A 12-0 run that straddled halftime was the pivotal factor in a 53-40 road win by Monsignor Farrell over Xavier in a CHSAA A Division tilt in Manhattan on Friday night. The five point spurt at the end of the second quarter and the seven point surge to start the third put Farrell in control of what had been back and forth affair through the first ten minutes of action.
Xavier had taken a 16-13 lead on a backdoor cut by Joseph McGrane, but Farrell tied it at 16 on a 3-pointer by Jordan Kearney. The Lions jumped back ahead 20-17 before Xavier tied it again at 20 on a three point play by Conor Anderson.
Farrell got some breathing room near the end of the first half, compliments of a driving score by Matthew Birnbach and a 3-pointer by Justin Zieris that just beat the halftime horn, putting the Lions ahead 25-20 at the break.
Xavier did not score its first points in the second half until the 4:35 mark in the third quarter, with Farrell opening up a 32-20 lead before a pair of free throws by Brandon Edmund made it 32-22. Xavier tried to press its way back into it, but Farrell was able to navigate the pressure and took its largest lead of the game at 51-33 after a 3-point play by Birnbach with 2:46 left.
Anthony Clemenza scored a game-high 17 points for Farrell, getting the bulk of his points in the paint and on the glass. Kearney finished with 13 and Birnbaum 11 for the Lions, currently ranked 3rd in New York State and ranked 2nd in New York City by the New York State Sportswriters Association among Class A schools. Farrell will travel to the Bronx on Sunday to take on Cardinal Spellman.
Anderson led Xavier with 11 points. The Knights, now 3-1 in CHSAA league play and 8-2 overall, will host St. Edmund on Tuesday.