Monsignor Farrell outscored Fordham Prep 16-4 over the last 5:02 of the fourth quarter, tying the score at 47 and forcing overtime before stunning the Rams 53-51 in OT to take the CHSAA A Division crown at Fordham University in the Bronx on Friday night.
Farrell trailed 47-41 with less than 30 seconds to play, but Chris Edwards connected on a 3-pointer with 25 seconds on the clock and Justin Zieris sank a game-tying NBA-range triple just before time expired, as Fordham Prep missed opportunities to put the game away by going 1-6 from the foul line in the final quarter. Edwards scored what proved to be the game-winner on a running left-hander in the lane with 5.5 ticks left in OT.
Farrell trailed Fordham Prep 43-31 with 5:02 left. The Lions closed the 4th on a 16-4 run, the last 6 on 3s from Chris Edwards and Justin Zieris (below 1). Edwards scored what proved to be the game-winner on a drive through the lane with 5.5 ticks left in OT (below 2). Unreal. pic.twitter.com/IkFKvf9GZo— HS Box Scores NYC (@hsboxscoresnyc) March 2, 2019
Farrell trailed by as many as 13 in the second half, but Jordan Kearney connected on three triples in the third frame to keep the Lions within striking distance, with the Rams holding a 36-26 advantage heading into the fourth.
Kyle Filipowski's score in the paint with 5:02 left put Fordham Prep ahead 43-31, but Farrell answered with a 10-0 run, with Edwards and Anthony Clemenza each accounting for five points in the spurt. Clemenza's free throws after Matthew Filipowski picked up his fourth personal foul with 2:45 left brought Farrell within three at 43-40, and Filipowski was whistled for his fifth on Fordham Prep's next trip, a crucial loss for the Rams with 2:32 left.
The Lions pulled within a bucket at 43-41 after an Edwards free throw, but Avni Mustafaj broke the drought for Fordham Prep with a driving score to make it 45-41, and the Rams looked to be in control again after Alex Russo's run-out layup made it 47-41 with just 1:00 on the clock, prompting a Farrell timeout.
Things looked bleak for the Lions after they came up empty on the next possession, forcing them to foul Evan McStay with 40.7 seconds left. The situation looked even more ominous when Clemeza failed to convert a front end free throw after he was fouled rebounding McStay's miss, putting Farrell in another must-foul predicament. The Lions put Mustafaj on the stripe, and he missed the front end as well, but this time Farrell took advantage, as Zieris raced up court and hit Edwards with a cross court pass for a 3-pointer. Farrell called another timeout, now trailing 47-44 with 24.7 seconds left.
Mark Osime was fouled in the backcourt on the next possession, and he missed two from the line in a double bonus situation, with Farrell now in a position to tie it on a 3-pointer. The Lions worked the ball around the perimeter until Kearney reversed it to Zieris, who launched a 3-pointer right in front of Farrell's bench that rattled home, knotting the score at 47 and sending the game into overtime.
Farrell scored the last 6 in regulation to send the game into OT. Tied 51-51 with 1:22 to play in OT.— HS Box Scores NYC (@hsboxscoresnyc) March 2, 2019
Edwards got Farrell on the board first in the extra session, putting the Lions ahead 49-47 on a leaning layup before Osime's run-out tied it at 49 with 2:25 left. Jake Struthers put Farrell back in front 51-49 with two free throws, but Mustafaj returned the favor with a pair at the other end, tying the game again at 51.
Farrell came up empty on its next trip, but they regained possession when Edwards blocked a driving attempt by Mustafaj. After running down the clock, Edwards drove the lane and converted a running left-hander, drawing a foul and putting the Lions ahead 53-51 with 5.5 seconds to play. Edwards missed the free throw, and Fordham Prep called for time to set up a play on the final possession. Just as they did in their buzzer-beating win over Nazareth, the Rams opted for a 3-pointer while trailing by only two, with Mustafaj taking a hand-off near halfcourt and launching a long miss at the buzzer.
With the win, Farrell advances to the CHSAA New York State final, where they will face the winner of Nassau-Suffolk champ Holy Trinity and Buffalo powerhouse Park School. This is Farrell's third CHSAA A Division title in the last four years.
The loss for Fordham Prep was their third consecutive defeat in the CHSAA A Division championship game, having lost to Nazareth in last year's final and to Farrell in 2017.
Video Highlights (added on 03/04/19)
* This post has been corrected to provide that Kyle Filipowski scored Fordham Prep's basket with 5:02 to play in the 4th quarter. An earlier version of this post stated that Matthew Filipowski scored that basket.