CHATHAM, NJ - The Chatham seniors are the most experienced players on the team, but even that group learned something in its 52-45 overtime loss to Millburn on Tuesday when "Senior Night" was held at Chatham High.
Chatham (19-4) came into the game with a 12-game winning streak but faltered against Millburn (20-2), which rode a 27-point effort by Ross Gang to victory.
Cougar senior Jack Rooney scored 11 points in the game and became Chatham's all-time leading boys basketball scorer, ending with 1,313 points to surpass the 1,310 points put up by Billy Oliver from 2005 through 2008.
"This is a lesson for us," Rooney said. "We were on a hot streak, but we know if we don't play as well on offense and defense, there are teams out there that are going to beat us."
Chatham never was able to gain more than a three-point lead over Millburn and, without a cushion, the miscues were magnified down the stretch.
"We just made too many mistakes," Chatham coach Todd Ervin said. "You can't turn the ball over that many times. It was a good effort, but when you play a good team, you can't make errors like that. Hopefully, we learn from that."
Rooney's record-breaking jumper came with 4:27 left in the fourth quarter and tied the game at 36-36. Chris Conlin (11 points) hit his third 3-pointer of the game from the top of the key to give Chatham a 42-40 edge with 1:44 left.
Chris Conlin's 3-pointer gave Chatham a two-point late in the fourth quarter
But Gang's basket tied the game at 42-42. The Cougars had a chance at a last-second shot to win it in regulation, but Mac Bredahl couldn't connect on a drive to the basket through a crowd.
In the overtime, junior guard Ryan Doherty drained a 3-pointer from the right corner to give Chatham its final lead of the game, 45-44, with 2:19 showing. Gang's 3-point play with 1:12 to go in the extra session made it 47-45 for the Millers.
Ryan Doherty drives for two points in the first half for Chatham
Andrew Bergman scores in the lane for Chatham