Burkard Comes Through for Chatham Boys Basketball in MCT Semifinals

John Burkard scores two of his season-high 10 points in third quarter of MCT semifinal vs. Randolph Credits: TAP Chatham
Senior forward John Burkard played his usual strong defense and added 10 points, six rebounds and a steal for Chatham in the MCT semifinal win over Randolph Credits: TAP Chatham

RANDOLPH, NJ - John Burkard may not be the flashiest player on Chatham boys basketball team, but his work ethic and impact are undeniable.

Burkard delivered his best offensive showing of the season on Saturday night as the Cougars advanced to the Morris County Tournament Championship game for the third straight year with a 70-39 victory over Randolph at the County College of Morris.

"He played great," Chatham guard Jack Rooney said. "That's got to be his best game by far, defensively, offensively, rebounding. He was asked to guard Luke Nathan (Randolph's 6-10 center) for the majority of the game and he did a great job."

Sign Up for E-News

Burkard is hoping his strong play will help the Cougars earn a second straight MCT crown.

The 6-6 Burkard, a senior, is one of two key frontcourt players for Chatham – the other being Graham LeMon. While LeMon handles the load offensively, Burkard gets the job done on the boards and on defense. He's usually assigned the top offensive player on the opposing team.

“Defense has always been my strong suit,” Burkard said. “I just take pride in defending and trying to lock guys down. I just don’t like getting scored on.”

Most recently, Burkard made his defensive presence known in Chatham’s road game against Millburn on Thursday, a 54-53 quadruple overtime win. With the game tied in the first overtime period, Burkard forced a Millburn turnover and was fouled on the fast break. He proceeded to hit one of two free throws in front of a tough Millburn crowd.

Later on in fourth overtime, Burkard again made a clutch defensive play. Down 52-51 with under a minute left, Burkard intercepted a Millburn pass on the left wing. He drove across the court and was again fouled, hitting one of two from the line to tie the game up. His defensive presence in overtime, coupled with clutch shooting from Jack Rooney, led the Cougars to a hard-fought victory on the road.

Just two days later, Burkard showcased his offensive abilities when the Cougars were forced to deal with an early injury in the MCT semifinals. In the opening minute of the game, LeMon rolled his ankle landing with a rebound and was forced to exit the game. Needing a strong offensive presence inside, Burkard rose to the occasion.

“I know that we have great defenders on our team, so I wasn’t worried,” Burkard said. “Obviously [LeMon] is a big scorer on our team, but we knew that if we stuck together we could come out strong.”

Burkard hit two straight baskets inside to cap the Cougars' 11-0 run to open up the game. By the time LeMon returned from his injury, Chatham had a double-digit lead over Randolph. Burkard ended the game with a season-high 10 points to go with six rebounds and a steal.

“I know that I need to step up in these situations,” Burkard said. “I think my game has just come together as the season progressed, and it’s come together at the right time. I don’t take it for granted. Not every team has this opportunity, so to get back here is something special.”

Chatham will square off against No. 1 seed Morristown-Beard on Saturday, February 25 at the County College of Morris to determine the MCT champion.

“It’s been our goal all season long,” he said. “We’re confident in our game. We just want to go out and compete.”



TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News


A Week at the Library of The Chathams Monday, June 18 – Sunday, June 24, 2018

Please note that the library will be closed on Sundays now through Labor Day weekend


By Galina Natenzon

This week we are wrapping up our first session of ESL classes.  Stay tuned, we are planning a fall session to start in September.  New students are welcome to enroll!  This is the last week of calm and quiet at the library before our summer reading ...

Angie's Owners Want to Thank Their Chatham Customers

June 14, 2018

To the Editor:

We want to thank our customers and the entire community for their support and devotion to our business. Our last day of business will be July 31.

rWe will miss all the friends that we have developed over the past 26 years. Wishing everyone much success and happiness in the future.


Louiza and Jimmy Poulimenos

P.S. "Until we meet ...


AtlantiCast Episode 17

On this week’s AtlantiCast, it’s National Men’s Health Month, so check out important health tips for you or the men in your life, learn about groundbreaking research into breast cancer treatment that could mean an end to chemotherapy for some patients, meet a local sports hero who’s living his baseball dreams thanks to Goryeb Children’s Hospital and much ...

Video: Dietze Says Despite Trade War Fears, Economy's Fundamentals Remain Strong

June 21, 2018

Point View Wealth Management's Founder, President and Chief Investment Strategist, David Dietze, live from the CNN building on the case for bullishness despite a potential trade war:

For more than 25 years, Point View Wealth Management, Inc. has been working with families in Summit and beyond, providing customized portfolio management services ...

Cool Ways to Save Money This Summer

As the summer temperatures rise, home cooling costs rise as well. But there are ways to help save money without sweating the heat:

To increase your cooling system’s efficiency by as much as 20%, get it checked out for summer.  A technician will clean the condenser, make sure you have the optimal amount of refrigerant, and ensure the airflow over the coil is ...