OAK RIDGE, NJ - The forwards set the tone in the first half and the guards picked up their offense in the third quarter. It all added up to a balanced offensive showing that eased Chatham past Jefferson for a 65-56 boys basketball win on Wednesday night.
Senior forwards Dan Baker and Chris Conlin finished with 14 points apiece for Chatham (2-1) and senior guards Mac Bredahl and Jack Rooney ended with 13 and 10 points, respectively, for the Cougars.
"A lot of balance, it was perfect," Chatham coach Todd Ervin said. "You always want balance. Chris Conlin played good, (Dan) Baker played good. Everyone had a good day offensively."
Baker made his presence felt right away, scoring on an offensive rebound and then receiving a pass from Ryan Doherty (4 assists) and turning it into a three-point play. The 6-6 Baker hit five of six attempts from the floor in the first half when he scored 11 of his points and Conlin nailed three 3-pointers as Chatham took a 34-25 lead into the break.
Dan Baker and Chris Conlin talk about their production in the win
Chatham put it all together in the third quarter, outscoring the Falcons, 23-12, in the period to open a 57-37 advantage. Conlin started the third by scoring inside off a pass from Bredahl (see video below).
Bredhal then hit consecutive 3-pointers, both from the same spot on the right wing (see video below) and Rooney got into the act with two jump shots in the flow of play and two 3-pointers to produce 10 of his points in the period.
"We made shots and played a little bit better defense and got some easy baskets out of it, too," Ervin said of the third period. "When you make shots, it makes the game a lot easier."
Doherty's 3-pointer (see video below) and Baker's three-point play made it a 65-43 lead for the Cougars with 4:49 to play before Ervin cleared his bench.
"We came out hot in the second half," Bredahl said. "We got off to a little bit of a slow start and we were able to turn it around in the second half. There are things we can work on, but it's definitely a good win against a good Jefferson team.
"Bake played really well, he controlled the paint in there, gave us a lot of key buckets, but more importantly, played some good defense. As a team, we harp on that. We know we're going to win games on the defensive end and that's what we did tonight."
COUGAR NOTES: After shaking off the effects of a two-hour bus ride, the Chatham Jayvees rolled to a 50-28 win over Jefferson, led by Daniel Kehoe with 15 points and Jack Casano-Boris with 11 points ... The Chatham varsity cleared 31 rebounds in the game, six apiece by Dan Baker and Andrew Bergman ... Mac Bredahl had six rebounds and six assists to go with his 13 points ... Baker connected on 6 of 7 shots (85.7 percent) and Conlin made 5 of 7 (71.4 percent), including four 3-pointers ... Chatham hit 8 3-pointers in the game ... Chatham hit 10 of 11 fouls (90.9 percent) ... Bredahl was fouled shooting a three in the second quarter and made all three free throws.