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Bacon, Fordham Prep burn St. Edmund Prep

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Matt Bacon was disappointed, but encouraged. The Rams lost by just two points to mighty Iona Prep, the defending CHSAA Class A intersectional champions and the favorite to repeat in March.

“That game was an indication we can play with anyone in the league,” the senior guard said.

Less than 24 hours later, there would be no hangover for Fordham Prep, which played a crisp first half and withstood a furious second-half rally to defeat St. Edmund Prep, 71-56, Saturday afternoon in The Bronx.

“It was a tough loss for us, but they’re one of the best teams in the state,” Bacon said of Friday night’s 54-52 defeat to the Gaels. “We had to come out with the same intensity today.”

The Rams did just that, running their “organized chaos” offense to perfection in the first half. Knocking down seven first-half 3-pointers, Fordham Prep (5-8) opened up the second quarter on a 17-2 run and led 40-18 at the break.

“We’re starting to finally mesh on offense and shoot the ball a bit better, too,” said Fordham Prep junior Peter Carlino, who had 10 of his 12 points in the first half. “Even though we lost, last night we played our best game of the year.”

The Rams extended their lead to 27 with 5:21 left in the third quarter and it looked like Fordham Prep was on its way to a rare easy win.

But Kevin Pigott knew better.

“If we play St. Edmund’s 10 times I don’t think either team is going to blow out the other team,” the Fordham Prep coach said. “I’m just happy we were able to regroup and win the game.”

Sparked by a technical foul on Bacon, St. Edmund Prep (4-7) went on a 15-1 run and got within 13 on Mark Caputo’s corner 3-pointer late in the third quarter.

“Every game we come out and we’re down 10. That’s when we pick it up and that’s where our energy comes from,” St. Edmund senior guard Vinny Marchiano said. “Our mentality should be to just get the lead from the first quarter and keep going with it.”

Marchiano, who scored a game-high 24 points, knocked down a trey with 5:23 left in the fourth quarter and the Eagles’ deficit was just seven. The three-year starter had three chances around the basket to slice Fordham Prep’s lead to five, but he missed the chippies. Marchiano also traveled and missed a baseline jumper.

“I don’t know, the angle of the basket messed me up,” he said. “I just missed. It was pretty unlucky for me.”

Bacon, who scored a team-high 19 points, atoned for his technical foul and buried a clutch 3-pointer to extend the Rams lead to 10, 58-48, with 3:11 left.

“They’re a good team and they can shoot the ball,” Bacon said of St. Edmund. “They came back and were hitting their shots in the second half. We just knew we had to slow the game down and bring it back to our tempo.”

Tom Whelan had 13 points and Brandon Goldston added 11 for Fordham Prep, which went 8-for-8 from the foul line in the final 57.8 seconds to clinch the victory.

Pigott said., “I was just happy we were able to regroup and not let them win the game.”

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