CHATHAM, NJ - The fact that Graham Delaney was diving for a loose ball with 11 seconds left tells how much the junior guard brought to the second half for Chatham on Tuesday night.
Delaney led a second-half rally and Greg Mah provided the play of the game with a full speed dash to the basket that was culminated with a behind-the-back shift of the basketball to finish his layup, sparking Chatham's 57-39 victory over Delbarton on Tuesday night.
Playing without senior guard Luke Conrad, who is out with a concussion, Chatham (10-5) trailed Delbarton (5-11) by as many as 15 points (22-7 in the second quarter) in the first half before producing a big third quarter to turn the game around.
"We definitely came out lethargic in the first half and we weren't playing defense," Delaney said. "We came out and played some great defense and started hitting some shots."
Delbarton opened the third quarter with a basket to take a 28-19 lead before Stefan Goles grabbed an offensive rebound and kicked it out to Delaney, who nailed a 3-pointer. Delbarton answered with two free throws before the Cougars put togetherr a 19-2 run to end the quarter with a 41-32 lead.
Delaney, who scored 13 of his game-high 16 points in the second half, drained a 3-pointer off a pass from Danny Winschuh and, seconds later, Mah made his drive to the basket. Mah dribbled right and then cut back into the middle of the lane and lost the final Delbarton defender with a behind-the-back move at full speed, laying the ball in off the backboard. Chatham had all the energy it needed after Mah's amazing basket.
Greg Mah talks about his incredible behind-the-back move on his fast-break layup in the third quarter below
Goles followed with a strong drive for a running jumper and Bobby Raiola scored inside off a pass from Delaney. Max Brown then contributed a big layup on a feed from Mah, dropping in the shot as he was being fouled. Raiola then sliced his way through the lane for two points, Mah hit a foul shot and Raiola turned a steal into a fast-break layup.
Raiola then fed Delaney, who knocked down a 3-pointer to cap the third-quarter surge.
"I started off the season shooting pretty well and I kind of fell off," Delaney said. "The last couple games I haven't really found my shot and tonight I really wanted to get to the basket. Coaches told me to keep shooting. Thankfully, the guys found me in the second half."
Graham Delaney talks about big second half and Mah's momentum-changing play below
Raiola finished with 11 points and Colin McKenna, battling foul trouble, contributed 10 points. Sophomore Jake Bevich came off the bench to score seven points for the Cougars.
"We certainly defended better in the second half," Chatham coach Todd Ervin said. "We weren't playing with any intensity or energy in the first half. We didn't make any shots in the first half, either. We need a lot of guys stepping up with Luke (Conrad) out. Delaney hit some big threes to get us going. Greg Mah, Bevich, Max Brown, all stepped up for us."