CHATHAM, NJ - With the meeting for the Morris County Tournament set for Sunday, the two-time defending MCT champion Cougars made a strong case to the seeding committee for one of the top spots Friday night with a dominating 58-40 win over Montville.
After missing its first four shots, Chatham (11-3) connected on eight straight shots to forge a 17-5 lead in the opening quarter. Six different Cougars scored in the run, which featured a 3-pointer from Jack Rooney and a behind-the-back dribble by Mac Bredahl that he took in for a reverse layup.
"With the crowd, we had to play high-tempo the entire game and that's what we did," Chatham senior Chris Conlin said. "Definitely, the whole team defensively stepped it up. In the first half, we hit a ton of shots which gave us the momentum going into the second half."
The Cougars opened the second quarter on a 10-2 tear. Andrew Bergman scored from the baseline before Rooney (13 points) drained a 3-pointer, a turnaround baseline jumper and then another 3-pointer to make it 27-7.
"We're a team that enjoys playing with each other and that's what makes it work for us," Rooney said.
The Cougars capped their big first half when Bredahl made a behind-the-back pass to Ryan Doherty on the break and Doherty quickly passed it forward to Conlin for a layup and a 36-15 lead heading into the break.
Ryan Doherty and Chris Conlin talk about Chatham's win over Montville
Chatham carried over some momentum from its game on Tuesday when it erased a 14-point halftime deficit to win at Pope John.
"Definitely, coming back to win that game against Pope John, it does a lot for our confidence," Bredahl said. "The second half of that game, we just focused on defense and not giving up layups."
Bredahl was the only player to score in the fourth quarter for Chatham, netting nine of his game-high 15 points. Conlin and Rooney finished with 13 points apiece and Doherty had nine points. Joe DelloStritto paced Montville (9-2) with 10 points.
Chatham plays host to Delbarton, a team it lost to in its season opener, on Monday at 7 p.m.
Mac Bredahl scored nine of his 15 points in the fourth quarter for Chatham
Chatham guard Jack Rooney hits a jumper during second half of win over Montville
Chris Conlin drops in a shot from the corner for Chatham