Sports

Chatham Stops Governor Livingston, 35-29; Cougars beat Highlanders in Defensive Struggle on Senior Night

5329a96c3f71c6f4fda4_543chbh4_ts2.jpg
Highlanders center Kevin Ferguson shoots a free throw against Chatham.
1a941796fb07e4dcfe2e_543chbh3_ts2.jpg
Governor Livingston head coach Steve Petruzzelli patrols the sidlines during Monday night's game against Chatham.
7d09a6e0e4ac8bec33f3_543chbh2_ts2.jpg
Rielly drives to the hoop against the Cougars during the Highlanders' 35-29 loss.
1ff3576f2725ab9da80c_543chbh1_ts2.jpg
Governor Livingston guard Mike Rielly looks for an open man during Monday night's home game against Chatham.
5329a96c3f71c6f4fda4_543chbh4_ts2.jpg

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - On senior night at Governor Livingston, the Highlanders faced a visiting Chatham squad that had struggled of late. After grinding out wins against Summit and Cranford last week, the Highlanders looked like the favorites against the Cougars, especially considering that Chatham was coming off a tough loss over the weekend to Delbarton in the Morris County Tournament.  However, the Cougars defeated the Highlanders 35-29 in a defensive struggle on Monday night.

Both teams struggled mightily from the field in the first quarter and the score at the end of the first eight minutes of the game was just 4-4. Each team played solid defense and contested every shot, many of which were taken after several runs through the set half-court offenses the teams ran.

The toughness with which each team guarded the other in the opening frame set the tone for how the rest of the game would play out. "We did a good job defensively all night," Governor Livingston head coach Steve Petruzzelli said after the game. "I had no problem with our guys' effort. I thought defensively we did a real good job. We followed some game plan things and we didn't rely only on Kevin. That's a big thing, because when you rely solely on him, then you're in trouble. Defensively we were very good."

Things began to heat up offensively in the second quarter as both teams started to find small cracks in the other's defense. The Highlanders got a big lift when 6-8 junior center Kevin Ferguson entered the game at the beginning of the second period. Petruzzelli began the game with his five seniors who were being honored for their commitments not only to the basketball team, but to Governor Livingston High School as a whole. Ferguson provided a spark on both ends of the court as he scored four straight points and blocked a couple of shots in the quarter. However, Chatham's best player, junior forward Rob Conroy, drilled a three with just under a minute to go and the Cougars led at the half, 18-16.

After the game, Petruzzelli described why his team had such a difficult time converting baskets throughout the game, even after Ferguson came into the game and gave the Highlanders a spark. "[Ferguson] had a real good game. Then they came in and started doubling him more and banging him around," Petruzzelli said. "We didn't take advantage of things they gave us off of him. We're not seeing people at all. We're late in our delivery to everybody. We didn't hit those openings, especially against a good defensive team and Chatham is very well-coached. You know, when Kevin's open, he's not going to be open forever."

Governor Livingston erased the small two-point halftime deficit in the third quarter thanks mostly to Ferguson and the fact that the Cougars went cold from the field. Again, both teams struggled to put the ball in the basket and the Highlanders did the Cougars two points better in the third to tie the game heading into the fourth quarter at 22 all.

The Cougars pulled away midway through the fourth quarter thanks to strong guard play and the ability to finally bury a few outside jumpers while the Highlanders continued to struggle. Brian Ballard and Adam Kovonuk each hit three pointers as the Cougars went on an 8-1 run to start the fourth quarter. That run would turn out to be the difference as the Highlanders never got going from the field.

"We were just trying to find someone who was going to give us something [offensively] and Kovonuck came in and hit a three and had some assists, made some good plays, so he helped us. And we were just looking for someone to do something for us," Chatham head coach Todd Ervin said after the game.

The Highlanders played great defense and used their physicality to draw fouls and get to the free throw line, but once at the charity stripe, Governor Livingston had trouble knocking down their free throws. It has been an issue for the team all season and after the game, Petruzelli addressed it along with the Highlanders continued shooting troubles from basically everywhere on the court. "That [free throw shooting] has been a real dismal problem for us," Petruzzelli said. "Some of our offensive woes were due to them. They're very well-coached and they're very good defensively. We didn't score. We gotta score. You can't score 29 points and shoot 20 percent." "But we'll prepare and try to bounce back against New Providence," he added. 

In a hard-fought defensive battle of a basketball game, Chatham found enough offense to pull out a tough victory on the road. The significance of the win was not lost on Ervin, his team having lost to Delbarton on Saturday and having dropped a heart-breaking, quadruple overtime thriller to Madison last Wednesday. Because of those two losses and the winter weather, Chatham had not been victorious since February 16th when they beat Morris Catholic. "We played well defensively, Ervin said. "I think that's the difference. I know they only had 29 points. I don't think they shot real well, but we played well defensively. We didn't play real well on offense, but we played well enough to win. We needed to get a win. We had to get something going getting ready for the states, so it's a big win."

The win raised Chatham's record to 14-10 while Governor Livingston slipped to 13-9. Ferguson led the Highlanders with 12 points and Rob Ingebretsen chipped in 10, while Conroy led the Cougars with 8 points.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Berkeley Heights

2018 Gov. Livingston Highlander Softball Clinic Set for March 19

February 20, 2018

Come join and learn from the 2017 Union County Softball Champion Gov. Livingston coaches and varsity players on Monday, March 19, 2018 from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Activities will include the following fastpitch softball skills:

Batting Techniques
Throwing Mechanics
Fielding
Base Running

Who: Children grades 1-7 of any skill level or ability

Where: Gov. Livingston High School, 175 ...

Mike Zuko at Salem Roadhouse Cafe

Raised on a diet of The Beatles, Buddy Holly and The Doors, Michael Zuko was exposed first hand to the thrilling music of the legendary 70s NYC club scene. Zuko and the band show a skilled singer-songwriter who is backed by solid musical talent, bringing original, fresh and intelligent lyrics to the stage. A true entertainer, Mike engages the audience fully and leaves them wanting more. Mike and ...

German Language School of Morris County Raises $1,000 for Market Street Mission

February, the month of all things red and romantic with red, hearts, roses, and chocolates, is also a time to show our love of friends and community. Students from the German Language School of Morris County (www.njlearnsgerman.org and www.glsmc.org), took that lesson to heart and raised $1,000 for The Market Street Mission (www.marketstreet.org), a Morristown haven for the needy for more than ...

Kick Off for the Relay for Life of Berkeley Heights, Mountainside, New Providence & Summit 

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - There will be a Kick Off for Relay for Life on Thursday, March 1st. It will be held at the Gov. Livingston High School Cafeteria at 7pm.  The theme of Kick Off is Back TO GL - we envision a future that is cancer free. Everything you need to know about Relay for Life will be presented in an interactive setting. Relay ...

We Need More Women Like Colleen Mahr in Municipal, County and State Government

February 19, 2018

Dear Editor:

I’m proud to support Colleen Mahr for Chair of the Union County Democratic Committee  (UCDC) and am encouraging my Scotch Plains peers to join me.

I was a first time candidate wanting to make a difference in my hometown of Scotch Plains, when Mayor Mahr of neighboring Fanwood stepped in to help me campaign and win my election to be Councilwoman three years ago.

Democratic Party Would Be Making a Big Mistake by Not Recognizing Colleen Mahr's Talents

Dear Editor:

Mayor Colleen Mahr has been a valuable friend to the Township of Cranford. Whether it’s offering advice and assistance during devastating flood cleanup, supporting the Mayor's Council on the Rahway River, or her insight and assistance in meeting our affordable housing obligations, Mayor Mahr is always there for Cranford.

Colleen’s fairness and integrity is ...

Colleen Mahr Is The Leader Our Party Needs

Dear Editor:

My name is Patti Murgo. I am Committeewoman in Linden’s Eighth Ward. I am a life-long  DEMOCRAT, a party activist, and a believer in what being a democrat stands for. Last week, I received a piece of literature from our municipal chairman, Nick Scutari, regarding his “plans” for the County Democratic Party if he is elected county chairman.

Mr.

Chatham Borough Police Chief Crosson has Retired; Captain Gibbons is Acting Commander

February 12, 2018

CHATHAM, NJ - Phil Crosson Jr., who has been a member of the Chatham Borough Police Department since 1992, retired from his position as the police chief on Feb. 1.

"It came on pretty quickly," Crosson said when reached by phone on Sunday. "I was on vacation for six weeks and I bought a business. I came back for one day and retired."

According to Crosson, ...

‘Reefer Madness’ Comes to Chatham Borough Council; Cannabis Advocates Make Pitch for Chatham Marijuana Shop

February 14, 2018

CHATHAM, NJ - A group of pro-cannabis activists came to the Borough of Chatham Council meeting on Monday night and used the public commentary portion of the meeting to ask the council to support a marijuana dispensary in town.

The advocates, who say they have attended more than 80 town meetings to inform about the benefits of medical cannabis, mentioned the 1936 movie "Reefer ...

Upcoming Events

Tue, February 20

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

Wed, February 21

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

Wed, February 21, 2:00 PM

New Providence Memorial Library, New Providence

The Underground Railroad Documentary

Arts & Entertainment

Thu, February 22

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

Thu, February 22, 6:00 PM

UCEDC, Cranford

Next Level Business Planning

Business & Finance

Fri, February 23

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

Invest Like a Tortoise -- Not Like a Hare

Aesop’s “The Tortoise and the Hare” is a perfect metaphor for the way people go about investing their money. As you recall in the fable, the hare brags about his ability to beat the tortoise and is overly confident about winning. In the investment world, the hare is someone who thinks he or she is great at selecting “winners” and avoiding “losers.” The ...