CHATHAM, NJ - The big thing wasn't that Sean Hoehn lit up the court for 28 points or that his Morristown boys basketball team won its 14th in a row, 64-47, over Chatham on Tuesday night.
From the Cougars' perspective, the return of senior guard Luke Conrad considerably brightened their prospects for their first-round matchup with Cranford in the state tournament on Monday.
Conrad, who missed nine games with a concussion, came off the bench to lead Chatham (13-9) with 10 points against a streaking team from Morristown (20-1), led by guard Hoehn.
"(Conrad) will help us big-time, both offensively and defensively," senior guard Robert Raiola said. "He didn't look like he's rusty at all. Luke plays really well with the team so it's not that big of an adjustment."
Chatham struggled mightily to score while Conrad was out, so his return seemed to lift the offense a bit against Morristown.
"He certainly has to get in better shape," Chatham coach Todd Ervin said. "They came out and shot the ball great. We struggled to score inside. If we had made a couple of shots, it might have been different."
Hoehn nailed a 3-pointer and sank two free throws to key a 6-0 burst that staked Morristown to a 37-18 lead with 3:16 left in the second quarter. Chatham picked up its play in the second half, but could get no closer to 12 points the rest of the way.
"They're a really good team," said Raiola, who finished with eight points. "We could have played better, but we have to move on. We just didn't execute tonight. We need to come out with more intensity and play better as a team on defense."
Greg Mah hits 3-pointer for Chatham in video below
Colin McKenna scores inside for Chatham in video below