January 28, 2014 at 9:20 PM
CHATHAM, NJ - The good news came on Sunday when the Chatham girls basketball team received the No. 4 seed and a bye in the preliminary round of the Morris County Tournament.
The bad news came two days later when Parsippany Hills, the No. 13 seed, handed Chatham its most lop-sided defeat of the regular season, 47-28, on its home court.
It was the fewest points produced by the Lady Cougars all season.
Junior Veronica Serkowska scored a game-high 24 points for Parsippany Hills (7-6), nearly outscoring Chatham (8-5) by herself.
Parsippany Hills plays host to No. 20 seed Dover in an MCT preliminary on Saturday. If it wins that game, it will set up a first-round MCT meeting at Chatham on Feb. 8.
"The silver lining is that we get to see them again in a week and a half," Chatham coach Joe Gaba said. "They came in with something to prove and they certainly did."
The result was a far cry from the season opener on Dec. 20 when Chatham traveled to Parsippany Hills and posted a convincing 54-35 victory. That 19-point victory turned into a 19-point loss on Tuesday, an incredible swing of 38 points.
"At the begining of the season, I know we didn't do too well against them," said Serkowska, who tripled her point total from that Dec. 20 game. "We're like a whole different team now. We really came together."
Natalie Washuta talks about what went wrong in video below
The game was really over in the first half. Serkowska scored 13 points, leading Parsippany Hills to a 24-11 lead at the break. Serkowska opened the second half by sinking a 3-pointer and that put away any doubt about which team would win.
Cassandra Falone led Chatham with 10 points and Natalie Washuta scored six points before fouling out with 3:23 left in the fourth quarter. Washuta sat most of the third quarter with four fouls.
"Our ball movement was terrible," Gaba said. "It was slow, it was deliberate. We settled for a lot of jump shots. This game is going to be an aberration. We'll certainly learn from this and get better. That's all we can do."
Cassandra Falone hits jumper for Chatham in video below