CHATHAM, NJ - When the Chatham regulars came out of the game in the fourth quarter senior guard Jack Rooney let out the emotions of his personal struggle by declaring: "It's about time."
Rooney's declaration signaled the end of a personal shooting slump, which he had validated with a sizzling third-quarter outburst, and senior forward Dan Baker threw down the first dunk of the season for the Cougars in a 60-37 boys basketball win over Parsippany Hills on Wednesday night.
Rooney hit five 3-pointers in the game, including four in the third quarter when he scored 14 of his game-high 19 points. Chatham (8-3) outscored the Vikings, 28-8, in the third quarter to build a 51-27 advantage.
"He made shots," Chatham coach Todd Ervin said. "If he's making shots, that really helps. Look how well we played in that third quarter when he was making shots. He gives us another option."
Chatham guard Jack Rooney talks about his return to form on Wednesday night
Chatham held a 28-25 edge over Parsippany Hills (6-5) in the third quarter before Rooney nailed a 3-pointer from the top of the key (see video below). That ignited a 20-0 run that included a three-point play by Baker and two more 3-pointers by Rooney.
Jack Rooney ignited a 20-point run in the third quarter for Chatham with his 3-pointer
Baker's two-handed dunk off an in-bounds pass from Chris Conlin with 1:11 left in the third period marked the first dunk by a Chatham player in two seasons.
"Chris gave me a nice pass," Baker said. "I've been working on getting a dunk all year, so it feels good."
The last Cougar to throw down a dunk was Colin McKenna, who accomplished the feat two seasons ago.
Daniel Baker scores two of his 13 points on this rebound and shot for Chatham