MORRISTOWN, NJ - Just before the opening tip, the referees decided they needed to take some air out of the basketball. That may have been the same goal of the Morristown boys basketball team, which came out with a defensive plan to deflate the Chatham offense.
"I'm sure they didn't want our guards to hurt them," Chatham coach Todd Ervin said. "Fortunately, our bigs are playing pretty well. They can score inside as well and it worked out. Tough place to play."
Senior guard Mac Bredahl led the way with 19 points and forwards Dan Baker and Andrew Bergman contributed 11 points apiece as Chatham took a 63-53 decision over Morristown on Wednesday night.
The Cougars were limited to two 3-pointers in the game as the Colonials (3-4) came out defending against the perimeter shot. But Chatham (6-2) got enough inside from the 6-6 Baker and the 6-2 Bergman to take the lead and keep it.
Mac Bredahl talks about how Morristown defended Chatham
Chatham scored the final seven points of the opening quarter to take the lead for good. Jack Rooney ignited the burst with a drive to the basket and Bergman followed with three free throws before Bredahl went the length of the court (see video below) to score with a second left for a 13-6 lead.
Bergman scored nine points in the first half, including six in the second quarter, converting passes from Rooney and E.J. Leskauskas before dropping in a jumper.
"My teammates were feeding me in good positions and I was able to finish," Bergman said. "That's what we work on in practice, playing physical, and the guards did a good job of finding us. All of us are unproven at the varsity level and I think we did a good job of using our height advantage. We did the job and got the win today."
Baker began to assert himself in the third quarter, hitting for seven of his points, including a big three-point play in which he scored on a putback and was fouled (see video below). He sank the bonus free throw to give the Cougars a 39-31 lead with 3:06 left in the period.
Bredahl followed with his second 3-pointer off a pass from Baker to give Chatham a 42-33 edge (see below)
"It felt good," Baker said. "There was a lot of contact in the game, but we moved the ball well. Conference game, it's a good win."
The Cougars put up 21 points in the fourth quarter to hold off Morristown, which received a game-high 22 points from Steve Leung and 19 points from Stephen Bergeman.
COUGAR NOTES: Once again, Chatham shot well from the foul line, sinking 18 of 22 attempts for 81.8 percent accuracy ... Bredahl and Rooney each were 4-for-4 from the line, Baker was 3-for-3.