each of the losses and leads the conference in scoring with 20.1 points per game. The 5-foot-10 guard has the ability to score in bunches, and he scorched Kennedy for a career-high 39 points Dec. 26.

One of eight juniors on the roster, Adkison has shown maturity in his second year playing under Jones after spending his freshman year at Paul VI.

“He’s grown up a little bit this season from a leadership standpoint and leading by example,” Jones said. “He’s extremely positive and encouraging to his teammates.”

The dynamic McFadden, who is averaging 14.6 points per game, splits ball-handling duties with Adkison and is the team’s best defensive player.

The Lions have also received a boost from sophomore Tyler Stewart, who scored 10 points in the loss to the Panthers.

Adkison said the team is keeping a positive attitude as it prepares for three MAC games this week against Flint Hill, Saint James and Sidwell Friends.

“We’ve been going harder in practice and talking to one another and encouraging each other,” Adkison said. “We’ll bounce back no matter what.”

Top 20 rankings: Boys | Girls

The All-Met Watch: Week 6